I love the vibe of ‘Hot N Bothered’, it is so upbeat! What did the songwriting process look like for this song?
Melissa: I always wanted to create a sassy y2k inspired anthem. I wanted it to focus on clapping back at unwanted cat calls from men. I knew my talented co-writing friend, Kevin McAleer, would do amazing with this concept. I explained my vision to him and we immediately dove in. We had a blast writing this song together!
You are a big advocate for mental health on social media. How has this part of your life and what you have been through influenced your music?
Melissa: Since the age of five I suffered from a debilitating case of Body Dysmorphic Disorder. After endless years of seeking treatment a pivotal time finally arose in my life. I was attending one of many outpatient programs, and this one was a long two hour drive away. It was on these car rides to treatment that I discovered something incredible. I found that what gave me hope wasn’t the treatment itself, but driving to get there.
I would blast my favorite dance driven tracks sung by my idols Lady Gaga, Christina Aguilera, and Britney Spears, and I would enter another world. I escaped to a place where I would embody the sexy, confident, fearless female I longed to be. I was taken from feeling invisible to feeling invisible.
Years have passed since then and I have finally conquered my Body Dysmorphia, but will never forget a key component that helped me heal, music. I now see it as my turn to help others struggling with similar obstacles. I am now on a mission to give back the nostalgic pop anthems that saved my life.
Who are some of your biggest inspirations?
Melissa: My biggest musical inspirations are mainly female pop artists from the early 2000s. I love Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, and The Pussycat Dolls. I'm also really inspired by the girl group Little Mix. I love any one that makes fierce girl empowerment anthems!
What instruments do you play, if any? Which ones would you like to learn?
Melissa: I don’t play any instruments, but I would love to learn guitar and piano.
If you could collaborate with any artist, who would it be?
Melissa: Lady Gaga! She would be my absolute dream collaborator.
What is some of the best advice you have received?
Melissa: No matter how hard it gets, don’t give up. It sounds cliche but there are so many times I have to remind myself of this. I doubt myself on a daily basis, and worry that I’m just not good enough to succeed in this industry. I constantly have to settle my mind back down and just know that the only way to truly fail is to give up on something you love. As long as I continue to give this everything I have, there is no way I will have regrets.
Interviewed By Kendall Koval