BELLO Watch: Melanie Fontana

Bello had the pleasure to interview Melanie Fontana to discuss her career and how she overcomes creative challenges.

Q: You have worked with numerous top performers to create their hit tracks, including The Chainsmokers, BTS, Britney Spears, Aaron Carter, and Daya. Tell us about your song writing process. What inspires your music?
A: The process is totally different artist to artist. Writing a song is like having a conversation with someone; no two talks are ever exactly alike. I personally get inspired by good, long chats. I like to delve into what my co-writer has been going through & even sometimes what I’m currently dealing with. Those words inspire vibes, vibes then inspire melodies & songs.

Q: What was your first opportunity working in the industry and how did you react when you finally landed a gig?
A: Many MANY things led me to where I am today. My first true “break” was getting signed to Nasri (of the band MAGIC!) as management. After struggling in LA for quite a while, he & his team took a chance on an unknown girl who just came off singing on cruise ships. Luckily, for me, all the pushing & struggling paid off.

Q: When faced with a challenge in creating music, what would be your advice to best overcome it?
A: If you’re struggling in the studio on an idea that just won’t seem to click, just chuck it out. I’m not a fan of shoving a round peg into a square hole. If the song idea doesn’t feel good, don’t waste your time. No one got into the music industry to feel boxed in or pressured! Most of the problems (anyone in the industry will tell you) lie within the business side of things. There’s a lot of hidden politics in the music industry that most people don’t even know exists.

Q: In addition to writing songs, you’re also a singer yourself. Tell us about performing on-stage with Aaron Carter at Pride, and your new music cover for “The Christmas Song.”
A: I adore Aaron Carter. Before we played PRIDE, he suggested I sing one of my original, still unreleased songs. Performing in WeHo in front of such beautiful people was even more fun than I could imagine. The stage was buzzing with good energy. As for my Christmas song: my husband/ main production partner Lindgren & I were feeling festive around Thanksgiving & seeing as I hadn’t put out a song in while, we thought, “What the heck!” & decided to put out a cover of “The Christmas Song” for free download on my SoundCloud as well as post it on my YouTube channel. We got a lot of love from friends & collaborators, so we decided to distribute it. It’ll be out on December 8th on iTunes & Amazon music!

Q: You’ve had an incredible year – writing pop hits for BTS, Loren Gray, Wengie, and many more unreleased singles. What would you say were your top three greatest achievements in 2018?
A: Getting my Billboard #1 with BTS tops the heap. Second in line is going gold with The Chainsmokers for our collaboration “Setting Fires” & 3rd was buying a house!

Q: Tell us about the latest single you wrote with Wengie, “Ugly Christmas Sweater,” which was the #1 Trending Video on YouTube upon its release.
A: It really was SOOOO satisfying to see it at #1. I wasn’t shocked though; Wengie is practically queen of YouTube. So far, we have almost 6 million plays! Soon you’ll be hearing more music from Wengie, songs I co-wrote!

Q: Who are your major musical obsessions right now?
A: I am all about holiday tunes from Thanksgiving until New Year’s Day. I love this original holiday song called “Whatever Jingles Your Bells” by Cali Rodi. She & I have co-written a few songs together. Her sound is so sugary sweet.  I’m also obsessed with BLACKPINK f/Dua Lipa’s “Kiss & Make Up”. Such a well-made song. I also can’t forget “Focus” by Deorro. It’s so fire & the featured vocalist Lena Leon sounds so frickin’ cool.

Q: Who is at the top of your list for a collaboration? Be it a singer/band, producer, etc.
A: I’d love to work with ZEDD. His music is experimental but somehow always lands on the radio. I’d love to get back in with The Chainsmokers, too! Oh & give me a session with Ariana Grande any day. I feel like we’d be good friends as well as co-writers.

Q: What are you working on currently or what can we expect next from you?
A: I’m currently in the studio finishing up a song on Krewella’s upcoming album! It’s so unique; like nothing you’ve heard from them. I’m also working on some stuff with BigHit, BTS’s record label. I have a few vocal features happening in 2019 so keep your ears peeled, please!

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Hanna Von Matern

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