Mel Taevin is an Indie rock musician, singer-songwriter based out of Brooklyn, New York and her musical roots go back to when she was a small child playing the piano, listening to Classic Rock on road trips and later skipping class to teach herself guitar in her dorm room and went to the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston and her new single “Fall Hard” is now streaming on all services.
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Alice: Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be on The Bachelor? Well, I am here with Mel Taevin, an Indie rock musician, singer-songwriter based out of Brooklyn, New York and her musical roots go back to when she was a small child playing the piano, listening to Classic Rock on road trips and later skipping class to teach herself guitar in her dorm room and went to the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston and her new single “Fall Hard” is now streaming on all services. I just listened to it on Spotify and it was awesome.
Mel: Oh! Thank you.
Alice: So, welcome Mel! Thank you for being here.
Mel: Thank you so much. I am so pumped, I am pumped. Thank you for the nice, warm introduction.
Alice: We’re so excited to have you! So we just like kick things off with some quick questions. So, dogs or cats?
Alice: Guitar or Piano?
Alice: Cake or cookies?
Alice: Coffee or tea?
Alice: Beer or wine?
Alice: Bachelor or Bachelorette?
Mel: Bachelor because there’s more drama.
Alice: Awesome. Can you talk to me about getting involved with Bachelor Presents: Listen to Your Heart? How did that all go down?
Mel: I was never really under the impression that it was going to be a Bachelor franchise show to begin with. So, that was kind of later into the process and I was like, “All right, well let’s try it!” I feel like I’ve never really been part of the Nation to be honest. The last season I watched was Arie season with Becca and Lauren. That happened to be one of my days off and my friends are part of the Nation so, you know.
Every single time I would watch the Bachelor Nation show. All my friends would be like, “You need to go on this, because you’d be so entertaining.” and I was like, “Well if I went on it, I would go because I am Asian and I want to represent” You know? So, I eventually just looked at it as, you know what? What I would use like… I am in no position to say no to most things. You know what I mean? Like, who am I? Know thyself. So, I figured let’s just do it. When are you going to get an opportunity to do something like this ever again and you are going to learn from it and that’s basically how I got involved. I was like, “All right, let’s do this. Why not?”
Alice: Wow, cool. Can you talk about the casting process? Was there like an audition portion? You said you didn’t realize it was a bachelor thing beforehand. Was it just like posted on backstage?
Mel: No, I was reached out via Instagram.
Mel: I think that a lot of them were just looking for people in New York that were musicians. Yes, there’s audition processes for it. I do not know what it’s like for other Bachelor shows. I have no idea but yes, you audition with a few tunes and you get interviewed and all the good stuff. They want to make sure you are semi-legit, I suppose. It’s a process. It’s a process.
Alice: Yes, can you talk about going to LA, being in the bachelor house? What was it like that first day that you were there?
Mel: Kind of numb to be honest. I do not think any of us actually remember the conversation we had with Chris Harrison before going into the Mansion. I think we all kind of blacked out a little bit. It’s very surreal. It’s very strange because when you get to the mansion, they really just throw you into it. Cameras are in your face, the whole nine yards. So it’s a weird “Oh my God. I am here right now!” along with the juxtaposition that you are being completely watched and completely heard and there’s a mic on you and you feel weird and also am I standing up straight?
Also like, you are just very conscious of yourself, but you are also hyper. It’s like a huge sensory overload where you are super aware of your surroundings, but you also can’t really… none of it is… all of it is uneven and unfamiliar terrain. So you really do not know what you are doing and you have to act like you know what you are doing. It’s horrible. It’s kind of like the first day at a new high school.
Alice: Oh God. Yes, that sounds really stressful.
Mel: Yes, it’s a lot. It’s a lot. You just got to… luckily we’re all performers. So we were able to just be like, “The show must go on, curtain call in ten, lines up.” but it’s a hard… I can’t imagine what it would be like if I wasn’t used to being in front of people.
Alice: You are on stage all the time. Yes.
Mel: Yes, and even this was different than being onstage because it’s very interactive and very like in your face. So it’s a lot. Yes, it’s a lot.
Alice: Can you talk about some of the other players? Do you still talk to people? When was this filmed? because we saw it during quarantine, but obviously filmed a long time before.
Alice: Oh, wow. Okay.
Mel: But the whole process is a few months. It takes a while to be interviewed and then you have to go through paperwork and all that stuff. At the point where you actually see the show, people are already pretty dedicated. They’re invested in the process. So even though the show was a few episodes and even though you saw like a chunk of time, everybody had really been just invested in the whole entire thing for months before that. So that’s why people are very passionate on the show.
Alice: Wow. That’s wonderful! Yes, it was exciting to just see the season finale. So I am curious like how it’ll move forward especially in this kind of weird world.
Mel: I know, I have no idea. I really do not know. I have a lot of people in my life and a lot of friends in my life who do work in TV specifically unscripted television, and it doesn’t sound like it’s a pumped-up place to work right now, but people figure it out. People have been really applying themselves and finding solutions within their companies. I am sure it will be the same for reality television. Yes.
