Multi-instrumentalist Michael Lanza has returned with his first release of the year with the release of his harmonic and remedying single “Open Up” – out now via Hitskope Music Group. The track serves as an anthem to tell others to take risks, push themselves forward and follow their dreams.
Blending mellotron chords, bright piano and Lanza’s strong vocals, the song is a triumphant feat in search of better days. Through the power of empathy and acceptance Lanza sees a bright future for the world. In a time where the world is separated more than ever, Lanza performs “Open Up” to bring listeners together.
Lanza understands the importance of opening up as much of his success has come from taking risks. Since beginning his career Lanza has opened for EDM legends Major Lazor, and Drake Bill, charted #23 on Billboard Dance and had his song featured in the season finale of Keeping Up With The Kardashians. The key to this success parallels the message of “Open Up.”
Since the release of his LP Human Michael has always expressed the importance that everyone feels the same things. He explained, “Human is about the human experience, I wanted to capture the emotions of many of my friends. I want people to realize what they are feeling is normal and we all go through the same things.”
Lanza’s open mind has allowed him to empathize with people from all over the world. His love of other cultures translates through his music. Michael loves to experiment with instruments from across the world. Music from countries like South Korea and Brazil inspire him and his music. From playing K-pop violin covers on his TikTok, to listening to vintage C-Pop, Michael Lanza uses music as a pathway to connect with people from across the world.
With each release Michael Lanza opens up a little bit more, through his music he is able to encourage listeners to go after their dreams, all while making them feel less alone. With much more music on the way the motivating hitmaker is destined to inspire fans from all over the world.
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.
South Korean native and London based K pop prodigy ARTLOVER has announced the release of her debut single “Want U Back” available on all digital retailers March 2. With a background as a makeup artist serving clients such as ELLE, Vogue and Rankin, it’s safe to assume that ARTLOVER has already had her fair share of success. The step from the world of fashion into music might be a small one but nonetheless daunting.
“I really wanted my debut single to shine, and I’ve always thought in terms of music when working with fashion, so it was natural to take this route” the Seoul born singer says. “Want U Back” is a rap driven Soul Pop gem dressed up in a retro suit about immature love and loss.
The single is the result of a collaboration between the singer and the renowned JYP Entertainment producer Tae Seop Lee (Twice, Day 6). The track is the first single off ARTLOVER’S debut EP due out later this year.
Being at Georgia State University, we are exposed to oodles of cultural diversity every day. With Atlanta being the new scene for Rap music, and GSU being in the heart of Atlanta, we jump on the fads as soon as they’re created. In fact, we probably invent half of them! And the best part is, with the technology and social media, everyone jumps on the craze before you can bat your eyelashes. With that being said, it’s so evident how cultures are mixing and mashing and creating one big cultural exposure.
Johnny Ngo, a sophomore at Georgia State, is one of the most interestingly diverse people I know. Born and raised in Vietnam, his family immigrated to the US when he was 7 years old. Today, Johnny exemplifies an intercultural fusion. He has Asian features, he cooks traditional Asian dishes, he speaks Vietnamese fluently to his parents, and he loves Asian music.
On the other end, he’s the first to know when new trap music drops, and 90% of the lyrics the day after the song is released. He knows all the new dances and all the new phrases, such as “on fleeek” or “flection.” (Some of you probably have no idea what I’m talking about, but for all you Georgia State people, you know.)
But what I mean to say is that despite the cultural differences and the lifestyle differences, we can all still relate and come together through music. We can speak different languages but dance together at the club. That’s what music is: a link between souls, a connection between the divided, and a similarity between differences. Although Johnny is more into the K-Pop vibe, he easily gets along with people totally different than him because they can relate through the music they like. But music isn’t just music; with the music comes the lifestyle, the lingo, the clothes, the persona, everything! Music is a culture in itself and it welcomes everyone.
Atlanta brings music to Georgia State. Georgia State brings music to people. Music brings people together.
The Language of Music: Photos Courtesy of Davianne Gray