Posted: December 21, 2016
There's nothing we at Sea And Be Scene love more than celebrating talented East Coast folks. It's the foundation of our site. Sharing their stories with the world - through the break out years to the milestones, the premiere launches to all the achievements and awards that follow - it truly is our lifeblood.
Needless to say we were so happy that St.John's, NL native Melanie O'Brien became a part of our celebration this past fall.
While there's no denying her talents were enjoyed locally through both her solo performances and in her duo shows with Philip Goodridge as The Duds, this past November Melanie released her debut solo CD and that's a very cool moment for any artist.
We were pleased to post her Cool People Profile last month, and now that she's through the rush of media appearances and performances to support the release of "SHINING IN THE BLUE" we thought we grab her for a bit of catch up before things ramp up again in the New Year. So what follows, as they say, is a little Q&A with singer/songwriter Melanie O'Brien...
SABS: A debut album doesn't 'just happen' - it's a process to be sure of it - so tell us how "SHINING IN THE BLUE" came to be?
Melanie O'Brien: My producer and friend, Ian Foster came to me almost 2 years ago and was like, we can make this happen, I know we can! ...so after a lot of time recording a few demos, applying for grants and getting a great crew together we started recording in March 2016 and released my "SHINING IN THE BLUE" on Nov 18th .....it was a great process, I was so inspired by the whole thing that I actually wrote more songs as we went so a 5 song EP became an full length eight song album. That was a nice surprise!
SABS: The roster of talent who played a part in the project - reads pretty impressively - how did it feel to have such a wealth of talent on your debut CD?
Melanie O'Brien: It feels incredible! Having Ian produce it and play on it was exciting and comfortable for me. We have enjoyed working together in the past, I can be totally honest with him AND he has MAD skills! ...working with Andrew McCarthy, Paddy Byrne and Chad Murphy (or the dream team as we call them!) was so great - they know their stuff but are willing to get creative and change things if the music calls for it. Meeting Fergus O’Byrne was a real treat, he’s so humble and kind. And my fello band mate, my Dud -Phil Goodridge - we have a time together! Everyone was a pro but also laid back and made the process fun! I’m a lucky girl!
SABS: And how about that release party?!!! Every artist should have that kind of debut right?!
Melanie O'Brien: It was wild! I walked into a much bigger crowd than I expected and it was heart-warming to have the room full of such support. My Uncle Aidan surprised me by coming all the way from Fogo Island to hear me perform. I hadn’t seen him in a long time. It was him who taught me to play guitar on his visits to St. John’s while I was growing up so it meant a lot to have him there. It was a beautiful night that I will never forget. I sang my guts out! ...then I went for Ziggy's fries! haha
SABS: No doubt it's been an whirlwind of "pinch me" moments - but tell us how you felt when you first heard your song on the radio?
Melanie O'Brien: Well, it’s funny, you do all these interviews but the week leading up to the release party was so busy I kept missing them! And I was like, well I was there so that’s fine but it would be cool to hear something! ...then the day before I was trying to take a little nap when my husband text me that “Fall at you Feet” was on CBC radio right now! And I flew out of bed and jumped up and down! My friend Steve had come to stay with me from Toronto just for the release party - so then we sat and took pictures and listened together. Great moment!
SABS: With this being the Holiday Season we had a few Christmas Questions to ask if you'll permit us...
Melanie O'Brien: I LOVE Christmas! Bring it!!!!
SABS: What's your favourite Christmas memory?
Melanie O'Brien: Christmas Day 2010, when my husband told me that all he wanted for Christmas was me and then he proposed. It was perfect.
SABS: What's the best gift you've ever got?
Melanie O'Brien: I don’t think it was a Christmas gift but my sister, Lori-Anne framed a quote that said “Everyone has talent, what is rare is the courage to follow that talent to the dark places where is leads.” She was saying she was proud of me for pursuing my singing career. It was the most thoughtful, insightful gift I have ever received. I keep the framed photo in my music studio.
SABS: What's your favourite Christmas carole?
Melanie O'Brien: I die for the Pogues "Fairy Tale of New York" (I sang this tune with Jerry Stamp on his Christmas album, “I, Noel” years ago) and "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree"! I love so many different styles of music but I am a rock n’ roller at heart.
SABS: What's your New Year's Resolution and/or wish for 2017?
Melanie O'Brien: Balance. To take good care of myself and relax. I write more songs when I’m relaxed so I’m looking forward to new tunes in 2017!
SABS: Okay just 2 more questions before we let you go.... if you could sing a duet with anyone....anyone on the planet... who would it be with and why?
Melanie O'Brien: Bruce Springsteen. He’s amazing and super handsome, haha!
SABS: If you had to record your sophomore CD tomorrow what cover song would you be sure to put on it?
Melanie O'Brien: Probably The Duds cover of “Wicked Game” by Chris Isaak that was just released on YouTube - it’s my favorite cover that we do!
SABS On-Line Hook-Ups for Melanie O'Brien
Facebook: Melanie O'Brien
We're giving away a signed copy of "SHINING IN THE BLUE" by Melanie O'Brien in our Countdown to Christmas Contest for 2016.
Click on the picture below to see how YOU can get in on the winning!
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