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WPGM Commentary: MELÓ Reflects On Growing Up Too Quickly On Her Debut EP ‘Youthless’

Growing up in a household like mine, it was no real surprise to the people around me that I ended up taking on major responsibilities from a young age. I was countlessly told that I had “grown up too quickly” or “I lost my youthful smile”.

When had I become such a serious person?

The irony in all of this was that I never really lost that youthfulness, I just appeared that way to a certain few. The title and final track of my upcoming EP; “Youthless” encapsulates my full intentions with this project. The EP breaks down the idea of growing up too quickly through more negative topics of mental health, manipulation and abuse, while also looking at positive themes of nostalgia and dream-like worlds.

Creating this collection of five tracks felt almost necessary for me to close a chapter in my life, built from a desire that through sharing these songs, they might become a healthy outlet for someone in similar shoes. Through the combination of my indie-alternative roots with influences from folk, r&b and chill-wave/electronic styles, I wanted to create a soundscape in which any listener could leave enjoying at least one of the tracks.

After a set I recently played in Hackney, one of the organizers became interested in my musical taste. They were correct to assume that my original material took influences from a wide spectrum of music. As someone with ADHD, I have always been drawn to tracks that instrumentally pack varying influences into a tight little package, like an overflowing sleeping bag that you can never quite roll up and stuff away.

I love a good instrumental, but if it isn’t already clear from my oddly placed imagery, it is the story-telling aspects of music that I look forward to creating the most. Writing and collecting stories between the ages of 14 to 19, I used words to paint pictures of the memories I and others around me had experienced.

Each song holds a number of meanings to me, but if I were to explain the initial inspiration through one sentence it would be:

1. “Counting Sheep” was inspired by insomnia my friend experienced after a breakup.

2. “Castle” was written about my personal issues with paracosm, in which one copes through dissociating into a dream-like world.

3. “Cigarette Scars” started as a story of the toxic people we hold in our lives and the metaphorical scars they give us along the way.

4. “Odd January” yearns for the perfect past through feelings of nostalgia.

5. “Youthless” was a satirical take on the ‘youth’ I was always told I missed out on in life.

Each track encapsulates a story in time, reflecting on uniquely individual issues, while also staying true to the broader topics of growing up too quickly and how these experiences play into that. I could have released any number of demos as MELÓ, but I felt these five songs shared a common story that needed to be heard.

It was the lockdown that finally inspired me to create the final productions of these songs. Stuck in my high school bedroom for the next five months, I worked remotely with producers Louis Takooree and Krzysztof Kessler, while also socially distancing with producer Sergei Kofman to co-produce four out of five of my tracks.

Although it took me five years to accumulate the tracks I wanted to release for this EP, it took a few months to polish, record and co-produce the final versions with these lovely producers.

On my 20th birthday (November 25, 2020) the final mixes and mastered copies were done. It was from then I decided to start releasing the first three singles, and I’m finally excited to announce the release of the entirety of my debut EP Youthless (one year later) on November 25, 2021.

It has been a long journey to get to this place, but working independently means creating at a slower pace. If I had the power to create multiple albums a year, I would, and hopefully, someday it will come true.

Through this EP and all my future music, my goal is to ultimately create a safe space for my listeners to express their authentic vulnerabilities. As a person who struggled to express themselves through speech, it was music I could always turn to. I let my feelings release through the songs I wrote or listened to, creating what was almost like a mini therapy session with myself.

My name is MELÓ, I am a Canadian-Hungarian independent artist and I hope you enjoy listening to this EP as much as I liked making it for you. Ultimately, my greatest wish to you is that this music and all music you listen to makes you feel something.

Listen to my Youthless EP below!

Words by MELÓ // Follow her on Facebook + Instagram

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