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Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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Artist Of The Week - Mello Mello
Monday, January 28, 2008

Sometimes I have to bring a little soul up in here and this week I’m doubling up on it with the duo of Xtravagentways and Rich Reddy, better known as Mello Mello. Xtravagentways and Reddy met a handful of years ago while working as telemarketers in their native Arizona. It was one of the rare side jobs they found where they could take advantage of their melodic voices and as soon as they found out about each other’s musical aspirations they starting working together. Though they differ in how they create music, Xtravagentways is an MC while Reddy is a vocalist, together they combine to make a smoothed out version of soul that is rapidly gaining in popularity. This week I caught up with Xtravagentways to find out more about the music he and Reddy create, including the work on their 2007 release An Abstract Love Story, whether or not creating smooth music equates to them being smooth with the ladies, and what kind of topics they’d like to address musically in the near future.

Adam Bernard: Let’s start off with something simple. Who came up with the name Mello Mello and what does it mean?
Xtravagentways: Rich came up with the name Mello Mello. We have our own phrase, "Mello-Soul... Where Hip-Hop and R&B Become Sexy!" It means Mello rhymes and Mello harmonies. What we feel is missing in today's society.

Adam Bernard: Duos always interest me because they’re two people who have one voice together. Why do you feel you and Reddy work so well this way?
Xtravagentways: We both have the same type of hunger. We both love music, real music from back in the day. We both talk directly to women. That's our audience. I mean sure, we love the fellas' support, but Mello Mello is for The Ladies! Hence An Abstract Love Story.

Adam Bernard: An Abstract Love Story is the album you released in 2007. Talk to me about it. What makes the love story you're telling abstract?
Xtravagentways: With us you have two different individuals, one emcee and one vocalist, both with a passion for music and women, but also with a street edge about them so they aren't mushy or anything. We found different ways to capture a woman's attention through smooth conversation, mature conversation, and we love it! I was actually going through some tough arguments with my wife around the time of the recording of the album… and it was the holidays, too! We actually fought everyday as we recorded at night. I guess it made for good album material because we recorded An Abstract Love Story in about three and a half weeks.

Adam Bernard: Dang, that’s crazy. Who do you hope to reach with this album?
Xtravagentways: We hope to reach everyone that enjoys good music and can actually hear the music; those that can appreciate rhythm and song, poetry and harmony. We had our first live televised performance on a local morning show called Good Morning Arizona on January 14th. We also have our video in rotation on Cablevision in New York and there’s still more to come.

Adam Bernard: You guys are smooth on record, but how smooth are you with the ladies when you’re not singing? Hit me with your best pick up moves. I'm a single man that could use a few pointers. PS - I can't sing.
Xtravagentways: (Laughs) Try this, once you find that special woman spark a conversation with her and sit back and LISTEN! All women really want is someone to listen, but here's the thing, you need to pay some actual attention to what she is saying so that you can have a proper response. Ya know? Maintain the conversation. Who knows, she might actually like some of the same stuff that you do! Just be yourself and be honest. If you don't have a Bentley, tell her you don't have a Bentley. Better to be honest up front than to be made a liar in the end!

Adam Bernard: In what ways have you used your singing talents to get in good with the ladies?
Xtravagentways: Actually, once the music starts the sound is always softer than the norm, so women just start to pay attention automatically. A soothing voice does a lot, too. Also, we start out soft spoken on the microphone. We actually meet a lot of women in everyday activities. We sometimes go to Beauty Salons, like when we got the video back, and we hand out flyers with our website address on them. Those always make for great icebreakers. We use business cards, flyers and our God given charm. Don't know what else to say besides that, man!

Adam Bernard: Finally, all this talk of women is fun, but do you plan on exploring topics other than relationships in your work in the future? What other stories does Mello Mello want to tell?
Xtravagentways: We actually talk about political issues on a song called "Smiles & Frowns," which will be on our next album. We talk about season's changing, a wrong direction, being hypnotized, and of course another club joint. We have started our own label, Mello-Soul LLC. We plan on signing two new R&B acts in '08, BobKatt and Sage, and our new artists' will bring new topics to the table, as well.

Related Links

Website: mello-soul.com
MySpace: myspace.com/mellomlo
Sonicbids: sonicbids.com/MelloMello
Videos: youtube.com


posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:50 AM  
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