Melissa Polinar began her career during a digital revolution. She started it all by uploading videos to Youtube featuring her own original content which would go on to garner millions of views. Though social media is how she got her start, it isn’t what would come to define her. Melissa’s musicianship and tireless work ethic have made music industry veterans and leaders avid fans. These admirers include the likes of India Arie and Mark Kibble (of Take 6).
Melissa Polinar gets deep in our interview as she presents her fascinating outlook on life and social media.
Who exactly is Melissa Polinar?
Melissa Polinar: Who am I? Well, I’m a person who is quietly passionate. I’m laid back, but I think about life a lot. It’s been this way since I was 10. I’m that girl who constantly asks, “What is the meaning of life?” Everyday I’m in pursuit or try to embody meaning. I’d like to think that I’m a kind person who always strives to be kind. I love people. I love music. I love the notion that with everything I do, there is purpose. My music is an extension of that purpose. Now is this too philosophical of an answer?
Your bio describes you as a “true singer/songwriter”, what exactly do you mean by that statement?
Melissa Polinar: I didn’t write that bio, but I’d like to think that a “true” of anything means it exudes authenticity.
Do you think technology has helped or hindered the music industry?
Melissa Polinar: There’s always pros and cons to pretty much everything — especially technology. We can’t blame social media and technology 100%. We should take a good look into our culture and what we revere as worthy of our attention. So if we “allowed” talentless people to find fame — we should only blame ourselves.
I reaped rewards from my social media background and am still thankful for all the opportunities that have come from it and are still coming from it. However, I now look at it as a double-edged sword. The social media culture cultivated this mindset of immediate and constant gratification. For creators and artists, this expectation keeps us on our toes, but everybody has to realize that great things take time. The legends of generations past, musicians or otherwise, took years (sometimes, many years) to hone their craft and be masters at it.
So to answer your question, there’s no black-and-white answer to this one. Social media is both a blessing and curse. It takes regular adjustments from a person to include it in one’s life.
Your voice, musicianship and songwriting has made fans of renowned artists like Questlove and Jay Sean; what has it meant to you to be held in such high regards?
Melissa Polinar: It means a lot. Other creatives or artists know how much effort it takes to write a song, etc. So they can appreciate another person’s work on a deeper level.
You describe your lyrics as “honest”; what would you say has been the most honest/personal thing that you’ve shared thus far? Do you have any regrets about sharing it?
Melissa Polinar: Every lyric line is a personal emotion or experience. I have no regrets
What would you say gives you the most inspiration when it comes to your music? What is your creative process like?
Melissa Polinar: Life is inspiring. It’s inspiring in all spectrums – from depressing to the joyous. I think the most profound creativity is when you find meaning in the seemingly mundane things. I can draw inspiration from a conversation I had with a friend to something more drastic that happened in my life. So it’s basically anything. My creative process has only one rule: dive in.
What advice do you have for artist/individuals looking to start their own career through the use of social media?
Melissa Polinar: Always stay true to who you are. You do this by surrounding yourself with people who love you not because of what you can do or can do for them.
It will be eight years since you first began posting videos; how would you say you’ve grown since then?
Melissa Polinar: I’ve grown tremendously. And my motivations have changed in some ways. Growing is inevitable – whether welcomed or not. I have not posted regularly for years now although I “keep in touch” with a few video uploads here-and-there as of late. I love what my early YouTube presence has given me, but not everything is YouTube when it comes to my music path from here on out. I think I’ve always known that. What’s constant is I have to be diligent with my craft.
What does the future hold for Melissa Polinar?
Melissa Polinar: Hopefully more music, collaborations, shows, and all the fun music stuff that I do. At the same time, live a loving life.