Alice: Can you talk about your work? What are you doing right now in quarantine? What’s happening with your music? You just released a new single.
Mel: Yes, I released Fall Hard. Very exciting. That’s been a single but I’ve been working on it for like, it was written 10 years ago. So…
Mel: It’s kind of cool to have something where you are like, “Yes, it is still applicable. I still dig it. I’ll release it.” That was really big…
Alice: So cool!
Mel: Yes! It was a really big personal accomplishment because I’ve been through so much since that song has been written. So to be able to still relate with it in a sense after such an amount of time, it was seriously a big moment for just like my heart in general. Right now, I am honestly taking a lot of time to read and educate myself about the things of the world. I am trying to be a little bit more proactive with COVID relief and checking in with the people in my life. As well as… because music is something musicians do all the time. So I could totally…
I mean, I think it goes without saying I’ve been doing music but as far as my free time goes, it’s been a lot of practicing self-patience and encouraging a little bit more positivity when it’s a lot of negativity in the world. Trying not to look at my phone a lot, being careful about what I listen to in music and being very just picky. Doing everything with intention is something that I’ve been really trying to practice, you know? It gets to a point where if I cook something, I’ll take the time to plate it.
I found that that like… I benefit from that because there’s so much you can’t control right now. At least that’s how I feel. I feel like I can’t control jack shit right now, pardon my French. Am I allowed to cuss on this podcast?
Alice: Yes. That’s totally fine!
Mel: Anyway. So when I do have little moments like that, I really take it for what it is. So that’s basically in a nutshell what I’ve been doing.
Alice: Yes. How is it been being in Brooklyn? I am from Manhattan so I kind of get the city thing. Our city is decimated. How has it been? Have you been affected at all? Are you safe in…
Mel: Are you in Brooklyn right now? Are you in Manhattan?
Alice: I just left. I am in California right now, but I actually had COVID.
Mel: Oh, you did? Oh my gosh!
Alice: Yes, it was awful… for five weeks and so now I’ve just left and gone back to California but how have you been? How is your community in Brooklyn been?
Mel: Wow… I am glad you are healthy now.
Alice: Thank you.
Mel: I actually have been fortunate enough to be quarantining in the woods in Connecticut right now.
Alice: Good. Okay.
Mel: Which has been really good, but as far as the people I’ve been speaking to in Brooklyn and in New York, the beginning was a little rough because everybody was really panicking like resources that weren’t being made like when you went to the grocery store, I have a friend that went to the grocery store and the only produce they had was like Korean pears. It was weird, but you know, I guess people do not like Korean pears in the pandemic but it was little things like that.
I think that panic really struck once Amazon Prime wasn’t delivering. It was like “oh my God, if they’re not delivering in New York, you know something’s wrong.” People really rely on things like Amazon Prime. I think now everybody started to acclimate, stores are starting to tap into their own resources. I think that everyone is kind of getting into the groove with things but now with the Black Lives Matter movement and the protests, I think that it’s caused a little bit more of a hectic familiarity that everybody had in the city specifically at the beginning of COVID. So I think that a lot of people are just trying to acclimate as best as they can to the surroundings that they’re in.
The people that I am friends with are trying to be proactive and positive but you know, Brooklyn specifically is known as a burrow to unite and be strong and represent a stronger part of New York as best they can so I think that that’s exhibited today just as much as it has been in the past.
Alice: That’s great. Yes. I know, there are a lot of protests right now happening like where it started to happen right out of Brooklyn, like from the Ghetto but now it is moved through more of the other boroughs which is great but how long have you been in the woods in Connecticut for?
Mel: I think we crossed the two month mark from today which is weird. Someone had said that to me, “How is your two months then?” and I am like, “What are you talking about? Two months in what?” “Like quarantine” I was like, “It has not been two months!” but it really, it’s been so long. I literally was able to come here the day after I got laid off.
Alice: Oh, okay.
Mel: I made proactive strides to do so because it wasn’t a very good day but you got to make things happen for yourself. So luckily my roommates parents live in Connecticut, and that’s how we were able to be here and I am very grateful.
Alice: Yes, that’s good. I am glad you are able to keep safe and get out of the city for a little bit. It’s good to be…
Mel: Yes, my lungs have never been happier to be honest.
Alice: That’s awesome! Great.
Alice: Have you been taking advantage of Connecticut? All the forests around you and hiking or…
Mel: Yes! I’ve been taking advantage of it. It’s really put my life into perspective. I do not hug enough trees you know what I mean? So it’s been good to just literally just cleanse and detoxify from the tension and the craziness that you have when you live in New York City. It’s really insane. It’s known and people talk about it but when you are living it, you do not realize “Oh my God! I was like stressed all the time!” and “I do not have any money ever!” and yes! You are very like tunnel-visioned and it’s hard to…
Once you get a place and once you get like a grip on things, it’s hard to let go and have an open mind on some things because you are like, “If I have an open mind, I’d die!” but like, it’s hard to just let go and I think that just my personal experience in quarantine being in the middle of nowhere and just kind of chilling and being around nature and giving myself an opportunity to practice that self-patience that my shrink has been pounding into me for years and years and years has been really good for me. So I am grateful in that. I do understand that not everybody has that opportunity. So yes.
