29 Dec Melissa B: This Digital Girl ‘Feels Good’ (Urbyn Loft Exclusive)
American born, globally raised, singer-songwriter Melissa B. is clearly on a mission to unleash her own singular twist on the music world. With a penchant for creating pop songs that rise above the norm, she has her sights on more than conquering the music charts. This is a woman on a mission to reach the top across the board.
How has your army brat upbringing influenced your musical style?
Being able to be an Air Force brat has helped me in a lot of ways. One, I am able to see the world on a bigger scale than most…even when it comes to what people are wanting to hear. I think I have been culturally versed to see that music moves through all cultures. Listening to R&B, salsa, and pop music has helped mold my sound altogether growing up. Listening to German music, Hawaiian music… all have shaped me in some way.
You are a self-described geek. What are the benefits of merging technology with talent in today’s digital world?
Combining my musical and technical technology skills has helped me be able to think outside the box with my music, my style, and my communication with fans. I literally think what is for the future for music and how I can make it more interesting for fans to interact with me across the internet. To make people feel what I feel through technology and music. Like augmented reality: I see that Rihanna received like 25 million for that to entwine her fans with technology but I really don’t think they got it right. I feel I can do this in different ways that I can’t speak of at this time but you will see soon.
The music industry is in a state of massive change currently. What do you foresee in the future for artists that enter the business?
The music industry is definitely going through a change, but they are also going back to what worked in the beginning and that’s vinyl. The music lost a vibration when people started creating music digitally. Also artist are starting to realize that selling physical albums and singles still works!
What I see for the music industry is people going back to vinyl big time. Streaming really has not or does not look too cost effective for us and we need to do something better than just complain about it. I know that a lot of songwriters like myself are finding it hard to see money come in at the time till there is something else invented to help people buy music in a better way and artists make their money.
What are the advantages to being an independent artist?
The advantages of being an indie artist are that you set the rules to who you are! You create what you want when you want and don’t have people telling you when it has to get done. I feel that if labels were more into what the artist needs to create, they would be amazed as to what will come out of an artist. We’re not seeing dollar signs. We are just being creative to heal the world with love and light. You’re free to express what you want and the direction you feel you can go. For example, I created a whole R&B mixtape just ‘cause I wanted to let the fans have something and hear that my voice can go different ways. Then, to hear my song ‘Maria’, which is worldwide. No label stopped me from me doing that or telling me I can’t do that. Total Freedom of expression.
With more women in the music industry producing their own music, who has inspired your decisions when it comes to being in control of your own destiny artistically?
My aunt, Dawnn Lewis, has inspired me and Gloria Estefan. My aunt has been in the music and film business for years, and just watching her accomplishments… all that she has done is amazing and makes me know that I can be doing this a long time. With Gloria Estefan just being the strong Latin woman she is has made me realize that I, too, have a drive of music and destiny.
What advice do you have for artists looking to jump into the industry?
Always have something to fall back on in order to pursue your dream. I have a day job as a network engineer and I support myself in order to record and make things happen for me. Go to college or whatever it is that you would like to pursue in life that makes you happy.
Describe your artistic process?
I really don’t have a process; I actually study the greats in how they accomplished an album. Like Quincy Jones and how he and Michael Jackson created the album Off the Wall. What was their process? How can I make my album just as great? That is how I think. If there is nothing coming to me to create, then it’s not time yet, and God has not given me the message in order to manifest it to music. I don’t push it.
What aspects of the music industry is the average person unaware of?
I think a lot of artists are misinformed about becoming a Grammy member. I know I was misinformed and once I was able to figure out how to become a voting member I made it happen. So much information is not shared with other artists and it’s sad ‘cause I try to help anyone I can. I would want someone to tell me so that’s why I give back. You become a member of the Grammys, you can have a voice!
So many singers branch out into the acting business these days. Are you secretly harboring Oscar nominations as well?
(laughs) Well, I started out acting but like anything, it takes time to practice the craft. I can act; I am pretty good, but I am not focused on that as of yet. One day I will.
What future projects are on the horizon for you in 2016?
There are several things I am working on but I like to keep people watching, so just follow me and you will see what surprises I will have in store for you.
With a new mixtape just released that can be heard exclusively on her site, listeners can check it out and decide for themselves:
Is Melissa B. poised to become that gritty-glam pop star?
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