Friday, July 12, 2013

Meet Melody Beals, Musician, Songwriter, and Host of FlipCamWebisodes

She is a musician and a songwriter. She is an interviewer gone web designer. She is a mother. She is Melody Beals. Singing always came easy to her because she loved it more than most teens her age loved sports, or dating, or friends. Melody's mom would scream across the house as Melody was proudly singing whatever choir medley that was stuck in her head, "Life is not a musical, Melody!” And Melody would retaliate with, "Then why did you name me 'Melody,' Mom??!!!" It was an on-going battle.

Melody was born and bred in Austin, Texas, home of South by Southwest, the world's largest music festival. Her real dream was always to be a backup singer for a major act, but a lot of that is meeting the right people, which never happened. Her love for music never died, but she decided to take things in a different direction rather than performing. Her new website,, launched March of 2013.

She interviews solo artists, instrumentalists, bands of all genres, people who have had YouTube Videos go viral, etc. As long as these artists are not on any major labels at the time of interview, she is taking them on! Her idea is really to give indie musicians the chance to shine because if this kind of thing were around 10 years ago, she would have wanted somebody to help her! Melody wants to give people a voice, a platform, bragging rights, or whatever the musicians want to do with it to help them along the way.

If there is anything that she wishes to create other than a place to promote other than their music, she has creatively designed her website to let each artist shine as an individual and as the person that they are. She wants to catch the artists before they make it big, so they can all look back someday to see where they started.

Keep up with Melody and her flipcam on Twitter and Facebook.

Note: The photo of Melody was taken by Stephanie Featheringill.

1. How did you get the idea to focus your website (mostly!) on flipcam interviews with bands/musicians?

It was kind of an accident really. I wanted to create a blog originally. I just wanted to write about the things that really interested me, such as indie music. But after thinking about it for a day or two, I knew that I would have to bring a LOT more to the table if I were going to actually get people to come to the blog. So I decided that I still wanted to be immersed into the music scene and I knew it would help the musicians out if I interviewed them, as well as it would help my site gain traffic. I chose to do the Flipcam interviews, well... because I already had a flip cam, haha!

I just hadn't seen anything like it. I wanted to create a place where anybody and everybody could be themselves without judgment and have it be a relaxed environment. I liked the idea of kind of having an amateur feeling so everybody could be at ease, and I would be able to travel to them to get the interview.

2. What are some key elements to a good interview, in your opinion?

I really like to try to ask musicians about their learning experiences. I think that it creates a place where they can talk about their trials, and it could really help other hopefuls out there who are trying to do the same things. For me a good interview is one where people who watch can walk away like they have either gotten a chuckle out of it, or REALLY learned from it. The Aly Tadros and Tom Meny interviews are great examples of that.

3. With such a busy music scene in Austin (and so many great artists accessible online, too), how do you choose the musicians to feature on your site?

I am in the most wonderful position ever with this! When I go to do an interview, I ask them who they would recommend for me to look into next. Then I go home and look them up. I only literally interview the people whose music I actually love. So when they get interviewed by me, it's like they already know I'm a huge fan. And not mentioning any names, but this has made things a little awkward at times, haha! I try not to geek out, but I'm human. I pick the people I want to know the most about first because that makes it so easy to strike up the conversation.

4. What's your own background in music, and what motivated you to start your site?

My background is singing and playing ukulele, guitar, and some piano. Most of it has been unprofessionally, as I never really kicked my ass into gear hard enough to get out there like I had always dreamed. I'm not good enough at the instruments to even call myself a beginner, but it gets me through when I write a flippin' sweet lyric. I really got into music about 15 years ago.

Having a daughter who is 4 years old really has made me stop and think about whether I want to go on tour with her at home with her daddy. I know that's crazy to think about... but it could happen. The site came to mind because I'd be working from home with my daughter, Harmony. It just seemed more feasible to create a website instead of running out the door four nights a week to band practice or performances. With this, I choose my schedule. I also don't take too kindly to the band life anymore, because if I'm spending time away from my daughter, then it better be worth it. Most of the bands I was involved in never really made it out of the garage anyway, so I am really paying attention to where I am spending my time.

5. What projects do you see yourself taking on in the next couple of years?

I see this growing and more people getting involved with wanting to be a part of it. I do not see any limits to it. I will not stop. New ideas come to me every single day about things I want to do and things I want to add. I think about the people I want to talk to and how I can help them out. I take time to listen to opinions and ideas, and will also take help (in return for mine) from anybody interested in what I have going on. Oddly, I have been getting into acting more which is crazy because I never really saw myself doing that! Opportunities keep knocking and it's a shit ton of fun! I have no idea what my next step will actually be, but I do know that ANYTHING is possible and I am open to ALL opportunities (within reason, lol).

Thank you so much for being the very first person to interview me!

Thanks, Melody!

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