1. Hello Melanie, can you tell me a little bit about yourself before you became a country musician?
I grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with my parents and two siblings. I was kind of a tomboy growing up. I liked dressing up, but I preferred jeans and hoodies. I played travel AAA ice hockey as well as played for my school’s field hockey team. My parents were awesome supporters growing up. They always encouraged me and my siblings to pursue whatever interests we had and were actively involved with most of our sports/activities.
2. When did you start listening to country music and when did you know you wanted a career in it?
I listened to country radio around the house because my mom would always play it while she was cooking or working from home. I remember my mom telling me to listen to this song “You’re Still The One” by Shania Twain because she really loved it. After listening to the song, I caught wind of the fact that my dad had been planning to take my mom to a Shania concert for her birthday. I talked them into taking me with them and fell in love with everything about music at that concert. The next day, my mom signed me up for voice lessons and I soon began writing and playing guitar.
3. Who are some of your musical icons?
Shania is my first and foremost! If it wasn’t for her, I don’t know that I would’ve begun pursuing music. I grew up on 90s country, so I loved all of the female powerhouses like Faith Hill, Miranda Lambert, LeAnn Rimes, etc. As I got older, I listened to a bunch of Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood. My dad was also a big 80s rock fan, so we listened to a lot of Van Halen & Fleetwood Mac. Today, I’m inspired by artists like Maren Morris, Kelsea Ballerini, and Kelleigh Bannen (although I love my guy country artists too!).
4. What is the background story behind your latest single “Sober You?”
“Sober You” was one I wrote with two of my best friends and fellow artists here in Nashville, AJ Kross and Krista Angelucci. Somebody came with the hook “I’ll never get sober you” (playing off “I’ll never get over you”) and we just kind of ran from there. We got the chorus pretty quickly and I think finished up the verses on another day. From the start, I began playing it out and got a great response. I knew it was pretty special.
5. What is your recording process like when creating new music?
I was blessed to be able to have some of the best session musicians in Nashville play on it. The vibe that they all create so effortlessly in a room together is incredible. The song basically recorded itself. We did our live session with Chris Utley at Benchmark, and then during the process, I worked with Michael Funk at Funk Studio (www.funkstudionashville.com). We have a great dynamic because we’re very honest with each other and he knows how to get the best vocal takes from me. I like when the producer can put his own creativity into the song because it usually is cooler than what I would have thought up on my own. He really did a great job and we had fun with it.
6. Is there anything else new coming up with your music in 2019?
Yes! Hopefully a lot. Since the start of the year, I’ve already released a music video as well as put out “Sober You” as a single. I’d like to promote it on radio, so we are figuring out the details for that. In addition, I am booking some summer dates for shows and I hope to eventually compile “Flame”, “Sober You”, and a couple others into a full blown project. There will definitely be another release this year!
7. What are a few of your favorite venues or events to play at?
I love playing venues in Nashville like The Listening Room and The Bluebird, because they are very personal, listening venues where people are genuinely interested in the songs and the songwriters. Outside of that, it’s a blast to play festivals because you get the energy of the crowd and the band behind you. I think music is made to move people (whether emotionally, or to dance!), and any time I’m doing this, I’m doing what I feel I need to do!
8. What is one of your favorite quotes?
“Everything happens for a reason”- I know it’s a common one, but I truly believe in it. So many things, people, and events in my life have led me to where I am right now, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I trust in God’s path and even when things are looking down, I have to believe I’m where I’m supposed to be at this particular time in my life.
9. Is there anything else you would like to share?
Check out my music on Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music, etc, and my social media accounts @melaniemeriney to follow along with new, exciting things happening! My website (www.melaniemeriney.com) has links to everything as well as my calendar for shows!