Mela Murder is a creative force. The New York City native has burned the stage worldwide on tour with Diplo and Major Lazer, performed on Jimmy Fallon with Grimes, and has starred in the films “Mother Nature” for Nowness, “GANG" for DAZED and “Move” for Sony.
Mela collaborated with Chromat and Pussykrew for our SS17 Hyperwave Film and performed at our NYFW runway show.
But one of Mela’s biggest creative projects so far is her daughter Amethyst, who was born this February.
To celebrate Mother's Day, we are so excited to debut the film for a new song wrote, choreographed, performed and directed by #ChromatBABE Mela Murder: MOTHER.
Are there any women in your life that give you strength? What about them inspires you?
My mother. She is one of the strongest humans I know. She was really young when she had my sisters and I. Imagine, being a 21-year-old Puerto Rican woman, poor in NYC with 3 kids and no help! My mother made it her number one priority to provide my sisters and I with a loving childhood. I never knew then how much she actually struggled, she concealed her pain from us. She didn’t start opening up about her experiences as a mother until I had my daughter.
I respect her on a much deeper level now that I am a mother.
All that she endured, all of the sacrifices she made so that we would never go without. I can’t imagine going through half of what she went through while trying to raise 3 little girls. She didn’t let anything negative stop her from having a better life. She worked hard and remained strong through it all. She is my biggest motivation to never give up on myself, she taught me that I could overcome anything and accomplish everything as long as I believe in myself and WORK HARD. I hope I can be as strong for Amethyst as my mom was for my sisters and I. She is so important to me and I thank god for her everyday! I LOVE YOU MA!
How has your life changed since you gave birth to Amethyst and became a mother?
DRAMATICALLY. I went from being a person completely free no ties to anything or anyone, I got up and left as I pleased, created wherever however I decided too. I could be careless and irresponsible, I could be wild and chaotic I could disappear and reappear. I was the ruler of my own life and now Amethyst runs my life! I HAVE to be mindful of everything I say and do now. I have to be a positive role model and influence for Amethyst. I have to be the best possible version of myself at all times even when I feel terrible. I mean that is motherhood, to be perfectly honest getting pregnant and having Amethyst is exactly what I needed to happen in my life so that I can finally be this version of Mela.
Whatever I can do to better myself, I will go above and beyond because my daughter deserves to have a healthy positive loving mother to raise her to be the goddess she was born to be.
What was one thing about motherhood that was a surprise to you, that no one mentioned beforehand or you hadn't read about or expected?
To be perfectly honest I never read a single maternity book. I want to learn motherhood from an untainted point of view and have my own experience of it and not approach a situation with Amethyst with a preconceived notion like “this is how it should be dealt with” you know? Also, what I may consider surprising a next woman would think of is a piece of cake or no big deal. Motherhood is truly a unique experience to the individual.
But to answer the question I never expected to be so anxious about every single detail of caring for my daughter. I never thought I’d be so worried about everything and also so afraid of being away from her. I am terrified of leaving her and I can’t explain why. Then I go through the common crazy thoughts I deal with on the daily. Is she breathing? Did she eat enough? What was that weird noise she just made? She’s been sleeping for hours, is that normal?? Am I doing okay?
lol Things like that. But I’m taking each moment as they come. I have really tight support system and they are constantly reminding me to RELAX. They say ‘Mela she is fine and your doing great’! Chill lol. I’m learning… and I just want to do my best!
What was the birthing process like? Were you nervous?
Giving birth is the most surreal experience in life. It’s hours upon hours of excruciating pain and the final moments of sharing your body after months of the craziest physical change combined with extreme emotional roller coasting, your final moments living life just for yourself and there is all this pain that is keeping you fixated on the fact of “HOLY SHIT! THIS IS REALLY HAPPENING!” It’s bizarre and incredible what happens in those final moments of labor.
During my labor I felt like I was on some sort of psychedelic trip. It was as if time slowed down. I remember looking over at my mom, she had the most loving comforting reassuring look on her face. It calmed my entire body and I was able to feel Amethyst push herself out of me. When she was finally here and rested on my chest all of the pain, all of my exhaustion, all of those hours of fear and doubt felt as if it never happened. It was SO WEIRD! But so beautiful and worth every second.
You're a professional dancer, so your body is your tool. How does it feel to be in your body now as a mother, and how has your experience with your body changed? Has your movement and dancing evolved post-birth?
The transition from my pregnant body to post pregnant body was a little hard for me to deal with. I felt so beautiful pregnant and became very comfortable living, creating, dancing in my pregnant skin. After I gave birth to my baby I felt a physical sense of emptiness. Which made me feel confused because I was sad and also relieved when I looked at my body.
But being a new mom gives no time for self reflection. I had to be 100 percent on point for Amethyst at all times. It caught up to me though and I became depressed because I realized whoa, it’s been two months and I haven’t danced, I haven’t stretched, I haven’t nurtured my body nor my art. What is happening? But here is the beautiful lesson of motherhood, it teaches us to be patient not only with our children but with ourselves and to understand that we as humans need time. Time to heal, time to reflect and revive, time to just be. Which is so important for art but Life, specifically. Once I get fully back into the groove of creating I know I will come through with something I didn’t possess before having Amethyst.
You wrote the music, choreographed and performed the movement and directed the film for your new song MOTHER. What inspired you to write this song? Who did you collaborate with to bring your vision to life?
