Melania Fedyna is a 21-year old writer born and raised in Toronto, Canada. She is the owner and operator of “The Aristobrat”, a blog with the tagline “Culture + Music + Critique.” An avid fan of fashion and film, Fedyna has made several appearances as an extra in movie and television production, while fashion and styling play a huge role in her day-to-day life. She uses her film and fashion experience, as well as being a devout music fan, to create interesting content for her blog which has been operational since January of 2010.
She is a self-made writer who has been in the writing game since 2007. Her interest in the field began when she started correcting her English teacher’s mistakes in high school. Her first blog entry was a concert review and the process seemed to come naturally to her. “The Aristobrat” features an in-depth look at multiple subjects such as music, film, events, culture and fashion, with Fedyna’s special and unique spin of it all plastered onto her blog space.
Fedyna has met and recently interviewed the likes of “Weird Al” Yankovic, Mickey Avalon and Uh Huh Her and is establishing herself as an up and coming writer whose unbiased approach and telling of the truth, no matter what the subject, gives her audience a real perspective on what she critiques.
Melania recently sat down with me to discuss her impactful writing, as well as some other interesting subjects in her life, such as her participation in roller derby, some writers she idolizes and her run-in with actress/singer Courtney Love.
One thing that attracted me to Fedyna’s blog, aside from the intelligent and insightful writing was the clever blog title. I asked her where she got the idea for “The Aristobrat” and where the clever title came from. “I had been writing for another blog and decided I had all the tools to start up and run my own world – so after months of the idea swimming around my mind, I finally chose a name and posted my first entry.” said the excited journalist. When asked about the title of her blog and its origin she replied, “It took a great deal of back-and-forth with myself and bouncing ideas off of friends. I wanted something moderately clever, as well as semi-original. ‘The Aristobrat’ seemed to fit the mould. I think it’s a bit tongue-in-cheek.”
Similar to most blog spaces, Fedyna runs her site independently. Her experience in using important social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter has certainly helped her develop a regular following and her writing follows the same “grass-roots” premise as her blog creation. She is not formally educated in the field of writing, yet her writing showcases that of a professional. This is proof once again that great ideas, as well as great writing, are not always the product of an education system, but that of life experience. Melania has a lot of this for a 21-year old. That life experience includes the up and coming sport of women’s flat track roller derby.
Known within the sport by her alter ego Lexi Con, Melania plays for the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad of Toronto Roller Derby. After months of vigorous training she played her first bout at the “2 Fast 2 Furious” tournament on July 9th. I asked her about the experience and what her favorite moment has been in her derby career thus far, “I’ve fallen in absolute undiluted love with roller derby. It combines competition and physical challenge, with an aspect of theatrics – a trifecta of everything I need in life. I have always been into sports but never thought to wear fishnets during my soccer or volleyball stints. Getting to play jammer for my first ever derby game made all the training worthwhile, so I’m excited for more of that. Also, knocking down two bitches at once. Roller derby owns my soul.”
When she’s not skating around the flat track roller derby circuit clobbering her sister skaters, Fedyna will encompass herself in a good book. Similar to most writers she appreciates the work of other authors, idolizing some. When asked if she has admiration for certain authors and who her favorites are she responded, “I really enjoy the work of Jacquline Susann – she’s an author from the 70’s who wrote Valley of the Dolls and was considered scandalous in her day. I read Valley of the Dolls when I was about 15 and its glamourized theme intrigued me. She sourced experiences from her own life and weaved them into dramatized plot lines. That is the style I would like to use in someday writing my own book. My preference is memoirs or novels of semi-biographical content, such as Party Monster and White Oleander. I did my eighth grade book report on Girl, Interrupted. I like anything dark and gritty. At the moment, I have multiple books on the go that I have yet to finish, i.e. I’m With the Band: Confessions of a Groupie by Pamela Des Barres and fine literature such as Chelsea Handler’s Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang. The last book I have read and enjoyed was Cherie Currie’s The Runaways memoir Neon Angel. In terms of blogs, I worship the ‘Haus of Lolcats.’”
Athletic, intelligent and an artist, the writing of Fedyna has gotten prominence through word of mouth and via social networking, a powerful tool used to promote ideas through technology. Social networking is such a powerhouse in the world and you never know who may come across your work. Melania knows this very well. She wrote a quick article about Courtney Love based on a Twitter rant and the former front-woman of Hole and widow of the legendary Kurt Cobain responded. I asked Fedyna for a breakdown of the occurrence, “I wrote a quick article about Courtney Love’s random ambition of “mentoring” Ke$ha, based on a Twitter rant of Courtney’s one morning. I thought it was an interesting thing to document, so I published my ramblings and cued the standard social networking outlet promo. Within fifteen minutes, Courtney Love was posting the link on her Twitter and having an internet conversation with me, explaining herself. She liked it. I knew then that I was on the right track. What “track” that would be, I do not know, but Courtney Love approves of me. She did the same for a review I wrote about her band Hole after seeing them live. I enjoyed that recognition and think it was an interesting subject based on how it all came about.”
Perhaps the approval of Love has led Fedyna to some form of web-based prominence at “The Aristobrat” or perhaps the ideas inside this talented writer’s mind has had fans flock her way. Whatever the cause, she is doing something right. That “something right” recently led her to meet “Weird Al” Yankovic, a man who certainly does not need any introduction. I asked Fedyna about meeting the creator of Grammy award-winning song spoofs such as “Eat It”, “Fat” and “Poodle Hat”, “Mr. Weird is a chill dude with enviably-voluminous locks. I want to be his backup dancer forever.”
With a blossoming future in the writing field and a curious need for critiquing interesting subject matter Fedyna is set to take on new projects. What could they possibly be? “In terms of reviews, I’m hoping to attend the upcoming Britney Spears/Nicki Minaj show, as well as Kathy Griffin in September. Perhaps an appearance at the FanExpo. Who I meet or interview along the way, there is no telling, but stay tuned for more of one-on-ones. I’ve taken a magazine-style approach rather than updating my blog on a daily basis, so I’m going to continue to build up the content and eventually expand into… Who’s to know?”
Fedyna closed out the interview with some thanks and shout outs, “I would like to thank anyone who put up with my OCD in choosing a blog name, those I harassed with every idea that came to mind. Thanks for telling me to just do it. And, of course, a shout-out to my first celebrity endorsement, Courtney Love. You go, girl.”
It was a pleasure to sit down with a talent such as Melania and I would like to thank her for her time and professionalism.