Gia Mellish is quite simply one of my favourite new artists. When I first stumbled upon her groover "Confidentially" I was pleasantly surprised and impressed with it's sleek and sexy synths. Her new album "Ice Cream Castles" is a punchy electro-pop gem of a debut that is nothing short of seductive, infectious and full of intrigue. Gia Mellish has that something special that just draws you to her. Perhaps it's her sultry image, combined with her futuristic sound. Perhaps it's just that she makes rather cool tunes. She's not worried about being compared to Annie either – but she's a little different from her as you'll soon find out upon your first listen of "Ice Cream Castles".
In this exclusive early interview with EQ, Gia Mellish talks about some of the key tracks on "Ice Cream Castles", working with the legend that is Sebastien Leger, her equal hatred for Eurovision and fruity ice cream, and what she thinks about gay marriage and Twitter. Oh yes, it was quite fun getting to chat with Miss Gia Mellish.
Gia has given EQ readers an exclusive free download of "Only You" that you can scoop up right here, right now in the EQ Facebook Group. Gia will also be coming all the way from Amsterdam to perform for you at the next EQ @ Underbelly night on May 29th – so make sure you are there – as so not to miss this rare early performance from one of the rising female names on the international electro-pop scene.
Hello Gia – How are you today and where are you answering our questions from?
Hi there, I'm good thanks, I am sitting behind my desk in my little studio in Amsterdam in between recording a new track I just made, its turning out quite cool!
Now let's get down to it. "Ice Cream Castles" is an excellent electro-pop album, how long have you been working on it? Are you proud of the results? When can we expect to get the album in our hot little hands?
I have been writing for the album for about 9 months. It was always a surprise to see what my producer would come up with, every time I got a new track it was like Christmas! I also liked to write lyrics on my own beats and then my producer would build music around my vocals, its crazy how the song changes with new music, its a whole new song. The whole producing and re-recording of the vocals took another 6 months. The album has been finished now for a year already. I am very proud of the results, its the first album I ever made. I have great memories recording some tracks in the middle of summer in Sebastien Leger's attic – my producer. It would get soooo hot we ended up recording in our underwear, sweating our ass off…
You got your start singing on the Sebastien Leger track "Hypnotized"…how did this collaboration lead to producing your own solo album?
I was working with a very talented producer in Germany but he was very busy at the time and I hated being so dependent on him and having to wait for his time in the studio, so I decided to stop working with him. This meant I was in need of a new producer who was funky, had the right sound, who was ahead of time and understood what I wanted – this is hard to find in Holland! Sebastien said "why don't I produce your album", and at first I didn't know whether it would work as he's a house producer and I did not want to record a house album, but it ended up being the perfect combination – his warm electronic sound with my poppy/ funky vocals, it was very fresh and exiting!
"Confidentially" is such a wicked song. Did we hear correctly that the song is about a secret affair? Is this something that's happened to you in real life or are you role playing here?
[Laughs] Well I think everyone fantasizes about secret affairs. When I was young I always hoped some gorgeous boy would climb up my window at night and sneak into my room and kidnap me! But no, the song is not autobiographical, I am a very trust-able girlfriend and I could never cheat on my boyfriend… But I think anybody would lie if they said they didn' t fantasize about someone at some time in their relationship. I'm lucky I can write about it and be bad through my songs…
My favourite track on "Ice Cream Castles" is "Should Have Known". Tell us a little about this song…
I'm happy you like that track, it's a special song to me. "Should Have Known" is a true story that happened to me, actually, more then one time… Sebastien built the music around my vocals so I was very surprised to hear the song when it was finished, he knew how to stress the feelings in the song in just the right way. "Should Have Known", as the title already says, is about the first gut feeling you get when you meet someone. You feel something inside is telling you he's bad news, but somehow that just makes him even more appealing and you end up getting hurt. Women's intuition is always very strong and we should listen to it more often…
How did you come up with the album title "Ice Cream Castles"? Did you used to make structures out of your ice cream treats when you were a wee girl?
First of all ice cream is the most delicious thing ever invented by mankind, you can give me ice cream at ANY time, day or night… I wanted to write a song about my favourite food – while writing with another songwriter, together we turned my topic into something very different. Just listen to the tittle song "Ice Cream Castles" and if you listen closely you will know what I'm singing about…One hint, the castles respond to impulses..
Oh my! I can tell you like your ice cream Gia! Now are you worried at all that you are going to probably get compared to Annie – whose doing similar music with a similar look and style?
Well, I think Annie's music is more eighties sounding, I have one track that has an eighties vibe but the rest is really Gia. I started making this album 2 years ago , so it's very hard to see so far ahead…To be honest I don't mind if people compare, they will always try to compare cos that's what people like to do. As long as they compare me to people like Annie and Kylie, I have no complaints. Are you looking forward to your appearance at EQ this month? Can you tell us a little bit about what we can expect from your performance? Or are you keeping it "confidential"?
My brother is marrying a Chinese girl so we are going to Shanghai for the ceremony. I have been to Japan before and I absolutely loved it. I hope China will be great too. Tell us something funny about you that not everyone knows…any weird quirks?
I always want to smell everything… Can't believe I am telling you that!!! I'll make sure to wear some really nice cologne when I'm around you Gia! Now tell me, who are some of your musical influences? Do any of these artists come across in any way at all on "Ice Cream Castles"...
Well I grew up listening to Stevie Wonder and Earth Wind and Fire and I think the funkiness of the album comes from them. I also loved to play records from Kate Bush and Queen and in songs like "Confidentially" are in a way influenced by their way of singing..
You have a track on your album called "I Like It Raw"…ahem, what are you suggesting here Gia? Raw like sushi…???!
Yeah, "Selfish Girl" is about the music scene, people like to take advantage of your skills, promise you things and use you for awhile when they need you and then they run off after-wards. I decided to be a selfish girl when a lot of those situations happened to me and I promised myself to work only on myself, not on other people's careers. It's a tough game and nobody cares if you make it or not so you shouldn't care too much about them either. In the end you're the only one who's gotta make it happen so you have to be selfish and choose for yourself. Well said Gia. Your thoughts on Twitter…a passing fad or an important part of emerging pop culture?
I am very open minded, but I don't think you even need to be to agree that everyone should decide who or what they wanna marry. What do you care if your neighbor three blocks away wants to marry someone of the same gender? Is your own life so incredibly boring that you need to irritate and mess up the life of other people who do live a happy life? Marry a bulldog for all I care – as long as you love him [Smiles]. Well that's all Gia. I have to say it's been a pleasure discovering your music on the interweb. Any parting words for our EQ readers…