The time is present day. The place, Cantaloupia.
The residents are a curious population of kooky, fruit-like characters currently at a loss over the abduction of their leader, Miss Cantaloupe. It’s up to her daughter and heir, Princess Paradigm, with the band of her woodland creatures, to save the Queen and restore tranquility over the kingdom!
If you thought that sounded like the start of a fantastic epic, you’d only be about a third right. Miss Cantaloupe is more accurately (and maybe more easily) defined as a five piece band.
Christina Klaproth (lead vocals, guitar) laces the playful harmonies of Steph Pez and Lavina D’anjolell within the dreamy jam sequences of Ken Vincent (bass) and Sean Youngman (drums) for a sound that lives up to its lyrical expectations and interdimensional backstory. Klaproth, founder and frontwoman for Miss Cantaloupe, describes their sound simply as “fairy music because [she’s] a fairy and [tries] to embody that sound.”
So which came first: the fairy music or the fairytale?
Klaproth (with a smile that showed she loved to tell this story) explained that it was Youngman who accidentally came up with Miss Cantaloupe while brainstorming potential names. After a lot of immediate regret—and even a full length essay on why they should NOT be Miss Cantaloupe—the name was inked. With the infant idea brought before the group, they began mapping out Cantaloupe Kingdom.
“From the beginning I wrote all my own songs, but now that we’ve been together I bring more of an idea that we all have our own say in shaping. I like the idea that a band is getting all these minds together and letting their voices be heard,” Klaproth said.
Even for as whimsical and fantastic as Cantaloupia has been painted, the band doesn’t overlook the darkness that dwells in the kingdom. Lyrics confront issues like alienation, substance use, paying bills, and *gasp* they even use curse words while doing so.
“I want to parallel our realm so we can see our problems in a reflection. It’s pretty easy to find inspiration by all [the issues] going on in the world right now. We’re just making it into a fun story.”
Moving deeper into this wonderland of a world, Klaproth described the writing process as a “cathartic release,” and wants the project to serve as a type of cathartic chaperone to their listeners.
“People have come up to me and said ‘thank you, I was crying’. I think that’s what it’s all about: you write it, you heal through writing it, then you play it for others and, if it connects with them, they heal through experiencing it. That’s the goal, and it’s nice that it’s working.”
A second goal of Miss Cantaloupe’s by-design-dramatics is to inspire others, “especially younger women.”
“I just want to show them that you can do whatever the f*ck you want and nobody should stop you,” Klaproth said. “Even being young, I was never encouraged to get into this. That’s why I like organizations like Girls Rock Philly because we need to encourage young women in the arts.”
Klaproth leads by example that you can do (or be) whatever you want while simultaneously letting your true self grow. Not only has she manifested herself as a fairy, but she embodies the character of Princess Paradigm. Literally meaning “Princess of the typical”, it’s an acute iron of a name for every other aspect of this musical collective.
“We have a song called Paradigm Shift, and it’s all about leaving the model,” Klaproth explained. “Princess Paradigm embodies the whole idea of the paradigm shift and breaking out of that mold, so her kind of superpower is that she can shift the paradigm.”
And although Princess Paradigm is set out to save Cantaloupia, she has intentions set on Planet Earth’s music stigmas as well.
“Ladies have it a lot harder in Rock and Roll because we’re almost always objectified. We’re allowed to be and feel sexy—we are sexy—but there’s a lot more depth to it than that.”