MeloDownz of Third3ye and Young, Gifted and Broke fame set us up for the weekend with the release of his EP "Avontales". The 8 track EP dedicated to his burb Avondale, is crafted with real life events, tales of love, hope and despair. Melo's smooth laidback flow across a fine selection of beats, accompanied by a couple of local guest features will have your head nodding from start to finish. We took five with the hard working MC to bring us closer to his journey.
When did your journey in music start – who were your early passions and influences?
It started back in high school, me and my cousin would always freestyle at parties (as you do) and we had this really profound song we recorded through a gaming headset with the lil microphone on my mums desktop computer, it was a really rude song, but with the help of blue tooth, it was a hit and went a bit viral around a couple high schools, so at parties people knew the song and would gravitate towards us having cyphers, so that's when I kinda found the passion for doing it.
I was heavily into Bone Thugs n Harmony and a few other American hip hop artists. My first NZ album I ever bought was P-Moneys “Big Things” and as a kid, that album introduced me to a lot of pioneers of NZ hip hop for me, like Deceptikonz, 4 Corners, Scribe, Unique, Tyna, Che-Fu just to name a few.
What are your main impulses to write lyrics and stay motivated to make music?
To me, it's all got to do with feel. Usually, I’ll write about what I am feeling at the time, whether its dark shit, deep shit, fun shit, nostalgic moments or stories that other people were unable to tell, I like to narrate etc. Usually, I just go with the flow and eventually whatever I am writing evolves into a concept, other times I just write about heaps of random shit, But most the time it’s a certain feel or vibration that gets me going.
To stay motivated I like to listen to a lot of local stuff, like when friends of mine release new music, it motivates me to make new music and keep up haha. Also things going on in the world, as a writer that's a big source of motivation that gets me going.
What is one key message you have for new, young artists starting out on their journey?
Be hungry, be open, never doubt yourself, don’t have an ego if your shit starts to pop off, create every chance you get, work on your craft every day just like a ball player in the NBA. Network with the right people, get in the right circles, surround yourself with positive people on a similar wave to you, be happy, have fun and enjoy what you do.
What are your thoughts about the New Zealand music scene in general, and especially in Auckland right now?
Straight up, NZ is poppin’ off right now! I mean we got some of the illest producers in the world and a lot of them are from small rural towns, it's nuts. We got a bunch of international worthy local artists in our small country that needs to be on the world stage if not are already. The Auckland scene as I see is thriving and hasn't been more healthy, with a lot of legendary venues closing and being gentrified into office spaces, it's almost like it made a lot of the artists more hungry to be creative and innovative. It's a melting pot of artistry, there are studio spaces and collectives popping up left right and centre and everyone is collaborating and contributing to the culture, it's weird, it seems likeeveryone is cool with each other, but we are all low key competitive, and I guess that's why the scenes popping right now.
What is your favourite go-to place to eat in Auckland?
In no particular order...
Barilla ( Dominion road)
Spicy House (Dominion road)
Mr. Zhaos (New Lynn)
Thai Cuisine (Mt. Albert)
BBQ Noodle House (Mt. Albert)
Mercury Plaza (The Japanese joint)
Home Bakery (Avondale)
Burger Queen (Mt Albert)