Busy singer back home
New Zealand will soon become a holiday destination rather than a home if everything goes according to plan for Esther Melody.
The Porirua singer-songwriter is not long back in the country after a trip to Nashville, in response to an invitation from the American Gospel Music Association to attend the Immerse conference and competition.
Last year, the Esther Melody Band were an outstanding success at Immerse, winning best band and vocalist and coming third in the songwriting category.
Ms Melody also took out Maorioke on Maori TV last year and penned the official song for the World Rowing Championships, hosted by New Zealand.
Melody told Kapi-Mana News going back to the United States this time was ‘‘a real honour’’ and a fantastic opportunity to make more connections in the gospel music industry, with a view to eventually signing with a major label.
‘‘It was great. Nashville is such a fun place and we had a blast performing there and meeting with record labels, which we’re taking slowly.
‘‘We met some amazing folks in the US but some of them say, ‘We will make your dreams come true’ a bit too easily, so we need to be careful. Everything is on such a bigger scale over there, which is hard for us Kiwis to get used to.’’
Melody also got a chance to work with renowned vocal coach Brett Manning, who has coached Hayley Williams of Paramore, Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus.
She says he ‘‘will go on record to back us’’ as she and her band seek a visa to live and work in the US.
‘‘We’re trying to get that visa sorted; we’re pretty much ready to submit. It’s quite difficult to get,’’ she said.
‘‘We need a lot of support in writing and references, so it’s great to have someone like Brett behind us.’’
For now, Melody and her band are touring New Zealand and recording a new album. They hope to go back to the US in November, then back to our shores for Christmas, before playing dates in Britain. It sounds like a rock’n’roll lifestyle and there are likely to be heady days to come, but Porirua will always hold a place in her heart.
‘‘ There’s always something special about getting back to your roots.’’
Vibrant performer: Esther Melody has received rave reviews at the past two American Gospel Music Association competitions, for her dynamic singing style and range, and her onstage energy.