We had the good fortune of connecting with Melissa Carter and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Melissa, what is the most important factor behind your success?
By far, the single most important factor behind the success of my music career has been perseverance. This is in no way, shape, or form an easy route to take. In fact, nothing here on this road has been easy or come easily. I’ve always said that following this dream has not been a choice for me. It’s a matter of necessity. It is who I am. There have been so many close calls with quitting, where it just felt like it wasn’t worth it anymore. But then, what would I do with all my emotions? I poured them out, into music, and landed right back on the path. I believe with everything I have that when you fully love something to that point, you are at the point where you cannot give it up. It’s meant to be, and the success will grow and thrive from that place. It’s a few steps forward, a couple back, and a strong drive to keep it moving…someway, somehow. Perseverance!
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I come from a musical family. There was always music playing in my house when I was growing up. Music has been my saving grace. Whether listening, writing, playing, recording, or performing; it’s been where I go when I need an escape from the intensity of life. It’s my truest form of self expression and sort of all I know how to do. I always knew I wanted music to be a part of my life but I didn’t always know how. At about 16, I tried to connect with anyone I knew who had a studio, who was writing and recording music. I just wanted to learn. I went through a lot of genre confusion around that time. My goal was just to sing wherever I could, to soak in as much knowledge and growth as possible from people around me doing it. I refer to those years as my musical identity crisis. Figuring it out along the way and at a young age, came with roadblocks and plenty of challenges. It’s a difficult industry to maneuver. I had to go through some difficult relationships with people trying to “help” me “get there.” Looking back, I think the music itself is what got me to overcome all of the challenges. Honestly, it still does and probably always will. Nothing worth having comes easily; right? I kept remembering the goal, why I was doing all of it, and what it was all for. Anytime I had soul crushing moments or a bad deal, I’d just dive right back into my craft and the love would be reignited. I think that’s the beauty of it all. That’s what we, as consumers of art, go to art for. We need it to express, to feel less alone about our feelings. I’m an old soul. I think that might be what sets me apart or what I’m most proud of at this point. I tried to run away from that when I was first starting out, but somewhere along the way I embraced it, and when I did, I found where I fit; my sound, and everything from there, started to fall into place. I found that my team, my community of musicians, and my craft itself started to take shape. I felt like that’s when I started to truly grow as an artist. If nothing else, I’ve learned so much on this path about people, business, and just life itself. The biggest lesson thus far? Be yourself! I know that sounds cliche, but truly, when I stopped caring or worrying about what people wanted to hear, or see; that’s when the good stuff started to really flow. I think when you’re authentic, your story will come out and it will be beautiful. It will touch someone, and that’s why we do this. I’m excited to keep making music, to share it, and get on the road! Really excited for the next musical adventure!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Los Angeles! I am a rare Los Angeles native! Here’s my idea of the perfect day in LA: A quick stop for a morning coffee, or an iced matcha latte and avocado toast at Bluestone Lane or cold brew and a divine gluten free/vegan mini loaf from M Street in Sherman Oaks. There is an incredible community of artists who you will find at M Street. They also feature local artists on their walls. It’s absolutely beautiful. Next we would have to go to the Huntington Library. It is so extremely peaceful and beautiful. I could get completely lost there. From there, even though it would be a lot of driving, (worth it), we would have lunch on Main Street in Santa Monica at Urth Cafe and walk around to take in the beach view. A late dinner to follow at my favorite sushi bar, Iroha Sushi off of Coldwater Canyon and Ventura Blvd in Studio City. The “Sasha Roll” – creamy salmon roll here is, I promise you, the best you have ever had. We’d then catch a show at The Hotel Cafe in Hollywood. A few other places I love: It’s rare but when I do go out for drinks or a late night, Perch is a great place with a beautiful downtown view! The Grammy Museum is a must! The Hollywood Bowl was my very first concert, Shania Twain, I’ll never forget it! Runyon Canyon, Paradise Cove in Malibu, and Colorado Blvd. in Pasadena are all great places to spend the day.
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?
I wouldn’t have been able to do any of this without my family. They have been and continue to be incredibly supportive on this roller coaster ride. It takes a village; it really does! I dedicate this to them and truly appreciate their unconditional love, generosity, advice, and for always showing up. Thank you for being there for me through the literal thick and thin!
Other: Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/track/7kQop0g4JEk56XjHanHLH1?si=ISXeYIRjTBe_rB9qxVgC0A
Matt Draper (Live photo at the mint), Kem West (all professional studio photography & outdoor festival show)