‘Hybrid, quirky, ethereal’ | Interview with Carmen Mellino

With energetic indie guitars, gloomy atmosphere and moving songwriting, the new single Toi Moi Inc. invites you to a darker era of Carmen Mellino. Read our discussion with the artist below!

Describe your sound in three words

Hybrid, quirky, ethereal

Tell us a few things about Toi Moi Inc.. What is the main idea behind it?

Toi Moi Inc. is one of the rare songs which I wrote in 20 minutes in my bedroom at 3 am. The words Toi Moi Inc. arrived as a gimmick and I thought it would be funny to use the double meaning of a dating company that would promote themselves with this song as well as a more generic sex song. Now listening back to it, I think it touches me on a more personal level like my way of apprehending sexual desires and sexual struggles.

Which is your most personal and honest lyric?

In the chorus :
‘I change
I lose you
I’m looking for someone other than you’

Those words hit harshly when I sing it now because I felt like this situation has happened to me a lot.
It refers to the kind of detachment you can feel when the passion starts dying. I’m someone who tends to get bored really easily if someone is too clingy with me. It doesn’t mean I can’t fall for someone, I just need the sense of freedom through excitement, discovery and AVOIDING AT ALL COST the overdose of clinginess

You use the French language with some English expressions. Is language a barrier in music?

Personally I don’t think it is. On the contrary, Music is an universal language and the intonation or general mood of a song can sometimes be more effective than the overall understanding of the lyrics. I also think there is a certain ‘charm’ for Anglo-Saxons to hear French language as it is a very romanticized language

Born in Paris, currently based in Brighton. What do you love/hate about each place?

I guess I like Paris for all the nostalgia and memories from it, food is also better in france in general haha. I would not say that I hate it but I kind of feel like Paris can be narrow-minded musically speaking. I don’t find myself listening to today’s French hits, however there is a lot of great more independent bands and artists but less known. For Brighton, I love pretty much everything except weather. Not that it is raining all the time but it just gets too cold for me.

Should we expect a full album in the future? Are full albums still relevant? And what is your favorite dark (whatever dark means to you) album of the past decade

At the minute, I’m focusing on releasing a couple of singles rather than a full album.
Depending the stage where you’re at, an album could be relevant. If you’re an artist/band just starting or that didn’t find an audience yet, I would not recommend releasing an album but rather singles.
Wow, there is a lot of ‘dark’ albums I love. For some reason I would say Democracy by Killing Joke. I think this album combines the perfect dose of chiaroscuro and it’s just one of my favourites really.

What would be your biggest challenge you’ve faced as an artist so far?

At the moment, I’ve been playing bass for some other bands (which I really liked by the way) but I’ve found it difficult to be considered or present myself as a proper ‘artist’ rather than just a bassist.
With this project, I’m hoping to assert myself much more as a songwriter and properly artist with my own name.

What’s your advice to humanity?

I’m really bad at giving advice so I’m going to say what I’m saying to myself pretty much all the time : Just do it because you have nothing to lose !
I sound like Nike but oh well hahaha !

Thank you!

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