Meet Melaena Cadiz
on her morning routine
If I’m lucky I sleep in till 7, when my 11 month old wakes up. We bring her to bed and she usually wrestles with us for another half hour. Coffee, breakfast, listen to KCRW, if I can I do a little yoga. I try not to get on my phone or computer till a few hours later when she naps, then I can get to my emails, etc.
on her song writing process
I start with a phrase, either a guitar riff or maybe a few lyrics that catch me. Then a song forms from there. I love it when a song just comes to me and it isn’t till much later that I understand what it’s about. When I was a teenager my dad brought home a classical guitar after a business trip and taught my brother and me a couple chords. I started writing terrible teenage angst songs. I’m so grateful that was before everything was on the internet.
on moving from New York to la
I love it in LA. I miss my friends, I miss the chaos and the frenetic energy of New York, but I was ready for change. We have a quiet little bungalow up in the hills that’s quiet and a little removed. We’re close enough to the city but can also escape from it. And there’s a great creative energy in Los Angeles right now.
on her favorite records
I found my mom’s records in high school and fell in love with all the old classics, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Springsteen, Leonard Cohen. I love this combination of poetry and music, the simplicity of it and the quality of the story telling. My brother, who’s a great musician and now luthier has been a big influence on me. And my friend David Turbeville, he’s studying neuroscience now. His band The Deep and Holy Sea was amazing. We’ve co-written a bunch of songs and I still run all my lyrics by him.
on her favorite writer
Raymond Carver has always been one of my favorite writers and I just discovered his poems. They’re incredible. Like his stories they’re these poignant little slivers of life, but even more distilled. He catches on a mundane detail and somehow all the beauty and sadness of our human experience comes through.
on her personal style
I love vintage and thrift stores. My favorite is called Equator Antiques in West Stockbridge, MA. And also I fell in love with The End in Yucca Valley when I was living in Joshua Tree last year. I’ve been trying to buy less and things that will last. If I need some basics or jeans I’ll go for Madewell or Aritzia.
on Joanna Newsom
Joanna Newsom, “Have One on Me,” all her records are right up there with my favorites. I love the arrangements and the lyrics. She weaves these incredibly rich complex stories, I can listen to again and again and always find something new.
on her skincare routine
It’s very low maintenance now. I wash my face with a wash cloth and hot water. I moisturize with Alaffia Baobab & Shea Butter Skin Renewal Face Cream and wear some sunblock most days. If I’m going out or playing a show I’ll throw on some concealer and mascara and Kosas Weightless Lip Color Lipstick. I try to buy really natural products whenever possible. I also like Weleda Calendula Body Cream, Acure Organics Argan Oil, and Burts Bees Lip Shimmer.
Melaena's favorite books
You Are a Message: Meditations for the Creative Entrepreneur by Guillaume Wolf, Discovering Korean Cuisine: Recipes from the Best Korean Restaurants in Los Angeles by Allisa Park, UCB Comedy Improvisation Manual by Matt Besser, Ian Walsh, and Matt Walsh, Cat & Gnome by Graham Roumieu, Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
Melaena's favorite records
Have One On Me by Joanna Newsom, Dark Was The Yearling by The Bones of J.R. Jones, From The Forrest Came The Fire by Dana Falconberry And Medicine Bow, Primrose Green by Ryley Walker, Darkness on the Edge of Town by Bruce Springsteen
mealaena's favorite movies
Melaena's favorite places in los angeles
I’m still so new to L.A. But I love Lemon Poppy for a quick brunch in our neighborhood, Glassell Park. It’s super fresh, delicious, and unassuming.
There’s a hike one of my friends took me on right when we got here to the black top in Griffith Park. It’s an old helipad you get to from the entrance on Commonwealth. It's a great view of the city without all the crowds at the observatory.
Photography by Claire Donoghue