Interview with a Songwriter: Melissa Czarnik

Melissa Czarnik is a poet and emcee who Deli Magazine named one of New York City's #1 Emerging Artists. Czarnik combines sharp lyrics with smooth delivery over the jazz-infused beats of Eric Joseph Meyer and holy crap you need to go listen to her album Non Merci the second you're done reading this.

1. Do you have a songwriting method, or is it different every time?

I usually start with the beat, and see how it speaks to me and then begin to write.  There is the occasional time in which I will write a poem without any music and then later I will bring in musicians or my producer, Eric Meyer to work on the backing track.

2. Any advice for aspiring songwriters?

Be yourself.  There are so many copy cats out there.  The music that lasts a long time is original and true.  Be unique. 

3. What are your feelings on collaborations?

I like collaborations, but I think you have to proceed with caution,  especially as a woman.  I don’t want to be on some track or in a music video that is exploiting women, for example.  That’s not my style.  So, through trial and error, I have learned that when I collaborate, I need to lay out my boundaries from the get, so that I don’t find myself in a predicament that comprises my integrity.

4. What’s your favorite song? Favorite album? Why?

Favorite song right now is Jhené Aiko’s “Spotless Mind” and my favorite album would have to be the new Hiatus Kaiyote short EP that just came out, called “By Fire.”  

I like Jhené’s song primarily because of the lyrics.  I think it is extremely well-written, and since I am also studying film and Media Studies at The New School, I adore her video for that track, which has also sold me on the song.   

Hiatus Kaiyote is just a badass band, and the lead singer, Nai Palm is super potent with her lyrics and their fusion as a band is just flawless. I hear something new every time.  I like being surprised by music.


5. What’s your latest project/wanna shill anything?

I’m currently working on a new project, working title, “Pass the Cranberries.” that will change. for sure. haha. I hope. Anyways, here is a live video from one of the songs that will be on the album. I am looking for a spring digital drop.

I also put some of the things I am working on on VINE so that is a good place to find more of what sound is to come.  Although, I don't post too much, because I don't want to give much a way just yet!  

Check Melissa out on Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud and at

BRBRCK is a rapper and producer (and blogger, obviously) based in Brooklyn, NY. Check out his musical stylings here.