Meet Mélat, the twenty-something Austin, Texas songstress who dubs her music “the eclectic soul of R&B.” The blonde bombshell just dropped her new EP titled It Happens So Fast, and the project stays true to the songster’s musical deliberation. She delivers smooth vocals atop playful springy instrumentals while even implementing throwback samples like Jay-Z’s “Girls, Girls, Girls” as seen on her track “Sexy Us.” The project proves a unanimous verdict—that Mélat is an industry force to be reckoned with. We sat down with her recently and she dished on the inspiration behind the EP, the process behind making it, and what the future holds.
SB: What was the inspiration behind the ‘It Happens So Fast’ EP?
M: I wanted to create something that encapsulated the summer vibe but would also be able to transition through the seasons. A lighter, fun feeling that even on a cold November night you could put on and still feel the lighthearted warmth of the summer. Holding a beer or holding a glass of wine, you can feel the vibes. Thankfully I got to work with a handful of producers who were able to vibe with me on that tip and I think we made some really memorable songs that we can cherish for whatever occasion.
SB: What was the process behind making the project?
M: ‘You’ went through a few evolutions before it became what ended up on the project. The same thing happened with “TwentyTen”. “TwentyTen” was written a while back and I’ve been trying to find the right fit for it. It finally came together on that beat in particular. “Sexy” Us was a feeling I just wanted to portray and with that Jay Z sample, well, you know…the rest is history. “If It’s Gold I Love” was pretty much a freestyle based on how I was feeling at that moment. I was stressed out and sung as if all the doctor could prescribe me was a week at the beach with my friends. Daytrip is that beautifully relaxed trip to the beach. No worries and fuck anyone who was trying to push me at any speed besides the one I wanted. It was a fun experience to put the summer into 5 tracks and I’m happy to have shared that with the awesome producers I worked with.
SB: What’s next?
M: I am currently in the process of releasing a series of remixes for the anniversary of Move Me, collectively called the Move Me RMXZ. Jansport J and I made such a memorable project that I thought it’d be fun to mess with the vocals a bit and invite a few producers we know to make remixes and to put them out. It’s a fun way to commemorate the EP. Besides that I’m working with more and more people now on more and more things that cover many different areas. New merch, new music, new ventures. I’m trying not to limit my expansion to simply one medium.
SB: Are there any artists you’d like to collaborate with?
M: I’d love to work with Kanye, J Cole, Kaytrenada, Kelela, Justin Timberlake are the first that come to mind. Kanye for his wild and boundless creativity. I’m not one for limitations. To be able to create freely with that man and have it be something that still resonates would be amazing. Kaytrenada because he is simply sick! Kelela not only because she’s my Ethiopian sister, I just totally vibe with what she’s doing. I’ve always appreciated Justin Timberlake not only for his public persona but the work he has done across all mediums. J Cole for his truth. I think a lot of music lacks the realness of emotion and it’s always been something I’ve been adamant about. I keep true to my emotions when writing and while singing so each song in my library has a true emotional tie. It’s possible to make good music that is sometimes fun, sometimes sad, sometimes happy, but all a part of relating the human condition.
SB: Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
M: Five years from now, I see myself on (not my first) a major tour, with those J Cole and Kanye songs in tow, and working on my philanthropic ventures of helping poor families in America and Ethiopia, where my family is from. Opportunity is hard to come by for some, so I think it’s really important to share that wealth once I feel I’ve obtained it (it hopefully less than 5 years!).
SB: What’s your perspective on the state of today’s R&B?
M: I think today’s R&B has had very limited amounts of variation and a lot of people disowning and downplaying the genre. I love all types of music and I believe that the general masses haven’t been that open to the idea of R&B. I’ve played with the idea of not considering my music R&B but then I was like fuck it, this is R&B music, just maybe not in the traditional sense. Let’s let the genre evolve. R&B is bigger than any decade.
SB: What’s one question you’ve never been asked but wish you were asked?
M: How are you doing?—I worry a lot. I’m stressed. I’m human. But I’m happy and I love being able to create music. I feel truly blessed for each and every person listening, sharing, and encouraging me along the way. And I hope all these things, positive and negative, resonate through every note that you hear.