The second artist featured in our “Musicians in Isolation Series,” multi-stylist Melia Hudgin is currently working on her debut EP and preparing to move to Toronto in the fall.
Music came to Melia Hudgin completely naturally. She was singing as soon as she could talk, often with encouragement from her grandma, who was a member of the city choir. After playing in several school musicals and teaching herself guitar in elementary school, then studying in Wood Street School’s MAD (music, arts and dance) program in high school, Hudgin eventually turned her attention to creating her own music. Earlier on in high school, Hudgin thought she wanted to eventually go to college or university for theatre, but making music of her own became a priority after she got into emo and punk music styles. She cites singer and rapper Lil Peep as one of her biggest influences and a key reason she felt inspired to start producing her own beats and writing her own lyrics.
“The way he was very upfront and real about the things he went through in his life was very inspirational to me,” she says of Lil Peep. “I could almost completely relate to the things he was talking about.” Lil Peep was known for being candid about his struggles with his sexuality, as well as with drugs and depression. He died of an accidental overdose aged 21, but remains a highly influential figure in several modern music scenes. Hudgin herself has also been boldly honest in her lyrics about her own experiences with issues like dysmorphia and addiction.
A wide array of influences makes it difficult to find one genre or style in which Hudgin’s music can be boxed. Artists she draws from range from emo and alternative bands like My Chemical Romance and Kings of Leon to contemporary rappers lie $uicideboy$ and Chief Keef. But with a wave of genre-bending, convention-defying artists permeating the mainstream music scene right now, Hudgin is in good company as a multi-stylistic artist. She releases her music on Soundcloud under the name ‘princess meliá’, and also uses Soundcloud as a networking tool to connect with other artists.
For Hudgin, being a producer is just as important as being a singer. Producing her own beats gives her an added level of artistic freedom and creative control, and it’s important for Hudgin to be able to do it all herself without having to rely on others.
“I do love working with other artists, but my philosophy is definitely defined by having an independent personality,” she says.
Right before COVID-19 hit and everything started getting shut down, Hudgin had moved to Edmonton, aiming to begin supporting herself there while working towards going to music school. She ended up returning to Whitehorse, and while the stress associated with the pandemic and a sudden relocation hindered her productivity and motivation at first, she didn’t allow it to stop her from making music, and has still been steadily releasing tracks on Soundcloud and working on her first EP, for which she’s teamed up with Keenan Davis, a producer from Dawson. “I have a lot more time to work on things now,” she says. “I feel like because I’ve had time to sit with myself and my thoughts, I’ve had a huge creative rush with writing songs.”
Not content to just make music as a hobby, Hudgin has her sights set on making a career out of her art. She’s been accepted into Toronto’s Harris Institution to study audio production starting this November, and is confident the program is going to give her the tools she needs and serve as a huge stepping stone into the world of professional music.
“Toronto is definitely where things are happening in terms of the industry,” she says. “I’m really hopeful and excited for the opportunities this will bring me.”
To listen to Hudgin’s music, check out princess meliá on Soundcloud at https://soundcloud.com/bloodymelia.