It’s South By Southwest season again, and Austinite rising star Mélat is back with several performances lined up as well as a brand new album.
The alternative R&B singer released “Move Me II: The Present” last month, which debuted in the top 10 of the R&B iTunes chart. The album comes after a major year for the soulful songstress, which included an appearance at ACL Music Festival. The album is a completely independent release, and serves as a follow-up to her 2014 EP “Move Me.” Like the first project, “Move Me II: The Present” was produced by Los Angeles-based producer Jansport J and deals primarily with the concept of love in 10 soulful tracks.
“I think of ‘Move Me I’ as the first stage of love, where there’s a lot of rosy, ideal moments,” Mélat stated. “‘Move Me II’ is more grounded in the reality of love in all its forms. It’s taking the good with the bad; it’s landing back on Earth and maneuvering through every emotion.”
Last year was a busy one for the singer, culminating with a City Proclamation for Mélat Day.
“The most exciting part [of 2017] was when the City of Austin gave me my own day,” she said. “Not only did I get to cap my year off with a performance at city hall during a council session, Mayor Steve Adler presented me with the proclamation, and I had my first Prosperity Dinner at Habesha Restaurant benefitting American Gateways. What made it all so amazing was being able to reflect on the entire year– playing SXSW, ACL, recognition not only internationally and specifically here in my hometown– and sharing that experience with friends, fans, and family. It’s been a journey with blood, sweat, and many tears so it really felt amazing to be recognized for it.”
For Mélat, the daughter of Ethiopian parents who emigrated to the U.S. in the 1980s to escape a brutal communist regime, being different comes naturally. In a city that struggles with genre diversity, Mélat has persistently overcome these barriers and courageously continues to represent women of color and urban music alike.
“It’s a role I am very aware of and take very seriously,” she declared. “I know growing up I didn’t see any role models here in Austin that I could relate to, so I understand that the moves I make have the power to inspire and educate the people of this city and beyond. I share my experiences and thoughts every chance I can, as genuinely as I possibly can. I feel like Austin is in a renaissance period where voices that haven’t been heard before are rising to the mainstream of our creative community. I celebrate it, acknowledge we have much further to go, and advocate for us to live up to our self-proclaimed status of Live Music Capital of the World.”
Mélat expressed her excitement about SXSW shows this year, which include appearances at KUTX’s morning broadcast live from the Four Seasons on Thursday, March 15, VuHaus at the Austin Convention Center and Clash Magazine at Empire Control Room on Friday, March 16. All exact times and dates will be up on beholdmelat.com/dates soon.
Additionally, she will perform live at Stubb’s on Friday, April 6. Later this year, audiences can expect the singer to take her new music on the road.
“I’m excited to show the rest of the world what can be born and bred here in ATX!,” she said.