Nashville artist Melanie Faye is R&B’s literal Guitar Hero
Straight out of Nashville, Tennessee comes Melanie Faye, a rising R&B artist who is blowing up the Internet.
The 19-year-old musician’s soulful guitar playing will put you in a trance – especially when you watch her YouTube videos that have, obviously, gone viral and caught attention from other known artists including SZA. The “Love Galore” singer even retweeted one of Melanie’s videos.
With her deput EP, “HomoPhone,” to be released soon, there is no doubt a huge future is what’s ahead for this young star. We got to sit down with her to learn a little about her inspirations, her advice for any aspiring musicians, and more.
Read all about it below!
Do you think living in Nashville influenced you to pursue music at all?
No, growing up in Nashville did not (initially or directly) influence my decision to pursue music.
How did you get started playing guitar?
What actually influenced me to play guitar was Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock on Xbox 360.
You have a really unique style, how did you find your sound? What drew you to play soulful music as opposed to what’s more popular now?
I grew up listening to R&B music. My idols were Michael Jackson and Mariah Carey. When I play lead guitar, I often mimic the way a contemporary R&B singer performs melismatic vocal runs. I almost exclusively use jazz chords that I learned at the performing arts high school I attended.
Being that rappers and Hip-Hop artists love to “sample” jazz, gospel, and soulful r&b guitar, I would say that I actually do make music that is extremely relevant at the moment. For example, Chance the Rapper, Kehlani, SZA, Brent Faiyaz, and many other popular artists of today incorporate my style of guitar in their studio recordings and live shows.
The video of mine that went viral 10 months ago has since been sampled thousands of times by Soundcloud rappers and producers. Also, I’ve noticed that rappers like to refer to themselves as rockstars (e.g., Lil Uzi Vert, Trippie Redd, Bali Baby, and Rico Nasty) and like to make songs about being a rockstar (e.g., ‘Black Beatles’ by Rae Sremmurd and ‘Rockstar’ by Post Malone feat. 21 Savage).
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If you could tour with anyone living or dead who would it be?
I would have to go on tour with Michael Jackson or Mariah Carey.
What was it like watching a video of you go viral online?
It was pretty cool and fun. It gave me a lot of momentum.
Did you ever end up speaking to the person that initially posted it?
There were hundreds of reposters prior to the video’s virality. But if you are referring the person who posted it on Twitter prompting it to go viral, then no, I have not spoken to that person.
Who’s the most outrageous person you’ve gotten to meet/work with since going viral?
I don’t even know where to start. Willow Smith, Mac DeMarco, Noname, Jamila Woods, Masego, Hayley Williams, Brad Shultz of CTE, Solo Woods, Isaiah Sharkey, Amandla Stenberg, Cam O’bi, Phoelix, Peter Cottontale, Nico Segal (fka Donnie Trumpet), Ashley Jackson (Jesse Jackson’s daughter), Francesca Simone, Tomo Fujita, Tosin Abasi, Tyler Cole, PJ Morton, Kerry 2 Smooth, and Bibi Mcgill are some of the most inspiring individuals I have ever met.
But, of all the people I have come across, Noah Urrea is definitely the most outrageous. He is unforgettable.
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Can you tell us anything about your debut EP, “Homophone,” thats coming out soon?
My EP is 2 years in the making. If I had known it would take this long, I would not have told people about it so soon.
How was working with Mac Demarco?
Working with Mac DeMarco was fun and inspiring. We work very well together.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In 5 years, I see myself leading a fun and exciting life.
What’s your favorite album of all time?
My favorite albums of all time would have to be something Mariah Carey or Michael Jackson-made.
Do you have any advice for young musicians?
My advice for young musicians would be to have fun with your craft. If you’re not having fun, then what’s the point?
Photos: Jasmine Archie
Makeup: Lain Kohanski
Photo assistant: Maya White
Model: Melanie Faye