Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter Melaena Cadiz’s personal style is just as distinctive as her voice. For the past two months she toured around the country promoting her new album Deep Below Heaven—which made us wonder how in the world she manages to keep her personal style intact while living out of a suitcase. Planning a trip in the near future? Take note.
Are you a last-minute packer or a plan-ahead packer?
I’m trying to be better at planning ahead in all areas of my life, but usually I end up packing a few hours before I have to leave, and inevitably I forget my toothbrush.
What won’t you travel without?
Part of what’s awesome about being on the road is really being out there—kind of loose in the world and unattached to most of your everyday possessions. That said, I am never without my notebook full of lyrics. Or my guitar. Or my new turquoise Wolverine boots.
What are some tips for surviving those long rides?
Healthy snacks, loads of water and having a goal-oriented thing to spend your time on. Right now, I’m learning Spanish.
What’s your favorite thing about being on tour?
Discovering little towns you would never otherwise find yourself in and meeting the people there. On this last tour we wound up staying in Dubuque, Iowa, on our way to a Daytrotter session in Rock Island. We found ourselves staying at the Days Inn, where every Friday an amazing country cover band plays and a slew of bikers show up from all over the midwest.
What’s your favorite thing to wear on stage?
Right now, it’s my new pale-pink sequin dress and, of course, the Leather Tour Vest. It instantly makes anything you wear—even pink sequins—tougher.
Melaena is wearing a Madewell Leather Tour Vest and her own dress.