As designers, we often get asked the queston " What inspires you?" It could be a book, a painting, a song, a film, a muse, even a button! Since it is February, the month of Love, we thought it would be an ideal time to introduce to you to one of our muses, the talented Melissa Marchese.
Melissa has always emphasized the importance of the power of LOVE. It's in her songwriting, her social media feeds. In fact, her favourite Hashtag is #loveislove. We asked Melissa a few questions.....here is what she had to say.
Who is Melissa Marchese?
She’s a lot of things… she’s an artist, a seeker, a warrior… she’s a ridiculous hopeless romantic who believes in miracles. She’s an obsessive music fan who understands the power of music, the power of storytelling, and the power of love to heal and to transform pain. But more simply, she’s just a spirit in a meat-suit boppin through life learning the lessons, yah know?!
What artist(s) inspire you?
I’m really all over the map, but my favourite musical genre is... strong women! I’m super inspired by women like Kacey, Miley Cyrus (her EP “She Is Coming” is EVERYTHING… that collab with RuPaul!), Adele, Alanis, Celine, Sara Bareilles… I could go on and on…....I love watching and playing alongside bands like the Dirty Nil, Monster Truck, Walk Off The Earth, and Arkells over the years has been so exciting and energizing… it’s incredibly motivating to witness bands like these start up in our own neighbourhood and see them grow into the international success stories they are today. Experiencing that evolution… seeing the dream become a reality right in front of your face… that definitely makes it a little easier to walk this path and stay inspired, for sure.
You have an new record coming out, can you tell me a bit about that - Title, Release Date, Musical style?
Yesss! This record has been in the works for a while. Like a lonnnnng while... I’ve been writing and playing my own songs for forever, but I was never really motivated to record any of my tunes… I was just enjoying spending time discovering who I even was as an artist. And finally it came time where I had this amazing opportunity to start this recording project and I kinda froze.. this being my first original project. I had so much fear to work through to get to the finish line. It had a lot to do with me being scared to tell my truth...saying all that intimate stuff out loud..on a record…that other people will listen to! Haha… you know, for the ex’s that I clearly wrote some of the songs about.. the thought of them hearing what I actually think…ayyy... it’s just scary. I think I’ve lived a really large part of my life being terrified about what others might think of me.. but making this record really helped me break free of that. It may have taken a while, but we made something I’m super proud of and love...something that I think accurately documents my experience in this world… and I’m excited now to share it. We’re just in the middle of working on the release plans. I want to take my time and give it the release it deserves, so it’s looking like very early 2022.. there’s lots of work to be done!
As far as genre, We’ve dubbed the musical genre as “Alternative Pop/Rock”… it’s a little 90’s at times… with a nice balance of dark and light. In my brain it’s like if Alanis and Adele had a baby.
The record is named in honour of a dear friend of mine, the legendary late Dave Hanley. Dave embodied love wherever he went and you couldn’t say goodbye to the dude without getting his famous sign-off, “Mad Love!” MAD LOVE is exactly what this record is all about. I’m so excited to join Dave’s spirit to this record and help perpetuate his legacy.
Music and Fashion are very much intertwined, what is your personal style?
True to my gemini rising nature, I’m a bit of a chameleon… I love it all! But I feel most like myself when I’m a bit glam.. I’ll never say no to some black ankle boots with a killer heel and a hip hugging dress. I wear a lot of flowy hippie-esque capes and robes too.
Do you have a "go-to" brand - favorite designer?
I would hate for this to sound trite, but it’s TRUE… Blackbird of course! Working with y’all over the last ten or so years has actually broadened my horizons and got me more excited about fashion than ever before. I love y’all for the same reason I love my favourite artists… it’s like you can read my mind of what I’d love to wear before I even know I want to wear it! You create such fantastic and unique pieces… pieces that make me feel so confident and in my feminine. The Angelica robe is my favourite!!!
Style Icon? Why? 100% hands down Sarah Blackwood from Walk Off The Earth. Her style is so uniquely her own… she always looks put together yet comfortable… funky jumpsuits, overalls, lots of layering... She’s got a really cool way of looking so hot but not relying on traditionally “sexy” clothing if that makes sense…?! Her style is original and approachable, and oozes confidence…and she makes a lot of her own outfits! She has a kids line that she’s designed that’s dropping soon that’s no doubt going to be awesome. She’s @sarahblackwoodmusic on Instagram if you want to check her out!
What Artists would you like to work with? One of my dreams actually came true this year when Monster Truck asked me to sing on their upcoming acoustic record! They’ve been at the top of the list for bands I’ve wanted to work with for a really long time.. it’s almost surreal that it’s happening now. I love the energy they bring in the table.. just no BS rock n’ roll. Next on my list is Harm& Ease.. another Canadian rock band. I got to briefly work with them on a more commercial tune in the studio but never live… they just rock so hard and are such awesome humans that I think it would be a lot of fun to make music with them… I just picture bringing this femme energy to this awesome hard-hitting modern rock vibe they’ve got going on… it would be killer!!!
What social media platforms do you use and why? I use mostly IG and FB right now.. a creature of habit… I think it's so cool we are living in a time when we are able to connect via the inter web. There’s a lot of crap out there too, of course, but harnessing the power of the internet to create true connection and spread love and positivity is my jam!
Did you know…. The popular last call/end of the night bar song “Closing Time” written by Dan Wilson (Semisonic) is actually partially inspired by the birth of his daughter!?! "Closing time, this room won't be open / Till your brothers or your sisters come… I know who I want to take me home…” Haha I get such a kick out of stuff like that!