Musician Melanie Taylor is an alt-pop performer, who influences her love of 90s music into her electro-pop sound. Her inspiration stems mostly from her idol, the late Michael Jackson, and to other powerful women of the 90s musical force, including Alanis Morrisette, Lauryn Hill and Mariah Carey.
Taylor grew up in California, with roots grounded in San Diego, and was raised by her single, working mother. Taylor entertained herself listening to lots of classic pop records of her predecessors, and then was introduced to theater at a later time, and found her calling within that.
Taylor released her debut record, All About Today, in 2012, followed by her self-titled album in 2016. Her most recent tracks in 2018 are “Ink,” with her latest one “Adderall,” which is about a need for release.
With her new music video for “Adderall,” Taylor’s magnetic energy is transparent in the video while she roams the streets of Hollywood looking for a way to get out and be released from the pain her character’s endured for so long. Check out the video below:
I love your approach to songwriting! What led to you writing and creating songs mixing electro-pop with 90s infused music?
Melanie Taylor: Thank you! A few years ago I really wanted to kind of reinvent myself musically and started listening again to artists I grew up with, Alanis Morissette being a huge influence for me particularly. That is what kind of started it off, and it felt really natural to me when I added the electronic elements, so now it’s a whole thing!
It’s known that Michael Jackson is largely inspirational to you…what about his music influences you specifically?
Melanie: Yes, he is my idol! It’s not even so much his music, but his entire performance persona and stage presence. He just commanded the stage in a way I’ve never seen anyone else do, and for me I felt connected to something so much bigger watching him perform.
Performing comes natural to you…do you have a particular way method of how you’re going to perform for each audience, or do you just let it naturally gravitate towards you?
Melanie: I like to choreograph certain things and then let the vibe of the crowd inform the rest as far as movement. But I also just try and stay as true as possible to the message of each song I’m singing performance wise, so that the concept can really get across if that makes sense.
I love the theme in your current music video for your single “Adderall.” Can you relay the influence of the song and/or what encouraged you to write it?
Melanie: Thank you, it’s definitely been the most vulnerable I’ve been in any song I’ve written or performed. It was cathartic for me at the time when I was going through something with someone close to me. And it got me thinking that so much of what we fight about really isn’t even about the fight itself, but these deeper seeded issues from our past that maybe trigger us. And when you don’t heal that, it just continues to come up and you can end up hurting the people closest to you who had nothing to do with that past. The concept of “ use me like your Adderall” my co-writer came up with and it just fit so perfectly with what I was trying to say that we went with it.
Who was your first concert and do you have an overall favorite, thus far?
Melanie: Omg it was most definitely Spice Girls (laughs)! And it’s hard to choose a favorite but I did get to see Macklemore perform right before he really blew up, and it was like going to Church at the Troubadour! You could really tell he was gonna be huge and that was an amazing experience.
What was your first album on cassette, CD and/or vinyl?
Melanie: I don’t actually remember what my first CD was, I probably just took them from my mom! But maybe the HIStory album of Michael’s, or Celine Dion’s Power of Love. I remember being like 6 and belting out all the lyrics.
Which five albums and/or artists would you not want to live without?
Melanie: Definitely Michael Jackson, Alanis Morissette, Amy Winehouse, Mariah Carey and Lauryn Hill.
Do you have a guilty music or entertainment pleasure?
Melanie: Sappy teen dramas on Hulu – I’m way too into them (laughs)!