LGBTQ+ Composers Call – ‘Peace of Mind : Piece of Mine’ by MÉLOMAN3
In partnership with the LGBTQ+ Music Study Group, we are delighted to share ‘Peace of Mind : Piece of Mine’, a new work by Precious Oni, known musically as MÉLOMAN3.
In this work, MÉLOMAN3 introduces us to a sensory journey travelling to the subconscious ideas that plague the mind regarding personal identity, sexuality and expression. Taking influences from the beat and music artist, ‘E.N.D.’, she relays the rollercoaster merry go round of discovering identity in a world that is fixed and against the norm. Throughout this journey, she engages listeners to be still and embrace the reality of standing outside of self, a juxtaposition of her reflection of her place in the world.
‘Peace of Mind : Piece of Mine’ was created earlier this year as part of a nationwide call for new sonic works celebrating queer histories, sounds and stories on the British Music Collection. - read more about the other works selected here and discover more about MÉLOMAN3 here. The full track is available to listen to below.
MÉLOMAN3 - 'Peace of Mind : Piece of Mine'
Q&A with MÉLOMAN3 and Heather Blair, Creative Project Leader, Sound and Music
Can you start by telling me about yourself? How did you start to make music and what are your influences and inspirations?
Hey, hey I'm Precious, musically go by MÉLOMAN3, 24 from the south side of London. I would describe myself as a babe with many faces, I'm multi-faceted and I try to display that in my unique way. I'm a music lover as my artist name defines. I grew up listening to a lot of old school soul, R&B, Slow Jams, Old School Afrobeats and some Asian influences also. I'm heavily influenced by artists such as; Sade Adu, Isley Brothers, Smino, Janet Jackson, IAMDDB, Ego Ella May and some gospel influences to name a small few. My mum is a soprano singer and my dad played the saxophone. I am also a self-taught, play by ear pianist and that again has really influences how I connect with music and feelings. Music was a way for me to express myself, the one thing that made me REALLY feel, I use my voice to kind of express how I feel and that's the music I listen to also. I'm influenced a lot by hypnotic sound and feelings, mainly because I can find it hard to express emotions myself sometimes. I also find individuality and authenticity is very important to me, and that influences me to take unusual tones and scales in my music world also.
Your new track 'Peace of Mind: Piece of Mine' is a really beautiful, authentic and relatable exploration of overcoming that destructive inner voice that says you are not enough. It's an exercise in radical self-love that as you say, "no longer loves on condition of wanting to fit in, rather accepting all parts of [your] identity" Can you tell us more about your inspiration for making it? Have these ideas always featured in your work, or has this been the start of a particular journey for you?
Thank you so much, i really appreciate your kind words! I am inspired a lot by my surroundings, my personal life, my environment and very uniquely by beats. For this track, I wanted to take listeners on this wacky trip I've been on in finding my identity and existing in this world. The beat inspired me to really connect with the part of my mind that can be perceived as quite sporadic, but actually centres around a specific time/theme. For instance, I start the verses in poetic flow, it is to ensure the listener takes in the centred message around the chaos. I'm influenced a lot by meditation, yoga and centring yourself amongst chaotic thoughts, quieting them down in order to discover what is really being said. My life over the last 13-15 years was a big blur of sporadic existence, but over the last 3-5 years I embarked on a journey that made me go back and discover who I am at my core. This heavily influences this track. I also take some influences in the flow at the end of the track from one of my dearest friends in music, an artist who identifies as "E.N.D.", we talk largely about the depths of life and identity whenever we meet, and it seems we experience some similar life experiences. This honestly is a new journey for me - taking this approach and being so raw in music. I always write solely about love and intimacy in a romantic sense but can see I am growing more into love and intimacy of self and identity. It's so beautiful to me how things have worked out this way. As much as I share with the world, it's also me showing the world exactly who I am, unapologetically. it's beautiful!
You were commissioned to make this work as part of a specific open call for LGBTQ+ composers and music-creators. How does your queer identity influence your musical outputs?
Well I'm a lover of love songs, authentic soul and alternative Jazzy R&B, and I don't really see queer people in the community. I also don't see a lot of females in the community represented in music also. I connect a lot to love and identity in my music and all artistic expression, as someone who identities as feminine or "femme" presenting I can often be assumed to be a bit more submissive or soft but I also like to express the masculine and dominant parts within that identity in my music which is also influenced by my queer identity.
What changes would you like to see for LGBTQ+ folks making music, or for the music sector more widely?
I would love to see more generalisation and less confiement of LGBTQ+ artists in the music industry, why do we have to be marginalised or segregated? Seeing LGBTQ+ artists for their creativity and artistry, instead of their label or chosen identity, if that makes sense, would be a beautiful step forward. I would love for more representation of healthy love and harmony in what we are "allowed" to show to the world also. Mostly I find that the music that is most accepted or presented on large platforms is linked to emotional pain or something really deep, so I would love to see more of the joy of being queer.
What's next for you?
Honestly, I'm so grateful for this opportunity and how it has supported my musical journey. My next steps are to keep exploring and expressing authentic and original sounds. I'm currently working on releasing a few singles and hopefully a mixtape with a catalogue of what MÉLOMAN3 is all about. Remember, I'm a baby in this game and I'm really just looking forward to growing and developing as an artist, and helping the world heal, love and feel one poetic and thought-enhancing track at a time. I'm really looking forward to connecting and networking with industry professionals also. Thanks so much for taking the time to discover me and it's been a pleasure working with you!
You can follow MÉLOMAN3 on Instagram and here more of her music via Soundcloud.