When someone’s story has no drama, no bumps in the road – I tire of it very easily. Don’t you?
First world problems are hilarious as a hashtag, but in reality – they make me roll my eyes. That’s why I was smitten when Melody Federer came into my view. A woman who has had the best and worst of times served to her, she’s continued to push through and today she’s still standing and we talked about that, her latest single and more in this moving exchange.
Kendra: Starting out in the church is a very common tale for a lot of singers. The soul from those hymns is clear as day. So with that, do you think you would’ve found your calling in music if your dad had not been a pastor?
Melody Federer: What a great question. The answer could get very sci-fi. Like if my dad hadn’t become a pastor, where would he have ended up? Would he have even had more children? Would it have shifted the space-time continuum? But let’s say I was born, and he wasn’t a pastor, I think he still would have been musical and played the piano and guitar. He did that anyway, and I think that part of me would have come alive. For me, love and music are intricately interwoven.
Kendra: Do you ever toss a favorite hymn in your set to pay homage to where you started out?
Melody: I think once or twice I have. It feels strangely ballsy to do that, which is ironic because they are pretty innocent songs. But maybe I’ll start doing that more.
Kendra: When the music led you to Paris was there anything they did there that took getting used to as far as dining, habits, etc.?
Melody: At first, I didn’t understand the whole cheese obsession. I remember going to my boyfriend at the times mom’s house for dinner. She and her husband had created the most beautiful atmosphere with antiques all over the house. First, we had an aperitif and we’d sit in the drawing room with a record playing chatting (Edith Piaf, etc). Then, we’d move into the dining room and there was the salad, then the main course—delicious, amazing dishes like Canard and so on. Then, there was the cheese and bread, then dessert, and finally the after dinner drinks. It was truly an amazing dining experience. Hours could fly by without you noticing and the conversation seemed to stay mostly on the food, but I wasn’t that into the cheese at first. I swear they looked at me, mouths agape, as if I had committed some great sin. Eventually, the yummy, decadent white goat cheese and all the other assortments grew on me. And when it wasn’t there, something suddenly seemed like it was missing.
Kendra: Now growing up with a single parent and knowing all too well what it means to struggle, I love hearing those stories from others. It makes you feel less alone and I was enthralled by what you recounted when talking about your single, “Standing.” When you and your family wound up having to start all over again when the finances took a turn, what got you through?
Melody: It’s a crazy world out there now, people split up left and right, and this fear grips me a lot. But I really would like for my guy and I to stick together somehow and work out. I’m working hard at our relationship. What got us through? I think actually taking a break. We almost broke up…and in that week I got a picture of life without him and I wasn’t ready for that.
Kendra: You unexpectedly became a mother during that time. Some women say it changes them completely, did it for you? Did you notice a change in your artistry at all?
Melody: It’s changed me in a lot of ways, but for the better. I was a serious nomad before, ask any of my friends. They would just leave a key for me hidden somewhere not knowing when I’d be in town or when I’d be leaving. I never took the time to decorate any of my apartments because I knew I wouldn’t be there long. I didn’t value things like doing the dishes and laundry, but now I understand what a big job this is. I look at my own mother in awe for maybe the first time and realized how much work it must have been to cook a healthy meal every night, to clean the house, to care for four kids, and work. I’m just trying to keep up. Trying to decorate the house to the best of my ability, and this is not an area I’m naturally gifted at. I’m trying to learn to cook, and how to hang curtains for crying out loud. I find it very grounding. At times, I feel my spirit getting restless, but I think a lot of my character needs to evolve, and it might take staying put to do it. In a way, it’s like having a child is forcing me to face my fears and weakness and get stronger.
Kendra: Before that you were busking on the streets? Did you ever get something extremely weird tossed into your tip jar?
Melody: HA! Yes. A homeless man once tossed a whole salami in the guitar case. Which, I guess was actually pretty sweet.
Kendra: Back to the music you’ve got coming out soon, When the Dogwoods Bloom. Breaking down the lyrical inspiration on the record, does a lot of it come from when you hit that low?
Melody: I suppose it does. I think I write when I’m on “lower” energies. Sometimes it’s all I have the strength to do. It really saves me sometimes.
Kendra: Having been in some pretty cool places, you’ve had to have met other up and coming artists who’ve not only become friends but that you love. Do you have any artist friends you think our readers would be interested in hearing about?
Melody: Sasha Banks, Billy Mann, Jennifer Akerman, Keta, Jacob Whitesides, Alex Iona, Anthony Russo, Tom Freund, Stephanie Lambring, Kylie Sackley, Ray Gibson, Chris Gelbuda, my older brother Will, and the list goes on.