We had the good fortune of connecting with Melanie Jay and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Melanie, we’d love to start by asking you about lessons learned. Is there a lesson you can share with us?
Pursuing music as a career has taught me two immensely important things. The first being patience; I remember as a listener of music and fan of so many musicians, I used to think, “wow, that’s so easy!”. Why don’t they release music more often? You just make a song, right? Well, now that I’m on the other end, I’ve realized there are so many aspects no one talks about, and there’s a lot of waiting, especially when collaborating with other individuals. To add to that, the creative process sometimes takes more time than you’d initially think. An added level to patience that this career path has taught me is nothing tends to be as instantiates as it looks. When observing others’ career success when it seems they’ve won the views lottery, in reality, there were years behind that “blow up” in their career. So I’ve learned that I have to be extremely patient in every aspect, and it actually makes every small success that much better.
The second thing that arguably is much more important, particularly when talking about this digital age we are all living in; I’ve learned coping mechanisms when comparing myself to others, especially when it comes to comparing “success.” I still compare myself to others from time to time, because it’s so natural. No one’s life is what is advertised on their social media pages. Everyone is keeping things to themselves, distinctly when bubbly and pretty things can be placed in a picture, and things that are darker and harder to digest are left out of the picture. Just being aware of that helps so much.
Both of these lessons keep me continuously learning, as well as giving me more insight into myself in relation to the world around me. Which indirectly translates into my music, I believe.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
There is nothing more I want to do than to sing music and for like-minded people and for them to listen to my music. If I can give someone a feeling or a sense of wholeness and a sense of self while listening to my music I’ve done my job. For people to feel just a little less lonely, feel a little more human, and hopefully enjoy life through music just like I do. That is what excites me about my job. I feel lucky to say at a small scale I feel like this goal is something I’ve achieved. There have been instances when people approach me and tell me my music, my thoughts, have helped them in their own lives. It’s crazy. However, it hasn’t been easy especially since I’m so critical of myself. Pursing music feels like something that is always going to be challenging and hard, but I actually wouldn’t want it any other way. Adding to that finding your audience and getting people to listen when there is so much music being released all the time, is hard. I find this the hardest, but I’m slowly but surely growing and finding like-minded people.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
OOOOoooooO, oh boy, do I have a list. I’ve grown up in LA, so I feel like I’ve got a pretty good grasp of weird, unique spots. Firstly, the California Science Center is a go-to. I grew up going there, and I’m a bit of a history nerd sometimes. Secondly, getting coffee or tea in Silverlake literally anywhere there is good. Then Griffith observatory, lunch in malibu at Malibu Farm Pier Cafe (and in Santa Monica skip the pier), I say go paint in the park, Echo Park, Griffith, and everything in between. For dinner, I say go to studio city, walk around there, and then for dessert, I say wherever there is tiramisu, take me there, or Salt & Straw are a classic. The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My older brother Jonny. More like my best friend, and my favorite collaborator. Jonny has always been just a phone call away to help when I get stuck in music and in my everyday life. He’s also the biggest support and cheerleader, because of him I know I can do anything I put my mind to. My past singles have been produced by him, and I feel so honored that he wants to create music with me. If Jonny wasn’t in my life I’m not sure if I’d be doing the thing that fulfills me the most. There’s so much more I could say, but this blog post would turn into a novel. I couldn’t be more thankful for him and I know he’ll be reading this. Love you, bro. <3
Also my momma (She says my #1 fan), dad (cheerleader, and creative human), claire (best supportive most amazing friend), Donovan (videographer, friend, and fellow creative), All my brothers (biggest critics with the most love), Rene (vocal teacher, and mentor), and all my wonderful friends that have always been extremely supportive.
Other: TikTok: @Melaniejaymusic Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/52fQG3KbeIyHXHEJ8ZkKVM?si=f9g3tKc1S3eDNtSq7iuTQA Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/melaniejaymusic