Claire Skelcey Interviews Mella Faye of The Beautiful Machine

By Jennifer Bell Company, Oct 31 2014 12:12PM

C.S. When did you first start singing and why?

M.F. My earliest memory of singing is as a young child, sat between my dad and my uncle on a roadtrip to the Isle Of Wight. It was one of those brilliant child songs that has very little melody and goes on for a very long time. It had something to do with princesses and knights. Later as a teenager i remember badgering my friends to form a band with me and I HAD TO BE the lead singer. Why? Because I'm a show off. I stole all the lyrics from a Paul Simon song, put them to my own tune and pretended I was a teenage genius.

C.S. What makes singing a-cappella with The Beautiful Machine so special?

M.F. Because it's so important for all of us that we deliver these songs as well as we can. We are carrying the responsibility for the performance of each song equally and we each invest so much of ourselves. When we get it right we all feel it - it's electric.

C.S. Tell us a bit about why you like to work with Jen Bell

M.F. Because she is a very special friend. Because she cares so passionately about the work. Because she is so disciplined in her approach to the voice and to this very naked way of performing. Not literally naked.

C.S. What would you like to find when you sing with organisations such as DAC Beachcroft?

M.F. Singing at DAC Beachcroft was so much fun. We were happy just playing with the flip up plug sockets in the conference room. That doesn't really answer the question does it?

C.S. Which Bread & Butter song do you relate to the most and why?

M.F. The song that I sing the lead on - Tough Crowd is the one I most relate to. Maybe that's because I'm a boss. Maybe it's because I have sung it so many times now that I feel the characters voice most strongly. Heroes is the one that moves me the most. It's so beautiful and vulnerable.

C.S. What kind of music do you listen to today?

M.F. I listen to FIP, the french radio station. The programming is so diverse from Jazz, Experimental, Opera, Rock, and inbetween songs you get a sexy french voice purring at you.

C.S. What embarrassing songs might I find on your MP3 player?

M.F. Ernie (Fastest Milkman in the West) by Benny Hill.

C.S. If you weren't singing, what would you be doing?

M.F. Making theatre. Making dinner. Raising babies. Sitting at the computer.

C.S. What genre of music can't you stand to listen to?

M.F. James Blunt is the only one that forces me into a state of axe wielding outrage.

C.S. Cake or death?

M.F. Death is inevitable. For now I'll eat cake.

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