The first time I saw Melanie Lynx perform, I was among a crowd of hundreds of people that all squished together (baby strollers and all) into the relatively small courtyard-like area in the middle of Quincy Market for the annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony – and I was completely floored. Melanie not only had one of the most powerful voices I’ve heard since I moved to Boston, but also some of the most intense stage presence that I’ve seen in a long time. Performing as the lead singer with the incredibly popular and in-demand cover band in New England, Sweet Tooth and the Sugar Babies, Melanie made a name for herself that night, as she does with every single performance. Nevertheless, with over 350 shows with that cover band and performances at the Apollo Theater, Carnegie Hall, and as one of the contestants in the tenth season of American Idol, there is no question as to why Melanie has earned the reputation as one of the most electric and energetic upcoming performers out there. So naturally, with the release of her first official music video and a highly anticipated EP in the works, we had to feature her as our artist of the month for September. Check out our interview with Melanie below!
Berklee Groove: What inspired you to become a musician?
Melanie Lynx: I grew up in a very non-musical family, but started singing when I was four years old. At first it was just a hobby. I would pretend I was a Disney princess and sing Disney songs around the house, and then in local talent shows, but as I got older, I started spending all of my free time focusing on practicing, singing, performing, and writing music. By the time I was 13, I competed throughout New England in a crazy amount of singing competition and that’s when I realized that performing is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
Berklee Groove: How has Berklee helped you in your career so far as a performer?
Melanie Lynx: Being a Berklee student, luckily, I’ve had many opportunities in ensembles and labs to practice performing, but I truly believe that the only way to improve is to get out there and actually do it. Berklee gives their students all of the necessary tools – but it’s up to the student to decide how they want to use them.
Berklee Groove: You’ve got some pretty big accomplishments under your belt for being so young! How do you think these accomplishments have affected you as a performer and your decision dedicate your career to performing?
Melanie Lynx: My experience on American Idol was definitely the driving force behind my eagerness to become a performing artist. I always knew I wanted to be an artist but I didn’t know how much dedication and the amount of work it would take to actually get somewhere and be noticed. It’s a wild and hectic schedule… but I love it!
Berklee Groove: You’ve performed more than 350 shows as the lead singer in one of New England’s most popular cover bands. How do you manage to consistently perform with the energy that you’ve become so well known for as a performer?
Melanie Lynx: I love performing more than anything else in the world, which explains why I’m generally really happy and smiley while performing! But if I’m having a bad day, I always have to remind myself that I’m performing for the audience. I tell myself that they came to this show to be entertained – I don’t want to let anyone down. When people are watching me on stage, I never let my personal affairs get in the way of giving the best performance I possibly can.
Berklee Groove: Your music is frequently compared to the likes of Katy Perry. Is she someone that you identify your music with? Is there any specific genre that you identify the most with?
Melanie Lynx: The comparison has definitely been made – but that’s alright with me! Everyone has his or her own influences that show through their music. Katy Perry and pop music in general is something I definitely identify with.
Berklee Groove: Your first official music video for your debut single, “First Time”, was just released. What was the experience like filming the video?
Melanie Lynx: Filming “First Time” was so incredibly awesome. Jennifer Morgan filmed and edited the video and we traveled to Jamestown, RI, to get the footage by the beach, driving, and at the graffiti forts. I’m so happy with the final product – I almost cried tears of joy when I watched it the first time! True story.
Berklee Groove: What are the ultimate goals you hope to reach as an aspiring performer?
Melanie Lynx: Ultimately, I want to tour the world (multiple times!) playing my music. It would be amazing to have a long, sustained career doing what I love.
Berklee Groove: What can we expect next from you? An EP, maybe?
Melanie Lynx: Yes! An EP is in the works. It’s going to be dope. Five tracks. All feel-good. All fun. The writing and recording process is currently underway with my producer, Chris Leon, who is a recent Berklee alum.
Berklee Groove: Do you have any advice for other aspiring performers and musicians?
Melanie Lynx: I do… this is cliche, but so true. Don’t. Give. Up. Persistence is key. I remind myself of this everyday.