MELØ Discusses Growing Up in
Windsor and His Upcoming Album
Story by Ryan Percy
Photography by Domenico Ambrosio
The 80s are making a comeback. Whether by a drive of nostalgia or through a general push for the good old days, there is something about the neon and pastel era which drives people.
But with the 80s being 40 plus years ago, there are even trends driving people who never experienced the decade to dive into its style and substance. The techno scene was born then and now genres like synthwave and vaporwave call back nostalgically to it.
But while some of the younger crowds flocking to the stylings are taking it as a gift from the past, there are others where the connection is stronger.
If living in and embracing the 80s turned your blood neon, then MELØ would glow like the sun.
MELØ was a teen then, taking in all the music of the time; 80s pop, techno and synth and has elevated those 20th century vibes into the 21st century.
“I got labelled as the 80s but I call it more of a retro vibe,” MELØ says of how he styles himself. “You get hints of the 80s but I’m trying to put my own twist on there.”
He has been steadily putting music out since 2021. His first track, Mysteria, has already garnered close to 200,000 plays.
When talking about his earliest track, it is easy to see the 80’s in it. Mysteria has a bright neon twang to its progression, bringing to mind the rolling end credits from cult classic 80’s movies. If the chorus does not send your mind crashing into a glimmering pastel period of pop music history then you may need to get your head checked.
MELØ was born in Thunder Bay, Ontario but moved with his family at a young age to Windsor. While he might not have been born with the city’s blood in his veins, he has definitely built it up over the years.
“My dad came here for work, all the immigrants came here for Chrysler when it was first booming,” MELØ says of how he ended up in Windsor to begin with. “Windsor is home to me. It’s also so great since Detroit is close by for music.”
It makes sense MELØ would find his musical soul here. Windsor and Detroit have a long symbiotic history when it comes to the development and production of music. If it were not for Windsor radio stations, some Detroit acts may never have gotten big on our side of the border.
This influence played into MELØ’s drive to pick up an instrument and play, but while the external culture drove him to a certain genre, it was family who started him off.
“I grew up in a big Italian family,” he laughs as he dives into his background. “Every family function was a lot of singing and a lot of my cousins and uncles played instruments. Maybe I caught the bug there first. But growing up next to Detroit I listened to techno, punk and Motown. I grew up on this stuff and it was embedded in my head.”
He was self-taught, learning by ear.
He picked guitar up at 12-years-old and after learning a few chords he giddily banded together with his brother to form a cover band.
“I wanted to learn so I listened to a lot of vinyl and cassettes,” MELØ says of his humble beginnings. “I learned singing from it, I never took vocal lessons. I don’t know how to read music.”
He had music on his mind, but it took a push to finally start down his path.
“A good friend of mine, Domenico Ambrosio, motivated me to get back into writing music,” MELØ says of how he was pulled out of his rut while stuck inside during the 2020-2021 lockdowns. “We were home, no work, so I started to write. It was like a faucet opened and all these ideas just started pouring out.”
To date, he has over 100 songs and counting, in various stages of writing and production. He laughs and says the mere act of song writing has become addicting. He says in part what drives him is tied to what music really means to him.
“Songs are like stories to me,” he says of his process of putting pen to paper and fingers to frets. “Some are true, some are not. When you first start out, they probably aren’t very good. There’s a lot of garbage you have to weave through. But if you enjoy writing stories it’s a form of release and you slowly get better over time. It’s almost a form of therapy.”
The notion of storytelling from songs is the basis of his upcoming album, Songs from the Spiritbox.
“It’s like a box of treasures with notes from your diary,” he says of the meaning behind the name. “The album is kind of a diary. But while I have a lot of songs on those pages, only the ones that rise to the top are going to be on this album.”
The album is planned to be a mix of tones, a walk through the feelings he felt in the past years. From upbeat moments of joy down to the darker, sadder times. All slowly drip fed through streaming services. Each single leading up to an end-of-summer or early fall release.
The darker trend can be perfectly summarized by the released single Paralyzed. The slow melody brings up images of stargazing and reminiscing. MELØ says it is about being paralyzed in the moment of realizing things have changed.
“It’s about lost friends and growing old,” he says. “Wondering if they’re still. Closing your eyes and picturing a moment when you were all still together.”
The goal of the album is to tell a story, to leave a diary for the world.
“I hope listeners can connect with the music and see the whole body of work for what it is,” MELØ says. “Songs from the Spiritbox will let you see the whole picture. The emotions of every song is a little different but if you pay attention you’ll learn my whole story.”
You can find out more about MELØ at melomusicofficial.com or find his music on every major streaming platform.