Deutsch-Kanadische Eindrücke – Interview mit Sängerin Melanie Dekker

Melanie Dekker is a Canadian singer from Vancouver.  She has been touring Germany since 2003.  Melanie is an accomplished artist with a wonderful voice and a big heart.  Don’t miss the chance to see her perform this coming Spring starting in March in Dresden.  

Melanie_Dekker-DS_Cover-med-1

What was your inspiration to start a career as a singer?  Which artists influenced you the most?

I heard a girl sing in high school. She sang the Power of Love by Frankie Goes to Hollywood. It filled me with so much warmth and wonder that I almost cried.

I could sing a little by this time myself, but I wasn’t very good. After this special moment I realized that what I wanted to do most was to make others feel the way she had made me feel. Other than this I was influenced by all the music around me, up until high school it had been mostly my parents music (which included Willy Nelson, CCR, Leon Redbone, the Eagles, Johnny Cash, the Beatles, Emmylou Harris). And I was an 80’s kid and wanted to play guitar, so I loved the Police, Pink Floyd, Bryan Adams, Bob Marley and Cyndi Lauper. I still do! Today, I can listen to John Mayer all day and all night long.

When was the first time you came to Germany and what were your first impressions?

2003 was the first and the 2nd time. To set up the tour I called people, the internet had only just begun… I got some encouragement from a producer in Vancouver who had played in Holland and  had fan mail (letter mail!) from both Austrians and Germans who encouraged me to play in their respective countries. My cousins in Holland also liked the idea. The first time I went over to Germany, I toured with a fabulous fiery Italian/Canadian percussionist (Dino Dinicolo), and together we had the energy to battle the daily unexpected bumps in the road. We had a scary stalker, we took a train that split and took us to Belgium instead of central Holland (trains don’t do that in Canada…in fact they are not used in this way at all), we battled snow storms, we didn’t understand how the pay phones worked (I didn’t know you drop the ‚0‘ when you dial locally, and we could never seem to make any telephone or number work), we slept in a bar whose alarm went off in the middle of the night, we couldn’t understand a word of German and in the more rural areas that was almost comical for us, we got separated intentionally by a manic fan (scary!), and yet through it all, every night there was a warm welcome. From the venue managers always greeted us kindly, with the details in place, energy, enthusiasm and curiosity.  This carries through to the fans in Germany. We played our hearts out, and I knew I’d come back. 

What are your favourite places in Germany?

There really are so many. There are also so many factors that make a place a ‚favourite‘. A ’sold out‘ sign on the front door of a venue is my favourite thing to see, and I never forget those cities or those venues. Other factors include a special meal, a perfect hike, a new friend, a memorable hotel, an easy sound check.

What are your favourite places in Canada?

The quietest places. I love the mountains and the ocean, as that is where I feel free and energized. I played some great shows on Vancouver Island and have friends to visit there, so it is at the top of the list at the moment. I have lived in my favourite places. Whistler and Vancouver.

What do you appreciate the most from your German audiences?

The encore, and the way some fans have become good friends. One fan (Thomas Fuchs) has become a best friend and is in now playing keyboards in my band (he had come to 30 concerts before this came to be!). It’s like magic, when your heart is open.

What are your biggest dreams in regards to your career?

My dream is to play concerts as long as I am alive. My dream is to make more music for more fans. I hope to stay in love with music and performance.

In a previous interview with Ahorn TV you mentioned wanting to improve your knowledge of the German language, how far have you got?

We could do this interview in German. I would understand you. But I don’t think you would understand me yet, and I couldn’t find all of the words…yet.

What are Vancouver’s best places to experience live music (smaller venues)?

If you like to hear original music then:

The Railway Club

The Vancouver East Cultural Center

The Rio Theatre

Falconetti’s

The Media Club

The Portside

Guilt & Company

Blue Frog Studio

The Kay Meek Theatre

Backstage Lounge

The electric owl

The Venue

If you like cover music then:

The Roxy

Cardero’s Restaurant

Guilt & Company

Pacific Rim Fairmont

Doolin’s Irish Pub

The Rusty Gull

Blarney Stone

Fairview Pub

Johnny Fox’s Irish Snug

How do you relax after a tour?

By visiting my Mom Irene and my brother Erik in North Vancouver, snuggling up with my Shitzu (Chippie), and walking along the seawall.

What does “Canadian” mean to you?

Being Kind, grateful, open-minded, diversified, and a nature lover.

If you had to stay in Germany for a longer period of time, which city would you choose?

Probably Ulm as I have the most friends there and I love the rivers and the food there.  Though Berlin or Hamburg would probably be a smarter ‚career‘ move.