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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States | SELF

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States | SELF
Band Hip Hop Soul


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"(SW) Focus Band: Melodiq"

(SW) Focus Band: Melodiq

Keeping true to roots

Roots serve the purpose to anchor while absorbing nutrients in order for something to flourish and grow. Artists who influence this month’s spotlight artist — De La Soul, A Tribe Called Quest, Queen Latifa, Gangstarr, Run DMC and LL Cool J — anchored and fed hip hop in its infancy and have enabled it to grow and branch out into the music that defines it today.

A self-proclaimed “late bloomer,” Melodiq is keeping true to those roots with lyrics and sound reminiscent of Hip Hop’s pioneers, while mixing in some European flavor with overseas collaborations.

Originally from Syracuse NY, Melodiq made a move to Pittsburgh in 1992 in order to attend The Art Institute of Pittsburgh. While attending, he started performing spoken word poetry at various venues in the Pittsburgh area. Spoken word served as a creative outlet, but an interest in music production would later marry the two talents to create the unique sound that is Melodiq’s music today.

“Once I got a feel of producing music and making music, that’s when all the lyrics starting flowing out and, all of a sudden, I started writing everything down and then everything started to gel with the music I was doing.”

It actually took about four years for him to decide to press on and hone the MC already inside of him. Unfortunately, he found that the market for what he was specifically doing was almost non-exsistent in the Pittsburgh area.

Melodiq expressed his frustrations. “Pittsburgh is not a big haven for hip hop. You have a few crews are musically different than what you hear on the local radio which is basically the same that you’ll hear around the country. I’m not downing anyone who comes out and tries to do their thing but it’s come to a point where that is all they [the local radio stations] play.

“There is no complexity as far as the music. There’s no ingenuity or originality. It was so frustrating — the way that I do my music, I would get to a point where I was so satisfied what I was doing and all of a sudden it was all the same mundane stuff coming out and I was like, ‘Why am I doing this? If I am gonna be going on this path and no one is going to come near listen to what I’m trying to do or even give it a chance, then why keep doing it?’”

Exhausting other local outlets, he began networking online and eventually found a niche overseas using sites such as MySpace and Soundclick. That led to collaborations with artists based mainly in France and the UK — artists he hadn’t met in person.

He has since released his first underground EP, “This is the Time,” with Pat Dooner from the UK. More recently, he released an LP collaboration project called “MeloManiac presents El de Sensei and Melodiq.” It was released on KIF records based in Paris, France.

Melodiq is currently working with Feeling Good music out of Switzerland doing an eight-cut EP with an artist named Terem, from France. He’s also doing a lot of guest spots with overseas artists and you can expect to see a full-length solo album out in the not-so-distant future.

There are major differences between the hip hop market that you may find in Pittsburgh as opposed to the underground hip hop scene that Melodiq has found in Europe. “The market here for the kind of hip hop I do is just non-existent. The people over in the UK and France especially in the underground, are feeling me now so I am gonna hit where the people are feeling me.”

He is currently working with artists using the Internet as somewhat of a middle-ground music studio. He does his thing and they do theirs clear across the ocean. The result has been an impressive sound with heavy influence from early days of soul and jazz by a group of artists that has never actually met in person. But that is all about to change.

Come October, Melodiq is going to France to hit that market full-force and meet face to face with the artists that he’s worked with online. He will be playing the historic La Cigale Theater in Paris with a Parisian hip hop group named Hocus Pocus. The La Cigale is located in the heart of Paris and has been home to everything from cabaret to kung-fu cinema in the 1940s. Currently it is a multi-purpose avant-garde venue that hosts various artists on the international scene.

Considering early struggles in PA, becoming internationally known is a huge leap for Melodiq’s career. In addition to his growing success overseas, Melodiq was also recently named one of the Civil Mics Movement featured artists of the month, as well as being featured on their first mix tape. This worldwide movement was put together with the mind-set of keeping together the livelihood of true, credible hip hop. founder “Twist,” an original member of the group Twisted Vision, wanted to bring it back to the roots of hip hop culture — graffiti, break dancing, DJs and MCs. The movement is growing and a second mix tape is being put together.

If Melodiq finds success, it will be on his own terms. “I’m not going to sacrifice who I am as far as an artist and as far as a human being and who I am for any mainstream type of appeal.

“(If) People are going to like me, they’re going to like me for who I am and what I do and how I project myself. If I was to come out with a song next week and it hit mainstream, all praise to God, but if it doesn’t, then so be it.”

Written By Jenna Wasakoski
Staff Writer

- ShinBone Magazine


"This Is The Time" EP - Pat D.
"Front To Back" 12inch - MeloManiac
"It Feels So Good" - Blax Roses
"Place 54" LP - Hocus Pocus (vocal scratches)
"NY State Of Mind [rmx] 12inch - Drum Brothers
"Take A Little Time" LP - Pat D.
"This Is It" - Blax Roses
"Jazz Is" EP - FakeHUnters
"Blue Soul" LP - FakeHunters
"It's All In Your Mind" 12inch - Drum Brothers
"Groove To This" - OrJazzm CD - Rize and Kronos Presents
"Straight From The Soul" - Melodiq
"Live and Uncut" - Soul Square



Melodiq has been bringing flavourful Hip-Hop since 1994. Fusing Hip-Hop, Soul and Jazz has been at the forefront of Melodiq's music, with influences from A Tribe Called Quest and Gangstarr paving the way for Melodiq to bring his style to the Hip-Hop community. Melodiq's work rate is outstanding and over the years has built up a solid, soulful and consistent repertoire of material collaborating with producers, musicians and emcees worldwide. As long as there is Hip-Hop, Soul and Jazz in existence there will be Melodiq standing firm.