Giselle Melendres

Interview with the Editor of Mad Sounds Mag


What prompted you to start Mad Sounds Magazine?

I started Mad Sounds when I was around sixteen years old. I was a junior in high school at the time and I wanted an outlet for my creative interests of photography, writing,
and music. I had wanted a singular platform where I could combine all of my interests into one (something like a website, blog, or magazine), and I decided that a magazine would be cool way to develop my interests in these fields. Over time, however, the magazine itself became a new form of creativity for me, and I became more interested in the art of making a publication rather than featuring solely my own work. I wanted to shift the focus of the magazine to highlight other artists and creatives and create content that would inspire others to be creative. Ever since then Mad Sounds has been a platform for creatives, intended to inspire others to live “young and daring”.

How do you continue to find new and interesting stories for the magazine?

As someone whose job centers around both media and social media, I’m constantly inspired by the creative people I see online. Many of the people we’ve featured have been creatives I’ve found and followed on my own social media accounts, or creatives whose art I’ve admired on other publications and media outlets. I curate each issue of Mad Sounds with people who inspire me (and whose work will inspire our readers as well), and I also like to find people who will feel relatable, raw, and “real” to our viewers. I think one of the most important aspects of finding an interesting ‘story’ is to showcase passion and authenticity--and that’s something that resonates with a young audience.


What has been a setback that has been the most difficult to overcome?

I think the largest setback I’ve had for Mad Sounds has always been a personal one. I always dealt with the idea of “imposter syndrome”, where I would question whether or not my publication was “good enough” or marketable enough, especially in comparison to other magazines. It was definitely an internal struggle, but I started focusing solely on my own magazine and making sure that the content we produced was full of the passion and creativity that I knew we could achieve. Eventually, I started becoming happier and more secure in my own work, and stopped questioning whether or not people would like my magazine. I think if you produce work solely out of passion, you’re bound to achieve your own success in one way or another.

How do you react in the face of a setback? What are your first steps?

In the face of a setback I tend to take a step back and reevaluate the situation. I know that everything takes time, just like it took time for me to realize what I wanted to do with Mad Sounds and how I could improve the magazine, and I like to give myself time to process my thoughts before taking any action. Don’t let feelings of discouragement overwhelm you, and it’s important to remember that you can set your mind to anything you want to do if you believe it’s possible.


What motivated you and drives your passion for Mad Sounds?

I’ve always been extremely passionate about publishing Mad Sounds so that tends to be a driving factor in staying motivated. I love working on the magazine, curating editorials, planning content for future issues, dreaming up ideas for photoshoots, and I think it’s my favorite form of creativity because there are so many different mediums that go into the production of one issue.

My readers are also a big source of motivation for me, and I am so appreciative for anyone who has supported or contributed to Mad Sounds. It’s an amazing feeling
to know that you’ve influenced someone’s life, even in the smallest way, and when readers email or message me to tell me that they enjoy my magazine or that it’s inspired them to pursue their passions, it makes every challenge worth it.

What are your goals for Mad Sounds in the next few years? What are you hoping to accomplish?

I don’t plan on making Mad Sounds my full-time job or running it as an established business in the next few years, but I do intend to continue producing issues for as long as it makes my readers and me happy. My primary goals are to continue working with creative, inspiring people, and work on stepping up our content, pushing the envelope, and making sure everyone gets an opportunity to have their creative voice heard.

Find more of Giselle on her Instagram and at Mad Sounds.

This story was first published in Issue 7: Setbacks