An Interview with London 2019 Finalist Melanie Baker

1) To those who might not be familiar with you or your work, could you tell us a little more about you and your music?

I’m a singer-songwriter from the Lake District. I primarily write my songs on piano and I write about anything that makes me feel things. All of my songs are incredibly personal and honest, I think sometimes the best songs are the ones that make you the most vulnerable.

2) There's a greater purpose driving The Coffee Music Project. What does Project Waterfall mean to you?

Bringing people together to celebrate music and to raise money for those who aren’t as privileged to have access to clean drinking water is awesome and I’m honoured to be play a small part in it.

3) When and why did you decide to venture into music?

Music has always been a huge part of my life and I’ve been performing on the stage since I was five years old. I started writing my own songs at the age of nine and by the time I was fifteen I’d decided I wanted to make a career out of music. For me, writing songs is therapeutic but performing on stage gives me a sense of purpose.

4) What do you think are the biggest challenges facing emerging musicians?

Staying true to ourselves in an ever-changing industry. It’s so easy to get hung up about what industry professionals think of you and your music but it should always be about the songs. Also, making a living as a musician is an everyday challenge…

5) As a musician, what's the best piece of advice you have been given? 

“Music will outlive the platforms people currently ingest it on. Don’t compromise your work to fit a mold that may be redundant in a few years. Make something you’re scared to show people.”

6) Name a few of your favourite acts right now.. 

I think Billie Eilish is a revolution, I’m also a huge fan of Phoebe Bridgers, Sigrid, Hozier to name a few…

7)      How did you find writing your London song for this competition?

Honestly, I started writing it thinking it was going to be a terrible song and I’d have to scrap it and start over but it’s actually become one of my favourite songs to perform because so many people have told me they can relate to it so much. I tried to be as honest as I could with my feelings about London, which are very mixed, and wrote the song almost as if I was breaking up with London.

8)      What should we expect from your set on 1st May?

I’ll be keeping it simple and stripped-back with just me and the piano. I want the songs to speak for themselves and I hope people can find something they relate to within my lyrics.

Rebecca Hodgson