December 12, 2018

facebook twitter linkedin tumblr google pinterest

How Melanie Charles, Singer and Flutist, Spends Her Sundays

How Melanie Charles, Singer and Flutist, Spends Her Sundays
Spread the love

The musician Melanie Jean-Baptiste Charles, also known as D’Flower, recently performed alongside SZA on “Saturday Night Live” and recorded with Gorillaz. Ms. Charles, 30, who released a debut EP called “The Girl With the Green Shoes” earlier this year, usually can be found in clubs across the city three or four nights a week, playing her unclassifiable blend of soul, jazz and experimental sounds with or without her trademark flute. She lives above her mother, Maryse Jean-Baptiste, and with their Collie mix, Izzy, and cat, Ella, in the same house in Bushwick, Brooklyn, where she grew up.

BACKYARD BUDDHIST I sleep in on Sundays because usually I had a gig the night before. I get up around noon. The first thing I do is check my phone. Then I throw on some cutoff sweats and go into the backyard and chant for like 10 or 15 minutes. I’m a Buddhist, so it’s Buddhist chanting. I’m lucky that we have a beautiful private backyard. Mostly I chant about willing things in life, about how everything you might want, you are the person who can create it. I try to be consistent about it. I’ve had days where I’ve had to run right out the door to a gig and I don’t get the chance, but Sundays are usually a slower pace, so I can take my time. Every time I chant, I am telling you, something amazing happens.

OVER EASY LIKE SUNDAY MORNING I’m a weird person in that my day isn’t complete unless I have eggs. I might do them over easy, or I might make a veggie egg sandwich with tempeh bacon. I always make strong coffee in a percolator to go with them.

LO-FI While I’m doing that, I turn on my cassette player. I have the player and a bucket of cassette tapes in my kitchen. That’s my preferred form of listening. I love the lo-fi sound. Lately I’ve been listening a lot to my friends B. Cool-Aid. They made this project call BRWN. Mostly the cassettes are new music. There’s a whole cassette scene happening. But I also have Prince, Daryl Hall & John Oates and Tony! Toni! Toné! in my bucket.

DOG RUN If I have time I’ll go for a run in my neighborhood with Izzy. She only makes it like 15 minutes because she gets dehydrated, but I usually go three, four or five miles.

SOUND CHECK Then I’ll probably go to the studio. I’m working on merging jazz with some more classical textures right now, so I’ve been meeting with my friend Natasha, a wonderful harpist who goes by the name ELSZ. If we can’t get time in the studio, usually GSI Studios in Midtown Manhattan, which has a good vibe, we’ll go to her house in East New York.

SOOTHING SOUNDS Something else Natasha and I have been doing in the afternoon on Sundays is this thing called “Flute and Flow.” We invite different yoga instructors to lead a yoga class in Prospect Park, and I play the flute or Natasha does the music. It’s a nice blend of music and moving. A lot of people show up.

RED MEAT OR VEGAN We’ll grab some food after that. I’ll either go to my favorite $30 burger place, Emily in downtown Brooklyn, or Bunna Cafe, which is this vegan Ethiopian place in Williamsburg. The $30 burger sounds ridiculous, but it’s hands-down the best burger you ever had in your life.

FRINGE ELEMENTS If I end up in Williamsburg, I’m right near my favorite thrift shop, L Train Vintage. I’m constantly searching for things with fringe that goes along my arms. Since I play the flute I think it’s a really cool look to have that fringe hanging.

MUSIC WITH FRIENDS Sunday nights I sometimes have a gig. If I don’t, I’ll go hear my D.J. friend P.U.D.G.E if he’s He’s been at this new black-owned club I like called Basquiat’s Bottle. If he’s not, someone’s somewhere, and me and my friends will go, or I’ll go with my boyfriend. I won’t mention his name because it’s a new relationship and I don’t want to add any discomfort.

BEDTIME IS FLEXIBLE If I don’t have a gig I’ll try to get in bed by midnight. But if I do, I might end up having a jam session after. That happened a few weeks ago, and I didn’t go to bed until 7 a.m. It’s not the easiest thing, but it’s part of being a good band leader, and that’s what I want.

Sunday Routine readers can follow Melanie Charles on Instagram @melaniecharlesisdflower.

A version of this article appears in print on , on Page MB2 of the New York edition with the headline: Chants, Cassettes and Perhaps a $30 Burger. Order Reprints | Today’s Paper | Subscribe

Source link

More from my site

About The Author

Related posts

Leave a Reply