Mustard had the pleasure of speaking with Mellie. Together we discussed their dogs, TikTok, their songwriting process, their single “Jinxed”, and so much more!
1. Mustard is grateful to have you join them at Music Shelf. How are you doing today?
I’m doing well! I have to say that this is my first interview, so I’m very excited to be here and to talk with you!
2. Dogs are humans’ best friend. How do your dogs, Treble & Bass, inspire you? Do you plan to incorporate them into any future singles?
Treble and Bass just make me happy every single day and I think that helps me to write and create even better. They’re just such wonderful sources of joy and I couldn’t imagine not having my two big fluff balls with me all the time! I haven’t included them in any music yet, but that’s definitely something I’ve thought about and hope to do at some point!
3. Mustard wonders what song (or album) had an impact on you?
I think the biggest album that impacted me and influenced my music has been Billie Eilish’s “Happier Than Ever”. Billie’s music is just so different from most other popular artists right now and I’ve always loved her sound. What her and Finneas are able to create together is just incredible. You can definitely hear the Billie Eilish influence in Jinxed, but a couple of the other songs were working on are quite different.
4. How have social media platforms such as TikTok helped you as an artist?
TikTok has been a huge help for me so far! My primary motivation when I started posting regularly on TikTok was just to get a bit of a following before I started releasing music. I knew that it would help more people to hear my music if I already had a following. I think I’d easily have less than half of the streams I have on Jinxed if it weren’t for TikTok. I’ve even had quite a few complete strangers use the sound from the song which is really cool too. I hardly use Instagram (which I’m planning to get better about!), so right now it’s really just been TikTok that’s been helpful for me!
5. Has your husband, Jonathan Atkinson, gained the attention of Hans Zimmer? Does he collaborate with you?
Jonah actually recently got Hans Zimmer’s attention which is just totally crazy! Jonah’s been doing a series where he writes one line to a score each day until he and Hans Zimmer work on a movie together. A few weeks back Zimmer had favorited one of Jonah’s videos and then he liked on a week or so later. Last week Zimmer actually dueted one of Jonah’s videos!! Which is just insane! So Jonah is on Hans Zimmer’s TikTok account and Zimmer actually added to Jonah’s score. He didn’t reach out or anything specifically, so we’re still hoping that maybe they can have a conversation at some point. Working with Hans Zimmer would be such a huge dream come true, so we have our fingers crossed and he’s going to just keep going with the series!
5. Who (or what) influences you?
My family has always been a huge influence for me. My parents have owned a restaurant in our small town since I was 5 years old. I grew up being there all the time and working there once I was old enough. It taught me the value of hard work and responsibility at a very young age and I’m really grateful for that. I’m sure that I would be a completely different person if it weren’t for having grown up in a family business.
6. What is your songwriting process?
I usually just start with an idea and go from there. For example, my next single is called “Remarkable” and that word had just popped into my head and I kept thinking about what it meant to be remarkable. I decided that I wanted to write a song about being remarkable and just took off from there. What I end up writing first can vary sometimes though. There have been several times that I’ve started with the chorus of the song, but also quite a few times where I just started with the first verse. I often don’t know exactly where it will fit into the song as I’m starting to write, but the pieces will just fall into place as I go! Which means I have quite a few ideas still written down with not much to them and I may just come back to them again later!
7. You strive to make music that humans can relate too. What are some of your favorite songs you can relate to?
I’ve always enjoyed listening to really fun and catchy pop music, so I’ve been loving the new Meghan Trainor album. I feel like so much of her music is really relatable and she just does a great job at making music people will connect to. “Don’t I Make It Look Easy” is probably my favorite off of her new album. I love how she talks about worrying if people will like her or not, but just pushing that thought to the side as best as possible and being her. Another album I’ve been obsessed with this year has been the soundtrack for “Encanto”. Lin-Manuel Miranda is an absolute genius, so there’s just no beating his lyrics. My favorite song lyrically is probably “Waiting On A Miracle”. I think it’s a really underrated piece from the movie with beautiful lyrics. It’s so hard for me to be patient and to wait for the good things that are coming, but I just have to remind myself that I just have to keep waiting a little while longer!
8. “I’m blacked out. My body is on the floor. And I’m crawling towards the door” is such a captivating way to open a song. Could you share more about the writing process behind your debut single “Jinxed.”
It’s actually a funny story of how this song came to be! Jonah was doing live streams while he created music on TikTok and YouTube. He started creating the music for Jinxed and two friends who we had previously played video games with just happened to be in the stream. The two friends asked if they could write some lyrics to the music because they were really enjoying what Jonah was creating. Jonah said sure and they wrote a good portion of the lyrics to Jinxed! Their gamer names are “Blackout” and “Jinxed”, hence the song being called Jinxed and the lyric of “I’m blacked out”. Jonah and I wrote a bit of the second verse and just kind of finished up the lyrics, but Jinxed and Blackout were the masterminds behind it!
9. Humans sometimes become jinxed and owe another human a product. Has this happened to you?
When I used to jinx people our rules were not that you owed them something, but that the person who was jinxed couldn’t speak until someone who was present when the jinx took place said their name. Once I forgot for a couple of hours that one of my friends was jinxed. I thought he was just being quiet until I said his name and he said “finally! I’ve been jinxed for two hours.” Whoops!
10. What is next for Mellie?
My new single is what’s next for me! “Remarkable” will be out in just a few weeks and I’m very excited for everyone to hear it. We have several other songs that we’re in the process of recording and producing, so we hope to have another single towards the beginning of next year and an album later in the year. We definitely have a lot of work to do still, but I’m really excited for it and excited to see what we can do with all of these pieces!
11. Where can readers listen to your music?
Anywhere that you listen to music! It’s on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, Amazon music, etc.!