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Conversations with Melissa Mari

Today we’d like to introduce you to Melissa Mari.

Hi Melissa, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I started playing guitar and singing probably around age six. Since then, I’ve explored many styles including folk, jazz, rock and now metal which is a genre that I feel fits my energy and motivations best. Probably because of my own difficult upbringing, my message has always been about embracing or digging into the dark side of human nature, inner struggles and spiritual ideas.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
I had to leave home at age 15 after my mother became schizophrenic and shortly after my father passed away from cancer. Later in my 30’s I also developed cervical cancer but I made the decision to live. I recognized that the cancerous cells were my cells, part of my body and that I was the only one who could heal me. I was always interested in spiritual and metaphysical subjects but this started me on a more serious inward-facing path and I did ultimately heal myself with nutrition but mainly through taking responsibility for the emotional pain that I believe was the cause of my cancer in the first place. So these are the kinds of things I write about and share with my audience.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I’ve had many bands and projects over the years but when the clubs closed due to the pandemic, I put together a street set with my computer and a portable PA system. I often play on 6th street in Austin. It really has been a cool experience. I’m pretty frontal and I try to interface with people as they walk by but I also get a lot of attention from the homeless. They really seem to get what I’m doing. They intuit that my subject matter is related to their own challenges and I’m right there on their level on the street. Right now, also I have a new project called Deprogramatrix which is a progressive industrial metal act. This project focuses on the way in which our society is creeping towards a dystopian future. I also have a progressive rock band called The 01Experience that is a concept project that works with esoteric ideas about personal spiritual evolution such alchemy and Jungian Individuation.

Is there any advice you’d like to share with our readers who might just be starting out?
My advice for those who want to make music or art their main focus in life is first, disregard messages from others who tell you that being an artist is a bad life choice. Healthy societies require artists. If all you ever want to do is make art, that is what you should do, one way or another. But then, you want to be the best artist you can be. A good artist really has to dig into their own emotional state and connect with the hidden aspects of their nature. That means time alone, undistracted by devices and the busy world. You also have to put in the practice time to get really good at your particular art form. All the old advice about dedication and focus is the best advice. Learn the old rules first, then break them. Every challenge is a doorway to new opportunities. You can’t run from conflict or challenges, you have to go into them. Real challenges initiate people to the next level of their personal development.

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Image Credits:

Glenn Herring (credited on photos) Colin Davis (other photos)

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1 Comment

  1. Steve

    November 16, 2021 at 7:44 pm

    Proud to be a friend, you are an inspiration at the right time.

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