Wednesday 14th February 2017
Creating electrifying alternative pop tunes with empowering messages, MACEDO, comprised of twin sisters Michelle and Melissa, have taken a lifetime of creative energy and talent to produce their emotionally compelling, richly textured music, and they have just released their emotionally driven album “Ghost Town”. With their grandmother being a trained classical pianist, and father pianist and guitarist, the girls were introduced to music from an early age, and were determined to become artists. Michelle and Melissa have also stepped in to the world of acting, having recently appeared in the Netflix show Girlboss, as well as the leads in the James Franco film titled “Blood Heist”.
Photo Credit: Bobby Quillard
You come from quite a musical background with your grandmother being trained as a classical pianist, and your father also teaching you to play the piano and introducing you to lots of famous records. Would it be fair to say this is what has encouraged you both to become musicians?
Yes, definitely. Growing up we were both always singing and writing songs together. Being singers and musicians was just something that happened naturally. Our earliest musical memory is sitting at the piano with our dad. It was this amazing antique piano that my mom inherited. We still write on that piano sometimes! One thing about having a career in the arts is that usually you have to truly want to do it with all of your heart and soul, so music and acting is what we truly wanted to do. It was never a question.
What was the decision behind deciding to make music as a career? It started as a hobby for you, but what made you realize you wanted to make something more of it?
We always knew that music was something we wanted to pursue. We realized it was such a powerful form of self-expression. It felt like a way to transform life experiences into something beautiful, like alchemy. It can truly help people. To express ideas and feelings through lyrics and music is incredibly powerful.
Could you tell me about your writing process and how you work together to create the final track, and how you know when a song is ready?
Usually Michelle will start with lyrics and we’ll work together to create a melody. Sometimes Melissa will come to Michelle with a hook or a line and Michelle will expand from there. Every song is different. Next we focus on how to tell the most powerful story combining the lyrics with the melody. After many edits and revisions we decide to move on. It’s so difficult to know when the song is actually done, but when we feel like we’ve told the story in the most effective way, we let it go.
Your album “Ghost Town” has just been released. How are you finding the response to your music so far?
It has been amazing. We have such incredible and supportive fans. I think the music and the journey really speaks to people, especially when they have been following the journey of making the album. People are really connecting to the honesty of the songwriting which is such a compliment. We’re so grateful for them.
The album was written during a tough time for Michelle. How does it feel listening back knowing the songs represent a certain period in your life?
It is certainly powerful to listen back on such a painful period of time. It has shown me how much I have grown and it makes me grateful for what that darkness taught me. I think of the amazing support system I had and how important it is to seek help when you are experiencing depression and anxiety. It is so important to listen to and respect your mind and body. I’m happy that I was able to delve into my mind in such an raw, unfiltered way to write these songs. I’m grateful to be on the other side of that time, difficult times always pass. As women, we are so resilient, these songs are a reminder of that.
How did you find the process of putting your album together, and did you face any hurdles that you had to overcome?
The biggest challenge has been staying true to our vision. Everyone else has an opinion about what we should be or do. Sometimes the best thing you can do is to really figure out what it is that you want and then stick with your vision. This album is about putting out what we want and representing our true selves.
Were there tracks any that didn’t make the final cut?
Yes! Definitely a few recorded tracks that we didn’t put in the final cut. We were ultimately trying to tell a story from start to finish with this album and some songs just distracted from that concept. We wanted to make sure we were putting our best foot forward and really putting on songs that we loved.
You have both recently appeared as Stacie and Stephanie in the Netflix show Girlboss. How did the opportunity come about, and how was the experience for you?
We are both actors so we auditioned for the show and when I (Melissa) read the script I just knew we were perfect for it. We play a fictional band on the show, Girlboss, which was a lot of fun! Acting is something that we’ve both just always known we wanted to do. We are both trained actors and have been pursuing it along with music our entire lives. We are equally actors and musicians. It’s another way to express ourselves and to really share our art with the world. We feel passionately about empowering young women and it was serendipitous that Girlboss is such an empowering and powerful show for women, it aligns perfectly with what we want to put out into the world!
Would you consider doing more acting?
Yes! We are so excited for what’s to come. We just wrapped lead roles in an incredible feature film in New York called “Sara”. It was an amazing experience and the our fellow cast members (Marc Menchaca, Drew Fonteiro, Tyler Dash White) and crew were incredible. That is all we can say so far but stay tuned on our Instagram and we will be announcing more soon!
What do you get up to outside of music and acting, and are there any hobbies in particular that you both enjoy?
We don’t have much time for anything but music and acting, but we feel very strongly about women’s issues. We have always supported RAINN (Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network) and Melissa used to be a Rape Crisis Counselor for them. We interviewed hundreds of women and men and co-created a theatrical show called “Dirty Talk” with our theatre company (World Kin Ensemble) about the spectrum of violence against women, ranging from catcalling to rape. We acted in and toured college campuses around the country with that show. We also performed it as part of USC’s Visions and Voices. We feel strongly about any organization that supports and empowers women. It’s exactly what we try to create in our art. We think as artists it’s important to help empower people who feel marginalized and silenced.