Her mom is a singer, her dad plays multiple instruments. So being a diverse musician has come naturally for Melinda Suarez, who started playing the drums at age 10, the guitar at 16, and now also sings and writes songs, among her other musical talents.
"It's just something I have to do," she said. "I use [ music ] to deal with my own issues. I solve my own problems when writing music. It just feels good; it makes me happy."
That dates back to middle school, when she heard the cheers after a performance, "and I was hooked," she said.
Now a senior at Columbia College, she will graduate in the fall.
Suarez performed last summer during an open mic event in conjunction with the annual Michigan Womyn's Musical Festival. She will sing April 28 at the Halfway to Mich Fest event, held at the Holiday Club in Uptown. "I'm very excited for that. I haven't seen a lot of those women in a while," Suarez said.
Suarez is scheduled to perform April 12 at Goose Island in Wrigleyville, starting at 8 p.m.
"My big goal is, to continue to develop [ my ] Chicago fan base, and then hopefully tour nationally," said Suarez, who hopes to record a new album by the end of the summer.