Marlene Mendoza is an American rock and metal singer with two singles Not Afraid and A Battle Between Two Lesser Evils released last year.
Marlene has a BA in Music and toured with several bands as a guitarist. She also writes her own songs. She tackles the genres, not typically dominated by female Latina performers: alternative rock, metal, metalcore.
Join her Artist club on Show4me
Have you ever been a metal/metalcore musician or did you start off in a different genre?
I’ve always been a metal/metalcore musician. But I do play different styles of music as well.
What are they?
The different styles of music I have played are pop, classical, and jazz.
What would you like to change in the music industry to help more aspiring musicians thrive?
There’s a lot of things I would like to change in the music industry to help more aspiring musicians to thrive, but one of them is to be more open and supportive to these aspiring musicians while educating them so they can be the best versions of themselves.
What would you say is the biggest problem in the music industry right now?
The biggest problem the music industry has right now is there’s not enough diversity and royalty payouts through streaming services.
That’s true. There are not many female Latina singers on the metal, rock, metalcore scene. Why do you think that is and what difficulties (if any) did you personally experience on your professional journey in the industry?
I think the reason there is not a lot of female Latina singers in the metal, rock, metalcore scene because we have to work 50 times harder than the average guy and we face many obstacles that are very hard to overcome.
Personally, I always get told I am not good enough just because of my gender or I’m only part of something musically for the looks and not my skills. It gets very discouraging and makes you want to give up.
What advice would you give to your younger self to help advance as a musician faster?
Trust in yourself and follow your gut. Don’t let anyone tell you you’re not good enough when you are more than capable of doing it.
How do you think the Internet and technology are changing the way musicians run their businesses? Are they becoming more independent from labels, booking agents and managers or are old structures just being replaced by new, more technological ones?
The Internet makes it easier to run their businesses by themselves without label or management support. But also if you need a team, it’s great to find people that suit your needs and have the same vision as you with the click of a button.
How important is fan feedback for you? How often do you communicate with your fans and what means do you use most?
Fan feedback is super important to me. I communicate with my fans all the time as best as I can either through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Youtube.
What information does fan feedback provide to you as an artist? How do you use it?
Fan feedback provides me with information on what the fans like and do not like. It can help me tweak things, which is helpful in my development as an artist.
For example, if fans like the music videos that I make, then I know that this is something I should continue to do in the future. But if fans do not like the music videos, I’ll find different alternatives and experiment.
Without fan feedback, an artist cannot grow.
What do you think is important when nurturing your fanbase?
I think it’s important to be 100% honest with your fanbase and being yourself. Showing them who you really are and inviting them in is very nurturing because they will support it as long as your honest.
What’s the role of live shows in building a fanbase for emerging musicians?
It’s a very important role. Live shows create a more intense emotion then streaming the music. Its a physical and emotional connection that you cannot get anywhere else. This is what closes the gap between the artist and the fanbase and creates a strong bond between the two.
You are crowdfunding your next New York show in Show4me. Tell us what the audience can expect from the event? How is it special and what tracks do you plan to play?
The audience can expect a great time of music and drinks. It’s going to be a really fun show. This show is special because it’ll be my first show of the New Year and I’ll be playing my own songs live, as well as new music that has not been released yet!
What challenges do you expect the new generation of musicians (Gen Z) will experience and what creative ways do you think will emerge to overcome them?
I think the challenges the new generation of musicians will experience is keeping things fresh and exciting at an alarmingly fast rate.