by Ross Sandlin
Melody Monroe is a singer, songwriter, producer and pianist based in Denver CO. Her transition from a live gig focus to the “quaranstream” and socially distant based model has been an archetype of success and growth. Being a former band geek with drum corps experience and coming from a musical family, Melody has an exceptional and long standing relationship with music performance and composition. Early musical influences include film scores such as Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter. These influences contribute to an approach to songwriting and production that create a journey for the listener and continually “moves the story forward”.
Participating in high profile streaming events throughout the quarantine has solidified her status as a livestream veteran. These events include Rocky Mountain Virtual Music Festival and NoCo Live from Home. She has also kept up a busy release schedule that includes singles, a remix of L’Trimm’s “Cars That Go Boom”, and an EP titled “Hard Limits”. The “Hard Limits” EP has been receiving critical acclaim including being covered by 303 magazine’s “New Colorado music you should know” June edition. I had the opportunity to sit down with Melody on Wednesday June 17th and ask her about her performances, releases, and the transition to the new normal.
Melody has been playing a wide variety of live music events, while using the experiences as an opportunity to improve her craft and develop new material. When the shutdown hit and required a hard pivot for the entire industry, she was able to adapt to the changing market with grace and determination. During this transition she studied other streams and began adapting to the production and performance requirements of live-streaming. The down time was also gave her an opportunity to focus more on recording established material. The “Hard Limits” EP is her most recent release, but it was the oldest project started in Ableton. The material also benefited from development over years in a live setting, allowing for the integration of audience feedback.
Melody has been developing her work flow as a producer which began in FL studio after also working with a Boss Loop Station she eventually made the transition to Ableton. By working fully in Ableton she now feels free to create without limit or restriction, thereby improving the creative work flow. This use of flow state and integrating years of end user feedback are helping to create unique content that is connecting to a growing audience.
After finding inspiration in the streams of artists such as Porter Robinson and Knower, Melody was encouraged to put her own spin on the livestream format. Learning lessons from other influential artists and integrating visual elements were fundamental concepts in the switch to the live stream format. The result was a professional production that successfully demonstrates Melody’s atmospheric music and strong vocal and keyboard performances.
Another thing that helps to set her stream apart is her balance of atmosphere and self- promotion between tracks. This approach demonstrates the importance of keeping momentum during a stream, essentially “quiet equals loss of audience”. Because talking is mandatory to share your artist name and relevant info, you have to work to find a balance between “announcements” and the overall flow of the show. This contributed to an environment that encouraged audience feedback and helped cultivate an emotional connection between the performance and listener.
The impact of the “new normal” has been really diverse and has included moments of loss and discouragement, but also community and hope. With the loss of in person shows communities were able to connect and support each other online and some artists really lead the charge in that pursuit. I think Melody has done some really hard work and received some well earned growth and recognition during this shift in the music industry. The impact of live streams on her reach and audience growth has been really profound and is helping her find the right community members to connect with. This stage of growth has brought a greater familiarity and comfort with the tools of creation and will undoubtedly lead to more collaborations in the future.
The medium of live streaming is still so fresh and it’s really interesting to see how different artists are using the experience to their advantage and I think Melody has a really unique and engaging approach to the medium. With new original music in the works it won’t be long before we find ourselves pleasantly guided by the flow state Melody so fluidly channels for her listeners.
Most Recent Release:
this was written by Ross Sandlin
Jungle Ruckus Productions