Get to know Australian independent artist Mel Jade. She just released a new single called “Bliss” which we are completely obsessed with.
Mel initiated her music career in 2011 when her unreleased song “Alien” was remixed by production team Pretty Boys, after a private hearing, and suddenly was played by DJ Armin van Buuren on his Dutch radio show, and became a dance smash in multiple European countries. See, perhaps you already know Mel Jade (and danced to her music at the club) and you didn’t even know!
After some touring around Australia, and even the UK, the Melbourne singer got back to the studio to work on her follow-up album. This will be released later this year, as confirmed by her, and the first single is already available to the world. It’s “Bliss”, a sultry dance-pop track in whose music video Mel Jade serves her signature elegant sexiness (watch below).
Directlyrics.com recently caught with Mel Jade for an exclusive interview where she told us everything about the new single, her upcoming album, her beginnings in the industry, what her favorite songs of the moment are, what her dream collaboration is, and she even shared her thoughts on fellow Aussie act 5 Seconds of Summer!
Hi Mel Jade! Thanks for sharing your time with us for this interview.
Hey! You're welcome, thanks for interviewing me.
Where are you answering this Q&A from and how’s your day been like?
I'm at home in Melbourne, Australia right now. So far my day has involved pancakes, song writing and platform shoes.
Your first song release “Aliens” charted in many European countries in 2012 thanks to a very danceable remix done by the Pretty Boys of Saint Tropez. And even DJ Armin van Buuren picked it up for airplay on his radio show! How did it feel to have a hit in Europe so early in your career? And especially happening so far away from home!
Yeah! That was really surreal. I was travelling at the time it happened and had limited internet access. So when I eventually went online and had all these emails saying that my song was charting I didn't believe it. To see if it was real, I went and live streamed a Dutch radio station and 'Aliens' came on immediately after I tuned in. Even then I didn't believe it because it felt like I was just watching a YouTube video!
I see the original version of "Aliens" isn't included on your debut album "Alive" and, actually, I can’t find the original version available anywhere. What’s the story behind this song? And, how did the Pretty Boys remix come to being?
'Aliens' was actually written a long time before that remix came out. A guy called Travis King and I wrote it in the studio one day just for fun and it was never officially released. Then Pretty Boys later heard the song and wanted to play with the vocals, so off it went to Holland and BAM. Remix. Thanks internet!
In the summer of 2013 your released the “Alive” LP. How long did it take to record the album, what producers helped you, and did you write all of the songs?
After 'Aliens' I decided I wanted to a solo project of my own. Prior to that I had always done collaborations with different producers but I had really strong ideas about the direction I wanted to go and was excited about doing an album that was 100% me. I decided to work with Travis King again for the production of 'Alive'. I would tell him exactly what sound and vibe I wanted the music to have and he would produce it, then I'd write lyrics and melodies over the top. I recorded the vocals at a gorgeous studio called Four4ty. It took just under a year to finish it all.
What’s the song on the album that's most personal to you and why?
All the songs came from something real that I was feeling or wanted to say. Most are about taking risks and just unashamedly doing whatever you want to do: falling in love hard, taking a chance, quitting your 9-5, road tripping. I was really feeling that and straight after I finished the album I got a one way ticket to London and left within two weeks of deciding I wanted to go. I road tripped around the UK on tour for 6 months and had no idea where I would end up. So all of the tracks reflect that mindset that I had. I was YOLOing hard, ha ha.
Are you satisfied with the performance the album had?
Yes! I'm so happy if even just one person listens to my music, so when I started getting messages and views from around the world I was really grateful and happy. One couple messaged me saying they had made a sex tape to my song 'We Could Make a Movie'. This was a highlight for me! Way better than winning a music award.
Your sound has been described as "underground pop with a poetic touch". How did you end up having this unique sound?
It's just what I like. I love poetic lyrics and metaphors but I also love catchy hooks so I tried to mash those two things together. I listen to music that's a little more underground but I also love pop melodies so I mashed those two things together as well.
What artists did you grow up listening to?
I had some really varied influences growing up. I went through phases where I'd be obsessed with one type of music. As a kid it was pop, then it was hip hop and RnB, then blues and soul, then retro music, then alternative and indie rock, then chillout, then hard electronic music. Eventually I went full circle back to pop but I still have favorites from all those other genres. Now I just listen to a mix of everything.
Two years ago you did a short tour across the UK. How was the experience like? And, what was the reaction like from the people at your live shows?
