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Melanie, how did you decide “Flame” would be your next single? What is the song’s backstory?

“Flame” is one of those songs that came to me because I have had experiences that are very similar to the narrator. I know a lot of people who are able to relate to not being able to let go of a love even when they have seemingly already moved on. It’s a look into the mind of someone who feels both vulnerable and hopeful, wishing she could read the mind of the person she still cares for, but careful not to wish for too much. It’s a bit of a ballad, which is risky for a single, but at the end of the day, I think “real” trumps anything upbeat for the sake of being commercial.

How strongly do your songs mirror who you are at that particular point in your life?

These past 2 years have been fun for me because I finally feel like my music is reflective of me at this point in my artistry. Up in Lights and the songs off that album are still relevant, but I have sat with them and watched them work for a little over a year and a half and I am ready to give my followers some new material. That’s not to say there won’t be any more focus on that album, but I’ve been writing a ton lately and am excited to breathe life into some new songs.

Take us through the steps to get “Flame” released — recording, production, distribution, etc.

The process of getting a song released is a matter of getting a bunch of moving pieces to line up. For me, writing “Flame” was the easy part. It wasn’t a song that I wrote to put on a record, so in a way, the pressure was off. It was only after it was done and demoed that I seriously thought of putting it out as my next release. This one was a funny one because we actually loved the demo so much that we didn’t even officially “record” it. Christian Santangelo, a friend with a home studio, did such a great job bringing it to life that we just sent it directly to mastering. It’s such a simple production that I think taking it back into the studio would have overshot the simplicity and rawness we were going for. I worked with my digital distributor to get it placed on all the music listening platforms and I will likely include it on the hard copy of my project for 2019.

“Flame” Music Video

What’s ahead for you in 2019?

This is the most excited I’ve been about a release because I feel like I’m finally at a point in my career where things are picking up speed. The stuff I put out right now matters more than in previous years and I think it’s finally a solid representation of my identity. It’s still amazing to me that I moved here knowing not a single person and have made it to now, where I am surrounded by friends, fans, incredible support and incredible music. I feel very blessed to be in a position where I am able to pursue what I love to do most as a career path. It’s something I will never take for granted, even at my most disheartened. I’m ready to see where this new project takes me!

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Listen to “Flame”

“Flame” Lyrics:

When you let the years come in between a perfect, broken love

And the people we’ve become

Space and time are supposed to make it easy

I imagined it a million times, how I’d feel if you showed up

Wonder if you know how much

You standing here both lights me up and kills me

You ask me how I’ve been

We small talk and fake it

I hope you can’t hear my voice shaking

You got your new life, boy, you wear it so nice

Just like you got it all together, carrying yourself better

Than a leave-it-all-behind suitcase

And I’m still carrying a flame

I’m searching every movement for the smallest little sign

I can’t tell what’s on your mind

Is there any part of you that can’t forget me?

And I know you must be seeing someone too, but I can’t ask

Feels like no time has passed

It’s stupid how something so small could wreck me

You ask me how I’ve been

We small talk and fake it

I hope you can’t hear my heart breaking

You got your new life, boy, you wear it so nice

Just like you got it all together, carrying yourself better

Than a leave-it-all-behind suitcase

And I’m still carrying a flame

You got your new life, and I got mine

Seems like you got it all together, carrying yourself better

Than a leave-it-all-behind suitcase

But if you ever wonder like I still wonder,

Gonna put it out there just in case:

I’m still carrying a flame

Yeah, I’m still carrying a flame

Melanie Meriney Website

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Born in Los Angeles, raised in Pittsburgh, living in Nashville, Meriney’s music blends the sounds of three genres: urban/pop/country. Growing up, she listened to country (mom) and 80’s rock (dad). Her music career turning point came when she heard “Still the One” by Shania Twain. Her parents took the third grader to see Twain in concert, and Nashville became the dream. Songs were written (Shania inspired her very first one, “My Home Is in Your Heart”), voice lessons were taken, and guitar strings were played.

Meriney listened to the pop/metal/hip-hop sounds of the Steel City while she played for a girls’ travel AAA high school ice hockey team (the PittsburghPenguins still rule her skating heart). From (ice) rinks to (music) links, she attended Nashville’s Belmont University as a songwriting/English major. She also earned a master’s degree and teaching license (7–12 English).

Her debut EP, All the Good Songs, was produced by Phil Ricciardi and Mike Puwal in 2012. It drew upon her real-life experiences at first love, loss, and self-reflection. Meriney was invited to play “No Friend of Mine” from the EP on the Billy Block Show. The showcased tracks with live interviews/performances played on Nashville’s WSIX Locals Only radio. In 2013, she was nominated for a Nashville Independent Music Award (NIMA) for Best Female Country Artist.

Produced by Joshua Mendez and Michael Funk, Meriney’s second EP, Up in Lights, was released last year. The songs are about finding yourself in life, love, and career, while reflecting on where you’ve been.

Up in Lights EP (Spotify)

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Lifeboat Video

“The song was written because I’m a huge fan of symbolism and imagery. I liked the idea of using a lifeboat to stand for a person and everything that would entail scenario-wise. It’s about using someone as an emotional crutch to avoid facing the pain of getting over another relationship. I wanted the music video to have a narrative, but not be super literal with the lyrics. We came up with the idea to do cliff-jumping because it had that water theme and really symbolized being reckless and running away from things.”

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Up in Lights Video

“‘Up in Lights’ came to me while I was driving by myself on a ten-hour road trip. I was just thinking about how a lot of the entertainment industry involves putting on a mask and fitting into a particular mold. It can be easy to get caught up in the game and forget who you are in pursuit of this dream. You don’t want to lose yourself in the process.”

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Meriney is a cohost of Women Crush It episodes that spotlight music from female artists. Along with “Fake Girl” singer/songwriter Krista Angelucci, it gives female musicians and writers pursuing their dreams a platform to share their craft. They know first-hand how tough the business can be — so the goal is to encourage and recognize other artists’ talents and hard work.

Women Crush It

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