In Melaku's new music video for his new song "Ride To Nowhere," he takes you to his home roots at a beach town in Northern California where he was born and raised. Deep inside, being a city kid; fast-talking, fast-thinking go-getter with something to prove, Melaku couldn't wait to escape and take on his life-long passion for music. He moved to the big city of Los Angeles to chase his musical dreams, but circumstances kept landing him back home. After years of running and resistance, Melaku sat down and surrendered, just as the title of his song depicts, being on a ride to nowhere.
Singing and walking on the train tracks alongside a beautiful sandy beach, Melaku’s chorus “I’ve been on a ride, a ride to nowhere, I've been on a ride, a ride back here,'' sums up the struggles he has encountered along his musical journey. A road leading to a dead-end makes it seem like this is it, the ride to nowhere. However, you find Melaku overlooking the water and walking down the road singing and releasing his feelings with such strong passion.
Melaku’s music is a combination of modern pop sensibilities, which has been a part of his life since the young age of 13. His sound further developed while attending Columbia University and he began to write Pop and R&B songs. This was a major turning point for his musical career and lead him the opportunity to pitch his songs to various label artists. His current style is a fusion of classic pop, rock and soul music from the 60s and 70s. Listen to "Ride To Nowhere" here.
Hey Melaku it's great to have you here with us at BuzzMusic. For someone who has gone through a lot of struggle throughout his career, what would you say has been your biggest challenge and how did you overcome it?
Yeah good to be here! I would say probably the main challenge has been internal. You know, believing that I have what it takes to write, record, produce, and perform my own original work and make an impact with it. I’ve been on a path to get to a place of self-acceptance and you know, recognizing what I have to offer is...valuable. I feel like I’m at a really good place now, after a lot of trials and tribulations, and about a million magic moments.
How is this newest work different from your previous creations and how has it developed over the years?
Hmm. Yeah. This song is along the same lines as my previous releases in terms of vibe and sound, but it’s kind of a concretization of that. I spent many years wondering what my sound was and developing it in the studio and on the stage. I’m always getting closer to it, but I feel like this sound is close as I’ve ever been.
Was it difficult to write such an emotionally charged song?
Most of the songs I end up keeping are not difficult to write. They come from somewhere “else.” Maybe it’s the universe, maybe it’s some higher aspect of me. I don't know. But the best songs seem to come easy. I think I pretty much just sat down and freestyled this on guitar, and was like; “Oh! Ok, there’s something there.” Haha. But releasing it is a different thing because it’s letting the world know about emotions that are often kept secret.
I like how you've incorporated some of your childhood influences. Do you plan on incorporating any modern genres into your future works?
I think the influences I grew up provide a foundation for the music I make now. Whether it’s classic soft rock, Motown, am gold, etc. But I definitely incorporate a lot of modern singer-songwriter influences in my writing. You know, Ed Sheeran has had radio hits that are just guitar and a couple of other instruments. I’ve spent a lot of time working as a pop songwriter, and so my songs generally have a contemporary structure. And production-wise, even though the music might sound “natural” I'm actually incorporating a lot of modern technology into the recordings.
Given how the song ends, do you plan to stay in California and pursue your music locally?
Growing up as a creative in a small town, it’s easy to think the grass is greener elsewhere. Living in bigger cities really prepped me to take the bull by the horns in entrepreneurship, but I don’t see myself living in one again for a while. I like the beach, the mountains, and the lifestyle of my hometown. And I can build a career my way here while staying mobile. Besides, I can always hop on a plane, train, or automobile somewhere else.