Duality and individuality are overriding themes in the music of MACEDO, the surname of twin sisters Michelle and Melissa, who have taken a lifetime of creative energy and talent to produce their emotionally compelling, richly textured music. Creating electrifying Alternative Pop tunes with empowering messages, MACEDO is gearing up for the release of their new, emotionally driven album, “Ghost Town.”
Growing up in Pasadena, CA in a very musical household, family gatherings for MACEDO always consisted of everyone getting together, singing and playing instruments. “Our dad is a pianist and guitarist and exposed us to all the great records and music spanning from all areas of classical to big band jazz to Bossa Nova to today’s music. There was truly no music he didn’t love. He starting teaching us how to play the piano when we were about 3 years old. Almost everyone in our family plays a musical instrument. Our grandmother was a trained classical pianist in LA. Being an artist wasn’t ever considered an option as a career path but more as a hobby. Melissa and I were determined to make it happen. We grew up hitting up the local music scene and starting to play live around L.A. when we were 16.”
As kids, Michelle and Melissa were extremely shy and had a hard time connecting with other kids at school. Looking for an outlet, Michelle began to write poetry and by age ten, the girls started to put the poems to music that they were composing. In 6th grade, MACEDO started writing songs together and found a calling in the ability to tell stories through their lyrics. “We always wanted to turn our hardships and difficult experiences into something beautiful, we found so much power in that. “ The two decided to sing and write together because of their natural chemistry, the way their similar voices blend and the instinctive, and the seamless communication that had always been part of their musical lives.
Finding inspiration through incredible songwriting and the telling of impactful stories, MACEDO cites artists such as Joni Mitchell, Tori Amos, Fiona Apple, Regina Spektor, Claude Debussy, Otis Redding, Billie Holiday and Radiohead as some of their biggest influences. “The first time we heard Tidal by Fiona Apple we were completely blown away. It was like she was singing our lives and feelings. We knew that's what we wanted to do, to be so honest with ourselves that we had no choice but to feel connected.”
While away at school on the East Coast, Michelle honed her songwriting producing a solo LP “La Luna” in her first year and in a subsequent flurry of creativity, wrote the bulk of the 2011 album “Flags & Boxes” mostly during her last semester. Armed with a full album of distinguished songs, their first single to radio was the full band edit of “Caught” produced by Khris Kellow (Christina Aguilera), mixed by Mario Luccy (RealSongs) and mastered by Randy Sharp (Dixie Chicks). With their undeniable talent, MACEDO went on to receive massive radio play both all across the country and internationally.
Their recent EP, “Paper Doll,” was based on the soulful tones of Michelle’s grand piano integrated with their breathtaking vocal harmonies. The sound is heavily based on their live shows, which include cello, violin and organ. “Paper Doll” featured a live and raw sound that one rarely hears in today’s music. Every instrument adds a layer of texture to the soothing vocal blends that Michelle and Melissa provide. Specializing in the harmonies, the duo was able to work as a conducive, creative team.
Songwriting as twins offers an extremely unique connection that often involves one twin getting ideas based on a situation the other twin is in. The girls are opposites in nature and temperament, yet are connected by the inexplicable, emotional bond only shared by twins. Never knowing when inspiration will strike, one sister can start a song and the other can finish it. Their upcoming album “Ghost Town” came from a difficult time Michelle faced when struggling with depression and anxiety.
“I had just ended a very long relationship & was experiencing health issues. I felt so terrified and alone. I cut myself off from the world for about 6 months just writing constantly. That utter isolation (besides from Melissa) brought about Ghost Town. It is a reflection and exploration of the ghosts that we all have and the ways in which we are haunted by our pasts. “ The album shows incredible creative growth since the release of “Paper Doll.”
The album’s theme of a mystical creative utopia reflects the musical chemistry the girls are lucky enough to experience. All twelve songs (written by Michelle & Melissa) were engineered and produced by MJ Denton. Wurlitzer parts were recorded and played by Khris Kellow (Christina Aguilera).
Outside of music, both girls love to act and would love to one-day combine acting with their love of music. They also 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 developed a theatrical show about the spectrum of violence against women, ranging from catcalling to rape. We acted in and toured college campuses all around the country with that show. We also performed it as part of USC’s Visions and Voices. Any organization that supports and empowers women we feel strongly about, it’s exactly what we try to create in our art.”
Ultimately, MACEDO’s goal is simple. Michelle and Melissa hope to connect and empower audiences all over the world with their relatable lyrics and captivating melodies. Set to be a breakout year, MACEDO could not be more excited to share their new sound with the world.