My Middle School Horror Story: Talent Show Gone Wrong

When I was in 8th grade, I decided to audition for my school's talent show. I had been singing in my grandparents' church for years already but had never tried in school. A few of my friends suggested I try out because I frequently did impersonations of their favorite singers. I. was. terrified. I did not want to do this. Really, I didn't even like performing. The only reason I timidly[...]


New Single: June

New single, June, by The Gatsbys and Mella

June is almost over, but I have a new single about this month that was just released! So, I figured I should put it up before it's July and then this won't make any sense. You can still listen to the song anytime, but you wouldn't release a Christmas/holiday song in January, you know? I actually started writing June in October of last year. Most of your favorite holiday songs are re[...]


My Mission Statement – Why I Do What I Do

Session Singer Mella Barnes

This is not going to be a formal mission statement like top corporations have. I will make one someday, but for right now I want to just spill my mind and let you know why I do this. Why am I a session singer and songwriter? Why should anyone work with me instead of just doing it themselves? Well my friends, here's all I can tell you: This is not a professional photo shoot picture,[...]


Nominated for APRA Country Music Awards

Country music award nomination

I am so excited to share this news with you! Last year, I worked with New Zealand-based country artist Ginny Peters for her album. I was hired to arrange and perform background harmonies on her songs. One of these songs, "Reasons to Stay," has been nominated for an APRA Award for Best Country Music Song this year! How I arrange harmonies: First, I listen to the song several time[...]


New Music Video for My Song, Café

An acoustic jazz video of coffee shop love

It's been a minute since I've made a music video, and I've had that creative itch for some time now! We at Brain Stamp are working on a new jazz album (or EP, depending on how many tracks we end up writing). I loved working on our track Café from our last album and wanted to make a video for it to tie it into the new songs. There were several setbacks here: 1). I don't have money to b[...]


Revisions for Clients: Getting the Results You Want from Freelance Creatives

How to get great results from your hired freelance creative

In my last post, I talked about how creatives can handle revisions from tricky clients. If you're someone who hired a creative and you're having issues, you might be thinking, "hey that's not fair! I'm easy to work with and they keep screwing up!" So, I wanted to write a post geared to you specifically, to help you get the best revisions as a client.   When Your Project Isn't[...]


The Creative Freelancer’s Guide to Revisions

How to make revisions for clients without losing your mind

As a session singer, I work with different clients on a daily basis. If all goes well, we both fully understand each other and the project's goal. The tracks are submitted, there are no revisions, and everyone is happy. However, every once in a while that is not the case. Every creative freelancer goes through this. It doesn't matter if you're a singer, painter, graphic designer, or bas[...]


Why Pinterest is Great for Musicians

Pinterest is highly popular among the DIY, crafting and organizing scene. As a DIY hobbyist, I've been using Pinterest for a while now. A friend got me into it. We were looking for a pumpkin seed recipe and she showed me that a quick search on Pinterest leads to TONS of recipes, ideas and more. While I've found it very useful for crafts and hobbies, I haven't seen a ton of musicians on it.[...]