Julia Melo is an exciting new pop artist coming out of Brazil. She recently released her debut EP, aptly titled Celestial, packed with a steady mix of deconstructed, dynamic synthpop bangers and entrancing, nocturnal R&B ballads. On the one hand, you’ve got the intoxicating opener ‘Luv’, which pulsates with wavy synths and haunting vocals, or the single ‘Heaven’, an empowering LGBT anthem that stands out for its infectiously catchy yet cinematic production and powerful message of self-acceptance. On the other, you’ve got more laid-back cuts like ‘Touch’ and ‘Moonlight’, showcasing Melo’s ability to glide between styles. With Celestial, Melo establishes herself as a force to be reckoned with.
We caught up with Julia Melo for this edition of our Artist Spotlight series, where we showcase up-and-coming artists and give them a chance to talk a bit about their music.
What inspired you to start making music?
Most of the time, it’s the feelings that come from within me or situations that I lived through, a kind of catharsis to transform my pain and experiences into art.
Who are some of your influences?
Some of my inspiration comes from David Bowie, Kate Bush, FKA Twigs and Britney Spears. I blend a mix of pop, trap and R&B beats.
What were some of the ideas that went behind your EP Celestial?
Celestial is about my process of transitioning from adolescence to adult life. From prejudice I faced against my sexuality, depression and freedom of expression. Celestial is a shout for youth and the ability to feel celestial regardless of what an oppressive society thinks.
What was the recording process like?
Creating music is always something that submerges from within me. I start feeling the sensation I want to translate through that song. I’ve made more than 200 songs to get to this outcome. Inside the studio, we always focus on doing the most new and deconstructed sound, so that it stays fresh and different. I want people to feel the power and impact and to give them strength.
Could you talk about the inspiration behind ‘Heaven’?
‘Heaven’ is about when I came out and all the religious issues tied to that. My family has always been really religious and they didn’t accept the fact that I’m a lesbian. ‘Heaven’ is a way of saying that it’s ok to who you are and love who you love. We will never be condemned for loving and it doesn’t matter if someone thinks we’re not going to heaven, because our love is pure and we know that. I want everyone who listens to it to understand that they are perfect just the way they are.
What are you working on next?
We are planning to release music videos for the songs that are already out and producing a new song that will be out soon. I believe people will be more and more surprised with what is made here in South America. Art breaks barriers between nationalities. We will continue to work on and create things that people can feel like a part of, even in these hard times, I hope this is a way for everyone to see that they are not alone.