Melanie Mulrain describes herself as a “music junkie and avid wanderer.” She resides in Boston, but travels to and from Nashville frequently. As a northern girl with a Nashville heart myself, I can relate to her musical mission on so many levels. In only eighteen years, Melanie has accomplished things that some singers take decades to achieve and this is only the beginning of her journey. With a soulful twang, bohemian style and sense of adventure, Melanie has clearly set out to become a household name in country music and if you’re reading this now – she’s doing just that.
“I’ve always known that music is my passion and it’s what I want to do, but I think I first realized that I wanted to dedicate my whole life to it the first time I preformed in front of an audience,” Melanie explained. “That was a few years back and I was so awkward and nervous and I’m sure that was apparent in the performance, but it felt so good to be up in front of people and singing. I remember thinking that was where I belonged and thats something that hasn’t changed since.”
A country singer from Boston may sound out of the ordinary to some of my down south readers, but it’s actually not uncommon. Boston has a pretty large country scene and Melanie confirmed this when she spoke about how the city she grew up in affected her artist identity,
“It affected me a lot! There is actually a big country following in Boston and I remember some of the first country I ever listened to was more country pop crossover acts like Shania Twain and Rascal Flatts,” she confessed. “Because of that I started to love the messages and honesty of country but I also admired some of the melodic aspects of pop. As I got older and made my own musical choices, I discovered legendary country acts and also got into pop/soul music and you can definitely see those influences in my own music today.”
For a young artist in an ever-changing industry, it can be hard to remain true to yourself, but Melanie seems to have found the balance. With an adorable sense of style to back her killer vocals, I asked how much her Bohemian-vibe lends itself to her artistic attitude.
“I think my Bohemian style comes from my carefree and adventurous personality. I’m always wearing something different like a kimono or something and a ton of jewelry, and that has become an important part of my image. In my music, whether I’m covering a song or preforming an original I choose lyrics that portray my personality and go hand in hand with my style.”
As for personal inspiration, Melanie says:
“Shania Twain is my all time favorite artist and has influenced me a lot because I have been admiring her for a while. She has a really special way of communicating with an audience and when she preforms she can literally make everyone in the audience feel as though she is singing right to them. Also, just from what I have seen from her in interviews and such, she seems to be such a strong woman and so personable. I aspire to be that way and even though I’ve never even met her, I am really inspired by her on a personal level.”
Personally, Boston has a big place in my heart, so when I saw Melanie performed at Faneuil Hall, quite possibly my favorite place to eat in the world because I don’t have to decide on just one thing, I wished I could’ve been there! In the same breathe, I asked her where her favorite place she ever performed was.
“Yes, Faneuil Hall is awesome and I think it is my favorite place I’ve preformed!” Melanie laughed. “I am really lucky to have gotten to preform there and it is a very unique venue. People are constantly walking by and there is a mix of people who will just walk by and pretend you’re not there and people who will stop, listen and take videos and photos. I kind of make it a game for myself and try to give the best and most captivating performance I can so that more people will stop and listen,” she revealed. “Because of that, it is so different and fun, and not like a lot of other venues I play where people are specifically there to listen to music.”
Spoiler alert to my fellow Nashvillians:
Melanie has been coming to and from Nashville from the time she was in seventh grade because her older sister lives here and attended Belmont. She says she’ll be here permanently next year, so we can expect to see and hear a lot more from her!
“Nashville is the best place to be if you want to pursue a music career because it is music city and the hub of the country music industry,” Melanie talked about her reasons for wanting to move. “It’s the place where millions of starving musicians go, which makes it so unique. Many people say that it is kind of threatening because of all of the talent, which it is, but its also so exciting and the amount of opportunity is incredible. I also have some great contacts in Nashville that I’ll be able to work face to face with when I move and I’ll be able to showcase my music to a new, wider audience.”
As for her go-to cover song you may hear her do at one of the spots on Broadway in just a few short months?
“‘Stay’ by Sugarland because it is such a cool lyric and different than anything else I sing,” Melanie says. “For most of the song it is kind of depressing, but by the bridge and last chorus it becomes an awesome empowerment with a strong message. It’s also a well known song so its easy for people to recognize. But if I’m gonna do something more upbeat I’ll go with ‘Little White Church’ by Little Big Town because that is just such a fun song to sing.”
But the song that means the most to her?
“‘Landslide’ by Fleetwood Mac is a beautiful song and I have listened to throughout my whole life. It is a very bittersweet song about change and I have found that no matter what I am going through I can always relate to it. No other song is so beautiful and universal like ‘Landslide,’ and I think thats why I love it so much.”
Melanie is a beautiful soul with amazing talent and a lot of drive. I feel lucky to have been able to share her story with all of you first and I know you’ll be hearing more of this Boston-Ville country singer very soon.