Mel Verez

Singer / Songwriter / Composer

When did you start singing and who or what inspired you?

I have always been into music and singing, but I really started to write songs and make my own music when I was 12. At that time I realized that singing and writing lyrics can bring out hidden emotions and can make you feel a lot better afterwards. One of my earliest favourite bands were the Red Hot Chili Peppers and their songs have inspired me a lot. To this day I am totally into their music because it is full of variation and can’t be put in a box, just like mine.
Singers such as Cher and Christina Aguilera have left their mark on me quite early in my life, later I discovered my interest in soul singers such as Etta James, Aretha Franklin or Marvin Gaye. When I studied singing at the conservatory I started listening to Nu Soul singers such as Alice Russel, Amy Winehouse or Ledisi. I have recently discovered Lalah Hathaway and Rachelle Ferrell and I am totally enthusiastic about the acrobatic feats they pull off with their voices. I am totally taken with their passion.

How do you go about writing and composing your songs?

Most of my songs deal with situations and experiences in my life and tend to be real and emotional. When I am trying to come to terms with a theme I sit down at the piano and won’t rest until I have translated my feelings into music. It can get quite upsetting at times. A chaos of emotions, you might say. It happens that I start crying and can’t stop until the song is finished. I consider myself really lucky because at this moment I have the whole arrangement ready in my mind to an extent that I actually hear it. Sometimes I even see images and scenes from a possible video in my head. I am really grateful for the way songs simply pop up. A new song always seems to me like a gift.

 What do you do before you go on stage? Do you follow a certain ritual?

Before a concert backstage tends to be quite busy and hectic and there are many things you have to keep in mind. This means that I have to try to relax a little bit beforehand and control my breathing so that I can perform on stage in an easy and focussed mannner. Unfortunately there isn’t always a room where I can practise on my own before a concert, but when there is I always try to go through the opener in my head.

Is there something you can’t stand?

Pessimism, envy, suffering of human beings and animals, unfairness.

Are you sometimes afraid?

Well, I am afraid of a lot of things. I am most afraid of myself, of standing in my own way. My fear of of failing, losing, getting hurt is really bad, but I am constantly trying to fight it.

How often do you practise to keep your voice in shape?

I see myself as a singer with a lot of disciplin. I try to practise every day, either vocal technique, interpretation or performance. I also have found out that performing on stage needs a lot of endurance. I love to move around freely and I want my voice to be steady. I have recently focussed on the smaller details and I have realized that it helps me a lot. My vocal coach Sheila Michellè always tells me, „How you practise is how you perform“. I keep that continuously in my mind and it drives me on.

What is so special about working with Alex?

There are few people around me who understand me as completely as Alex. He knows me and my songs. Most of the time he feels exactly the same as I do in music.
His way to compose is very different from mine and still we complement each other perfectly. He is the missing piece in my puzzle and I am the missing piece in his.
We approach music with a serious mind and we just love working. What makes him stand out from other musicians is that he always gives 100%, that he works thoroughly and quickly and that is just how it should be. We have a common dream and we will do just about everything to make it come true.