Alexa Melo has been making music since she was a teenager, citing artists like Radiohead, Bjork, Led Zeppelin, and Pink Floyd as influences. A few years ago, she even signed a major label record deal – but soon decided to pursue a path as an independent artist instead. With her new EP Mute (out now) Alexa Melo to reclaim her voice – literally.
True to form and her spirit as an independent artist, Alexa Melo wrote, performed, and produced Mute on her own, and got help mixing from Christian James Hand and Frankie Siragusa. Today, we’re excited to premiere her brand new music video for “I’m Ready”. In addition to the premiere, we were able to ask her about the video and EP. Take a look at the video, as well as what she had to say, below!
SUBSTREAM: How would you describe your music to someone who hadn’t heard it before?
Alexa Melo: Alternative, indie pop with a rock influence – I feel like I change the answer to that question all the time because I’m unsure what my music sounds like to others but for now, I think this description works.
SUBSTREAM: In your own words, what is the song “I’m Ready” about?
AM: “I’m Ready” is a song about looking at the ending of something as an opportunity to evolve it into something more beautiful. It’s about accepting the fate of an ending relationship and attempting to have an optimistic perspective on it. The song is sort of an affirmation that my breakup wouldn’t end in heartbreak but that we would evolve as friends and allies…something more healthy and sustainable.
SUBSTREAM: The music video for “I’m Ready” features the Japanese art form of shibari rope bondage. Had you been familiar with or interested in it before making the video? Why did you want to include this visual in the video?
AM: I haven’t been interested in it until the music video. When the director (Daniel Garcia), and I began tossing ideas around for the video, I had this visual in my head about being wrapped in silk, or something to do with being in a cocoon, using the idea of evolution and resurrection as inspiration but then Daniel had this idea about rope art. Being wrapped in rope was a great way to describe being constrained by the relationship as well as released by it, reminiscent of a cocoon. We wanted to use rope as the visual influence, and the idea began to unfold from there. We definitely went full-on with the rope concept. I’m so happy with the results and that I got to learn about shibari in the process.
SUBSTREAM: “I’m Ready” comes from your new EP Mute. How will Mute be similar to, or different from, your previous releases?
AM: I’ve been through so much between my last release and now. I’ve aged and grown as a producer. I think it’s definitely more experimental with the instrumentation as well. It’s got a more electronic influence in the production. Also, I think I was more honest and raw in my lyrics.
SUBSTREAM: Can you describe the meaning of the EP title, Mute?
AM: Well, in the winter of 2015, I had to get vocal cord surgery to remove a cyst. I was told that I’d be singing again in 2 months but the surgery resulted in me being unable to sing for over a year. It was the worst time of my life and the pain and anxiety that came from the experience came with so many negative side effects in my mental and physical health, as well as my relationships. The title “mute” describes the feeling of being unable to not only sing, but losing my inner voice and sense of identity as well. I realized that I had lost my voice in so many ways over many years and “Mute” is about learning how to find my voice again.
SUBSTREAM: What do you want viewers to take away from the “I’m Ready” video and from Mute as a whole?
AM: I guess if anyone has ever felt trapped, powerful or voiceless, I want people to listen to this and not feel so alone and perhaps be reminded of their power and feel inspired to harness it.
SUBSTREAM: You’ve been making music since you were 14 years old, and have even opted out of a major label deal to pursue the independent route. If you could go back to your teenage self and give her one piece of advice, what would you say?
AM: I would tell her to listen to her intuition and not to let other tell her how to feel. I would also tell her to get off of the label immediately and not to let others manipulate her into believing that she’s trapped there.
For more, keep up with Alexa Melo on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube, and visit her website.