Melanie Hammet has been part of the Atlanta creative scene since the late ‘80s when she first landed in Little Five Points. She’s performed her music as a solo artist, with Kenny Leon as composer on original work at Alliance Theatre, and has written and produced more than a dozen recordings including her two latest releases, Crooked Spoke and Edifice Complex. DeKalb County residents also know her as president of the DeKalb Municipal Association and as a Pine Lake city council member.

Tell us about your latest project?

I just released a CD called Edifice Complex—and other urban plans. The songs on the album explore elements of a subject I’m passionate about: land-use, land-abuse, and the future of our relationship with “the ground we walk upon,” as one of the songs says. I wrote it as a way to pinpoint and personalize subjects that otherwise seem too abstract: planning and zoning. It’s appropriate that we use the word “code” to describe these activities.

Who are your musical influences?

The Beatles always; Eliza Gilkyson lately; Bruce Springsteen intermittently; Walt Disney (soundtracks) frequently.

Has living and working in Atlanta influenced your style or creativity?

I moved here from a music scene where you couldn’t get a good gig if you didn’t perform mostly cover tunes. In Atlanta it was exactly the opposite; if you didn’t do original music you couldn’t get a good gig. It was a huge turning point. In the last ten years, I’ve been irrevocably influenced by living in Pine Lake, where the creative spark feels like an inferno – so many creative people of every description.

What’s on your iPod?

I just downloaded Betty Lavette and Janelle Monae to hear what they’ve created. I keep The Beatles and Springsteen in regular rotation as a constant study. Marina Day is a brand-new songwriter that I love. Chely Wright is smart and does good old-fashioned songwriting. All the Brit-pop retro stuff is great: Amy Winehouse, Duffy, Sharleen Spiteri.

More Music!


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Atlanta Gay Men’s Chorus

Red Eye Grave Records

Lucas Mire

Melanie Hammet


Ken j. Martin

David Coucheron

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.

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