Her latest work, the BTS song “Euphoria” which she co-wrote, was the lead track on the group’s album Love Yourself: Answer, which hit No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200 Chart. Some other notable artists that Melanie has written for are Britney Spears, Justin Bieber, The Chainsmokers, and Aaron Carter. Hear this, Melanie also has a new taste of music – R&B/Hip-Hop. We chatted with her about the creative process working on “Euphoria” and the significance behind her involvement with the LGBTQ+ community.
Cliché: How did you first get involved with songwriting? What drew you to wanting to do it as a career?
Melanie Fontana: I have been writing songs since I was 5 years old. I got involved with songwriting professionally when I came out to Los Angeles to work with a producer. He later signed me to a deal. He told me that I should focus on losing weight and looking hot and to not worry about songwriting. Obviously, that blew up in my face because that is a horrible way to be talked to. While I was working alongside the producer, it paved the way for me to get into songwriting sessions with bigger artists.
I have always known I wanted to do music and kind of got into music where I fit in. I saw a few of my friends doing well writing their own songs for other artists and I thought,‘“I could do totally do that and that’s how I ended up writing songs.’”
What was the creative process like when working on “Euphoria”? What was the most challenging part for you when working on the song?
“Euphoria” was a cool process. Originally the song we were writing we weren’t sure who it was for. We knew we were writing a great male pop song. So one day I went into the studio to finish off an idea for a track that had already been started by one of the others producers of the song. He called me and said, “I really think you can finish this and I have a few ideas but I am not sure if they are good.” I then went into the studio again and we worked on it. After we wrote the song, a few months went by and I didn’t know what happened to it. As it turns out, he had been pitching the song on his end and he called to tell me that he has a BTS’ single coming out in a week. I was like, “OMG, are you kidding me?” It was one of those songs that I had a good feeling about but I wasn’t exactly sure who it was meant for when we were writing it. The process was just trying to get the biggest and most epic chorus possible that can be sung worldwide.
Can you describe your relationship and interactions with BTS while you were working on the song?
A lot of times the artists don’t work on the songs in the beginning. You are very lucky if you get to work with the artists. I did not get to work directly with BTS.
What did you think when you heard the finished version of “Euphoria”?
Once I heard the finished version of “Euphoria” I was speechless because it sounded so incredible and it was such a new interpretation of the song for me. I feel like K-pop is the new Hip-hop. K-pop is coming and it’s going to take over the charts. I especially felt a sense of awe and pride when I saw BTS performance at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
What’s the message of the song and what do you hope listeners take away when listening to the song?
My intention of the song was to be a melody that all people can sing along with whether or not you speak English or Korean. I wanted it to be a come together type of moment and I felt like I achieved that. My co-writer and I did a great job of getting it to be a sing-along.
What has been the most memorable moment in your career so far?
One of the most memorable moments in my career was seeing the music video of “Euphoria” for the first time. Recently, I wrote this Christmas song called Ugly Christmas Sweater for an artist named Wengie and we ended up trending at No. 1 on YouTube for a couple of days. As an artist, I never expect my work to blow up. I am always like, “Let’s see what happens now.” So when my Christmas song went No. 1 on YouTube, I was like, “Oh, shit.”
What advice would you give people who are looking to pursue songwriting?
I would tell people, “Do not say no.” For instance, people should perform at the open mic even if they don’t want to. If you say yes more times than no then you will get results.
Are there any genres you’d like to try and write for that you haven’t yet?
I would like to do some R&B/Hip-Hop. I would love to work with Ty Dolla $ign, Post Malone and Travis Scott. I know that they write their own rap but when it comes to the hooks of the song there tends to be a songwriter so I would like to take a stab at doing that.
You are actively involved in the LGBTQ+ community. Why was it important for you to get involved with this organization?
It is a human right to be able to love. I don’t think a Bible or old laws should determine your right to choose who you should love. It’s important to use your platform to preach about the things that you believe in and I used my platform to spread positivity and acceptance.
Are there any future projects that you are working on or will be working on?
In the near future, I have a song coming out with DJ Topic who is an incredible EDM artist. I have music coming out with artist Hyolyn who is an incredible singer. I also have a lot more songs coming out with Wengie.
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Multi-Platinum Songwriter Melanie Fontana Dives into BTS’ Single “Euphoria” and Advocates for LGBTQ+ Equality. Image Credits: Melanie Fontana