Melanie Fontana, LA-based music composer and the woman force behind some of music’s biggest singles has worked with the likes of Justin Bieber, Britney Spears and The Chainsmokers. Her most recent creation was the first track on BTS’s new album Love Yourself: Answer which peaked at #1 on the Billboard Top 200 Chart as well as Setting Fires for the Chainsmokers ft. XYLØ.
As we got personal, Melanie tells us how she is truly living out her childhood dream and how she believes Megan Trainor is one of the funniest people in Hollywood.
Was song-writing always the dream? Would you ever want to perform your own songs?
Songwriting was ALWAYS the big dream for me. When I first heard Robyn, Britney, Nsync & BSB on the radio, I knew I wanted to be in the music biz in some way. At first, the goal was to be a pop star vocalist à la Celine Dion/Mariah Carey/Christina Aguilera, but I quickly learned about the studio process & the way songs are created & just knew I had to be a part of the creation as well as the execution.
You have worked with the likes of Justin Bieber, The Chainsmokers and Britney Spears! What does it feel like to work with such big names in the music world?
It’s surreal. Every time something amazing happens to me in my career in the form of writing with or working with artists so hugely successful, I have to smack myself (gently) to make sure I’m awake. Living this life is somewhat of a dream; I actually dislike going to bed because my awake hours far surpass the dreaming ones.
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What is the song creation process like? Where do you get your inspiration from?
The conception of a song is different every single time it happens. Sometimes we start with a title first, then that title inspires melodies. Other times we start with a feeling or a melody. Conversations about life is where a truly great song actually begins. You must live and love to write about living & loving. I like to befriend the co-writers & artists that come through my studio. It’s much more fun & inspiring to create with people that you really know.
You co-wrote every song on Aaron Carter’s latest album and have been credited as ‘reviving’ his music career. What was it like to work with him and to be labelled as someone who bought back his music career?
Aaron is eccentric, wild & beautiful. He’s highly intelligent, sometimes to a fault, but I mean, when he’s sat in rooms & studied under the likes of Max Martin (a super producer essentially responsible for what pop music sounds like from the early 90s-today) it’s hard to “not know it all”, right!? Aaron is SUCH a pro, it’s astonishing. We’re friends, which is something I deeply honor. I’ll forever cherish the process of writing the LØVË album with Lindgren (his co-producer) & the rest of our little musical family.
Who have been some of the funniest stars you have worked with?
Meghan Trainor is such a ball of fun. She & I have had many a hilarious time together. Meg was like a sister to me. We shared many insiders & long nights in the studio; I’d say she’s one of the funniest people in Hollywood. Shouts to Meghan! Jordan Knight is also great for a laugh during a songwriting session. The music industry is full of the most comedic humans, I’m convinced. We make pleasant noise for a living. That in itself is pretty funny!
Women in the industry is a big controversial topic. As a successful woman in the music world what are your thoughts on this?
I have not been immune to men in the music business hitting on me or trying to get me to “do stuff” to get ahead, especially at the dawn of my career. The thing is, I learned early on to walk into sessions with an “all-business” attitude. After doing so, the chances of a male co-writer or a&r acting sketchy are much lower. Luckily, I haven’t had to deal with any sex-based disrespect in quite some time. I have, however, noticed that women in this industry have to be much more present on social media verses men to get motion in their career. I know so many men who refuse to use Instagram, yet their careers are flourishing! Whenever I decide to slow down on posting, my sessions start to thin out. I don’t think it’s a coincidence.
If you had one piece of advice for someone trying to make it in the music industry, what would it be?
If you’re trying to make it in the music industry, prepare your body for late nights & lots of saying “YES!” to things you might not feel like doing. The hard work doesn’t stop, even when you’ve have some success under your belt.
Here are BELLA our tagline is Beauty Defined By You. What does beauty mean to you?
To me, the most beautiful humans are the ones that have stopped looking for approval & have just decided to be themselves. I’m still working on all that!
We loved getting to know Melanie and are excited to see what music comes from her next! You can follow her social media @melaniejoyfontana to see what she gets up too!