Chloé Pourmorady, known on stage as Melanchloé, is a multi-talented violinist, vocalist and songwriter. The LA-based artist has been making waves on local radio and on SoundCloud. We featured her as one of our Top 50 Songs of 2014. She infuses her Persian-American roots into a uniquely heady music that is all her own. She has all the power of Fiona Apple with the intricacies and allure of Kate Bush. I chatted with Chloé about her influences, new music and her upcoming shows.
Ryan: How did the name Melanchloé come about?
Melanchloé: My very clever pianist friend, Michelle, gave me this nickname back when we were in college – I was Mademoiselle Melanchloé. It’s a play-on words of melancholy, mélange, and melody. Also, the letter “M” is my favorite in the alphabet and the first of my Hebrew name, Miriam, which I have great connection to.
Ryan: Your music is so beautiful and signature. Have any specific musicians or genres inspired or influenced your music?
Melanchloé: From punk to jazz to Balkan gypsy to Kirtan to Fado to Persian mystic chants. I love it all. I love roots music, music that is close to the people’s heart and the earth. I am most inspired in silence and space, and when I am not listening to music, actually. I haven’t sought out new music in a while. As I’ve gotten older, I am more and more inspired by what is within and near me – my dreams, my imagination, and my father and my grandmother, for instance.
Ryan: Did you have formal musical training or are you self-taught?
Melanchloé: Yes, I studied music in college, though I did not grow up with strict conservatory background. I just didn’t have the discipline to focus so hard on violin as a child, I wanted to run outside for miles and shoot hoops in the streets with my cousins. I’ve never had singing lessons before, just violin. I suppose I’ve resisted because I like to sing instinctually, though it is definitely on my mind to try because there is much room for growth, and I always support growth.
Ryan: Are you working on any new music?
Melanchloé: I have SO much music written! I just can’t record yet, or all at once. I plan to go back into the studio by early April, and I am very excited to get more music out there. The recordings will be less produced and less complicated, yet still powerful (I hope!). I am playing around LA with my group of violin, accordion, percussion, and guitar/jarana/bass right now, so the sound will be of our ensemble. More gypsy and more Farsi.
Ryan: Do you have any shows coming up?
Melanchloé: Of course you are welcome to come to the live shows if you want to hear more than just a few recordings! That is how I PREFER it anyway! It is more fun, and then you can see the other musicians I play with. We’re playing a late night set at Bar Lubitsch on March 3rd, airing a live performance and interview on Andisheh TV (Persian station) for International Women’s Day on March 8th, the Hotel Café on March 19th, and much more! If you stay in touch with the Facebook page, I will try to keep up with all the info. I am not so good with the marketing and social media, but I will try my best!
Ryan: If you could have an actress play you in a movie about your life who would it be and why?
Melanchloé: Bette Davis. She needs no explanation.
Ryan: What is one album you love that you think everyone should listen to?
Melanchloé: I don’t think everyone needs to listen to what I like, but if we have similar feeling for music, then I would suggest this album by Vladimir Godar and my Iva Bittova – teacher, guide, and friend to me. “Godar: Mater”– It is pure and beautiful and I’ve listened to it many times in many quiet places.
Ryan: Anything you’d like to say to your fans?
Melanchloé: I am so glad to have you! I am glad that I can compose what I feel and enjoy and that you feel it too. I want to affect people in some way, in an honest way. I thank you for being fans this early in my career, it is just the beginning! I can’t wait to continue this journey, I am working hard and doing everything in my power to make things happen! I appreciate you being beside me and watching me grow.