Melany Watson is a soulful singer who competed on The Voice. Her tenure on the show opened all sorts of doors for the rising vocalist. She's been able to perform with outstanding stars like Alessia Cara. She got her start listening to vocal goddess Whitney Houston, and we can see the inspiration on her craft.
Watson she is a vocal powerhouse, but we'll let her explain more in depth. Check out her video for Illuminate, which contains some familiar faces, and then read below to learn more about Watson and her amazing career!
PopWrapped: Let us start by saying that you have an outstanding voice. Who were your inspirations growing up?
Melany Watson: Thank you! Whitney Houston had a profound impact on me growing up. I grew up listening to Etta James (her entire catalog), Roberta Flack, Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, Aretha Franklin, and any other female vocal that was challenging. I wanted to have a voice that could tackle and own any song. My favorite was Whitney, her voice was THE most powerful. When I was a kid, my mother let me watch “The Bodyguard." I fell in love with the soundtrack, and the rest is history. My style today reflects the inspiration I have drawn from these powerful females. Later in my life I grew to love and appreciate songwriters. I started listening to and studying songs by: Carole King, Stevie Wonder, Joni Mitchell and Dianne Warren. I learned, "a great singer is nothing without a great song." Not only did I want to be a great singer, I wanted to be a great writer too.
PW: Illuminate is both powerful and beautiful. What inspired this song?
MW: Growing up, I was fascinated by astrology and fortune telling. I find it all very interesting, and my experience has shown that it can be scarily accurate sometimes. I usually connect astrology to most of my relationships. I brought the idea to a friend of mine named Dani, and we just rolled with it. I had just gotten out of an on again/off again 6 year relationship and felt very lost. I wanted answers: is this person my soulmate? Why does it feel right, but it keeps ending and beginning? This song is me questioning if the person is supposed to be my soul mate, through the lens of the universe. I co-wrote this song with my dear friend, Dani Elliot, and our producer, Ross Bridgeman.
PW: Was the video your vision of what you wanted it to be?
MW: Definitely. I wanted the music video to be an abstract of my sub-conscience. Wondering, is this person supposed to be in my life? Questioning his purpose. Is he my soul mate? Is he good for me? Is he the end of me? These are all questions depicted throughout this music video. Its one big abstract daydream. I am lost in thoughts. Rae Maxwell shot and edited the video, and it looks so cool. Rae Maxwell is a crazy talented photographer/director. She nailed the narrative and brought the song to a whole new level. She brought my vision for the song to life and goes as far as to invite you into my psyche. The two lovers in the music video were played by my dear friends, Chris Schellenger (America's Next Top Model) and Dan Cathart (Gossip Girl).
PW: Can you tell us what your favorite part of competing on The Voice was?
MW: My favorite part was getting to meet and make new friends during the audition process. You really do build some great relationships during auditions. I also loved getting to see a different side of the business.
I got to see that sometimes its not really about talent; it's about the entire package and how that person can connect to a larger audience. I didnt make a team, and there's nothing more humbling than being rejected on national television. If anything, it made me want to succeed ten times more. Every artist goes through these moments where they feel like they haven’t done enough, but the 14-year-old in me is very proud of where I've come so far! I’ve performed on The Voice, Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers, and The Today Show.
I’ve had my music placed in TV shows and sang on nationwide commercials. I get to travel. I am a working musician living in New York City, the greatest city in the world! All of these amazing opportunities since The Voice have helped me fund my latest project “Lilith in Virgo.” So I am extremely proud, happy and excited to share it with the world. It keeps getting better, and I definitely feel like I have arrived.
PW: What is your favorite part about performing for your fans?
MW: My favorite part is getting to be someone’s escape from the outside world for an hour or so. Getting to do that is pretty amazing. I know that when I go to a concert, I go to get lost in the music. If I’m hurting, it heals me. If I’m happy, I dance all night! If I’m angry, I zone out and let the music take over me. I love it when fans come to me and tell me a song I wrote changed their life in some way. Music has the power to heal people and thats my favorite part about performing. I get to make a difference and that's so incredibly rewarding.
Huge thanks to Melany Watson for taking the time to chat with us and for sharing her "Illuminate" visual! Take a peek above and let us know what your thoughts are!