I was in a band with my best friend Robot right after high school but we stopped creating music together once I started touring with Major Lazer. After my life slowed down a bit from touring I was able to start up with music again, which makes me excited. Music and dance go hand in hand for me. Writing lyrics, creating choreography it is similar in terms of the creation process. Rhythm, Energy, Vibrations.
Realizing how AMAZING a woman’s body is inspired me to write the song MOTHER.
My pregnancy was amazing. Amethyst was so good to me, I felt gorgeous. I was proud of my body I was proud to be carrying life. I was very, very PROUD! In the lyrics I’m saying:
i am human
i am woman !
i am life
i am life
i am creator
i am life
i am maker
i am life..
You can hear it in the lyrics and in my voice how proud I am! I collaborated with my friend F Virtue who created the beat, The sound of the water trickling in the beginning of the instrumental inspired my vision for the opening of the visual. When I first heard it I envisioned myself fresh out of a womb. New to the world. My movement represents the physical exploration of a fresh body just born, like when a infant realizes it’s fingers for the first time. They move in a gentle motion as they figure out what they are capable of doing. I wanted to embody the unfamiliarity yet beauty of a newborn realizing and feeling its existence. As the beat grows, the energy in the sound becomes more powerful and feminine. As does my dancing. I knew at that point in sound it'd be the visual transition from newborn to WOMBYN. A woman carrying life, beautiful, confident, aware and proud of the wonders of her body. I decided to repeat the beginning of the track as an ending to visual to represent the ever growing continuous cycle of life, at that point I become the sacred feminine. A goddess that has the universe within her, moving in the name of love and light.
What was your experience like directing the film and collaborating with Chromat and Poosh?
Directing is like the greatest form of story telling. I loved every second of it, from writing the treatment to being in the space figuring out camera angles, all of it really made me feel so excited. I am proud of myself for actually getting it done. Creating it was effortless and I know when things come together in that way it means it’s meant to be. Poosh is like an angel that came from nowhere honestly like WHOA! He is such a genuine friend and an amazing talent- his photographs are gorgeous. You can really feel his love for life through his work. He also has access to some of the most amazing spaces in New York City. When he came through with the space we filmed in, I knew it was meant to be, it was perfect! I’m incredibly grateful for all of his help!
I know that life is a cosmic manifestation of what you put out into the universe, just based on my relationship with Chromat, because I have been obsessed with the brand since I saw their SS15 Formula 15 runway show. It fucking blew my mind! From the looks to the models I was like THIS! this is everything! This is what art fashion and WOMEN need! A brand that celebrates every type of women. I knew from that moment I was going to work with them! I never thought I’d go on to build a friendship with them! A legit cosmic blessing! I was honored to wear Chromat for the Mother visual.
Being 8 months pregnant and vogueing, I knew I wanted to wear a fit that was comfortable yet striking and obviously something I can dance in. The looks were PERFECT! I truly felt like a goddess.
You experienced a huge surge of creative output during your pregnancy. What was that experience like?
Incredible. I can’t say enough how beautiful I felt carrying my daughter and just experiencing being a pregnant woman creating and moving the way I did. I have the upmost respect for pregnant women. Before getting pregnant, I never really understood the true beauty of a woman creating life inside of her body. I would see a pregnant woman and think aww cute belly, nothing deeper… but after going through the changing process of what pregnancy did to my body, mind and spirit, obviously I learned it is so much more then just a cute belly.
Channeling all of what I was going through while pregnant into my art made my overall experience so much sweeter. Initially I was nervous about coming out with the news of my pregnancy, I was afraid it would affect my work for the worse or that people would just be turned off by me. But the opposite happened, I was getting hit ups constantly to collaborate and create with different artists; people showed me a lot of love. I went on to create some amazing pieces while pregnant.
I’ll show Amethyst when she grows up. She was loved and embraced by so many people before she was even born, its important to me that she knows and feels that. Hopefully all of what I created will reassure her of how much I love her.
What's your favorite Chromat piece and why?
THE BUCKLE BODY HARNESS I wore for the HYPERAWAVE Runway show… OMG If I could wear that every single day I WOULD!
I love how it completely transformed the swimsuit I wore underneath it. It took the look almost to a super hero level! I felt like I can kick butt in it but still look soft and feminine while doing so.
What projects/collaborations are you interested in exploring in the future?
I want to keep exploring into the world of directing. I want to meet more women directors and learn as much as I can about directing. My good friend Georgia Hudson who directed the Nowness Mother Nature: Hey Baby visual I did while 6 months pregnant. She’s amazing she really inspires me. She’s a young single mother like myself who is so passionate about EVERYTHING her child her art. While I’m still learning how to fit a shower into my days of motherhood, she has seemingly conquered her balance between being a mother, creative and working director. WOMEN ARE SO POWERFUL! Collaborating with her would be SICK!
And lastly, what are you doing for Mother's Day? It will be your first holiday as a Mother!
AH! I can’t believe I am actually celebrating my first Mothers Day! This is major! I am spending it with my beautiful daughter, my beautiful mother, my beautiful grandmother and my beautiful sisters, one of whom is the mother of the most beautiful little girl in the world: my niece Kylie! We are doing a traditional Mothers Day brunch because we LOVE to eat! I’m sure Amethyst will be passed around the table several times as well lol! Just simple quality time well spent with each other, celebrating life as a mommy.
Film directed by Mela Murder.
Shot and edited by YoPoosh.
Music by F Virtue.
Makeup by Norlyn Portal.
See more cute pix of Amethyst here.