Alice: Thank you Mel.
Mel: You bet.
Alice: Something we always ask on this podcast is, if you could give one piece of advice to any woman you just met or a friend that you’ve had forever, what would that piece of advice be? It can be really about anything.
Mel: Speak your truth, speak the truth. Have a good head on your shoulders. Make sure you know that when people look at you, you need to represent you to the best form. So make sure you figure out who you are and what you stand for. Do not ignore that because that’s what people see in you whether you like it or not. Write everything down, fucking read and just remember that you can’t control what other people do. You can only control what you do. At the end of the day, that’s what you come down to is what you do, not what you want other people to do.
So take full responsibility and hold yourself accountable and treat other woman the way that you want to be treated because whether we like it or not, we represent women period. I am a woman. I identify myself as a woman. I represent you just as much as you represent me. I think that that accountability is so important in order to get anything done, in order to make any point.
Alice: Thank you so much. I think that’s great. I think, thinking about who we are as women and keeping ourselves accountable, great advice. Thank you.
Mel: Yes, because you can’t expect other people to respect you if you do not express respect. I mean self-respect is a whole other conversation, but I can’t expect you or the man in my life, for example, to respect me if I do not express respect towards other woman in my life too. So it’s really important that we keep everything pretty tight and we call other woman things that we want to be called.
It kind of drives me nuts when other women call each other “bitches” or when other women call each other “sluts” even in like a comedic kind of sense. It’s like, if you say it then you are allowing other people to say it and the point is to not say something like that at all. If you do not like being called that or you do not like it when other people are being called it. No matter what the sense is, do not do it. Hold each other accountable.
Alice: Yes, I think that’s great. That’s a good practice to put into life. Mel, is there anything else you’d like to add to our listeners?
Mel: I do not know!
Alice: What’s next? What’s next with your music?
Mel: I am not sure. I mean at the end of the day, I am looking at two other releases but I have been going into the process and like the… just conflict in my mind like any other creator where I am like “Should I go to a different direction?” and now that in quarantine, I feel like a lot of my other creator friends are doing a lot of self-reflection. Unfortunately, all we’re doing is thinking when we already think enough. So it’s a lot of like “What am I doing? What do I want?” So right now, I am just kind of figuring out what kind of message do I want to give out? because now it’s a little bit more poignant and now people are actually paying attention.
So it’s like, “Okay. Well, should I write all new, brand new material? Should I…” So it’s a lot of just looking inside myself and listening to others. I’ve written a lot in this timeframe and hopefully something good will come out of it. At the end of the day, I think what musicians specifically need to remember is that you need to just be proud of the product that you release. It should make you feel good about yourself and help make that one person feel good too.
I am still in that phase where if my song touches one person, then I am good. Seriously. I know a lot of other musicians that aren’t but I always constantly remind myself, especially when I release music or when I write music at any point in time of that process, I always remind myself that I was once that guy and I still find myself being that guy. So in terms of releasing music, that has kind of been my forefront of things.
The main thing about Fall Hard is to keep loving no matter how hard you fall. So you can be completely shattered, but the desire to still want to love and be loved is always going to be there. You could be totally hurt and totally jaded but at the end of the day, that’s all we really want is to be loved and to really, really love. In order to do that, you have to like fall really hard. You do not fall in love with your partner because you are like, “Yes, I guess I love him.” No, you felt really hard for that person and they did you too.
So it’s like, at the end of the day what love is is you falling hard for each other and you are helping each other pick up the pieces to form a whole unit. I think it’s really important right now. Someone recently said to me the other day that there’s three different people in the world right now. There’s the healthy, the ill and the dying. Just simple as that. There’s just three different people. Three different categories in the whole entire world, and that’s what they are. So if you are blessed enough to be healthy or become healthy, it’s your duty to be kind to the rest of humanity.
Be kind to people around you. Be kind to yourself because that’s what you owe the other two, right? So my overall consensus for anything in any conversation that I’ve been having is to remind people of that. If you have the opportunity, be kind. No matter what, if there’s a global pandemic, there’s a civil rights movement, anything.
Alice: Yes, I think that’s great and really with Fall Hard, I think like you said, that’s what we need right now. We need that love in everything that we do whether it’s with this pandemic or whether it’s with the protests and the police and Black Lives Matter and being a woman. I think the language that you are choosing to find with your songs and with your music is so timely and I can’t wait for your two other releases that are coming.
Mel: Yay! Thank you so much for listening and supporting. I really appreciate it.
Alice: Yes! How can viewers find you and keep listening to your music?
Mel: Honestly, I am most active on the gram.
Alice: Amazing! Thank you so much for being on today!
Mel: Thank you for having me! I am so honored.
Alice: Well, we’ve loved to having you and I just have to say one thing about our sponsor.
Alice: Enjoyed the show. See you next week for another fabulous female.
Mel: Awesome. Thank you so much.
Alice: Thank you so much for being on.