It was SO FUN. It was my first tour and I got to meet some really cool people and make them dance. I still keep in touch with some of the people who came to my shows on twitter. Thanks again internet!
Are there any plans to do promo and/or perform concerts outside Australia in a near future?
Yes! I've just finished recording my second album so now I'll be going into promo phase. I hope that will take me overseas but the plans aren't confirmed yet. Either way, if enough people want me in their city, I'll be there to do a show for them.
You first album was released independently. Has any major label approached you yet? Is that something interests you or are you happy with the way things are right now?
I did everything DIY for the first release! It was such a fun experience to be hands on in every part of the it. I haven't spoken to any majors, but I'm not really chasing that. It would depend on if they were making me money or taking my money, ha ha. Also it would depend on if I'd still be able to have creative control and write my own lyrics. If not, as if!
Do you see yourself setting down roots in another country to develop your music career?
Sure, I'm open to wherever it takes me. As long as I'm doing music, I'm happy.
You have a new single that just dropped called "Bliss". What can you tell us about the song?
YES! I AM SO EXCITED! The track has a lot of crazy drums through the verses and then instead of dropping into a hard bass drop, it drops into a 90s pop chorus. So it's a little different, I like it a lot. I wrote the song about that blissful feeling you get when you're in love, but to me love isn't just floaty and pretty. It's also consuming and hectic and intense. The music in the track reflects both of those polar feelings.
Is “Bliss” part of an upcoming/EP album? I’m sure fans are dying to know!
Bliss is the first track from a brand new album project! So there is a lot more coming. I've never been so excited about anything!
What’s the treatment/plot of the "Bliss" music video? And, were there any fun anecdotes at the shooting?
The concept of the Bliss video was to have it set in a really old-school, dingy motel and the surrounding suburbia but then there would be surreal elements in every scene. So it represents how love can add a little magic to even the most banal things. We added confetti, colourful lights, sparklers, smoke and balloons to the scenes. I even jumped into the pool in the middle of a freezing winter's night to get a surreal underwater scene.
The funniest thing that happened was when we were shooting at Adelaide's Hollywood Plaza. Someone called the police because we were setting off coloured smoke bombs and they thought we were hooligans. It's not a real music video until the PoPo show up.
What are Mel Jade’s Top 5 songs of the moment?
1. Lana Del Rey, Florida Kilos. I like this track because it reminds me of her old, unreleased demos which I regularly scour YouTube for. I love them.
2. Hermitude, Hyperparadise (Flume remix). I still listen to this song because it was the first song that really made me fall in love with Flume.
3. Miguel, Simple Things. I listen to this song on repeat. It reminds me a little of Lenny Kravitz who is also the bomb.
4. Air, Sexy Boy. This track is late 90s but I still add it to my playlists.
5. Troye Sivan, Happy Little Pill. Everyone is hyping over this track right now, I'm not immune. Love it.
I wish I could add more songs! I could go into a rabbit hole playing all my favourite tracks. We'd be here for years. Maybe I'll make a Spotify playlist for everyone.
We have to ask you. There is an Australian band currently doing it big worldwide. And that’s 5 Seconds of Summer. What do you think of them?
Yeah they're cool. It's nice to see some Aussies out there representing. I'm just happy when anyone finds success in this biz because it's a crazy one.
Talent shows like “The Voice" or "The X Factor" have really high ratings in Australia. What are your thoughts of this kind of shows? And, did you ever consider going on an audition for them?
Oh yeah, shows like that are kinda fun. I think they can be great exposure for singers. I wouldn't enter one though, I'm so into the writing and creative side of music whereas those shows are mostly about the vocal performance. I love tying the lyrics, the music, the videos and the live show all into the same vision. That's what’s fun for me.
Who would be your dream collaboration and why?
There are lots of people I'd love to collab with. Flume can remix my tracks any time. I've also loved Pharrel since his N.E.R.D days. I think Marina and The Diamonds would also be fun to do a song with.
How do you see 2015 for Mel Jade?
My new album will be out this year so it will be the best year. The year to crush all other years! It will involve lots of new songs, lots of live shows and hopefully I'll get to meet some of my original followers and some new ones too.
Thank you for your time Mel! Make sure to follow us on Twitter (@directlyrics). Is there any last thing you’d like to share with our readers?
Thanks! Followed you. I'm @mel_jade on twitter or @meljademusic on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube. Come say hi. BYE!
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