After a fateful night in Vegas, Toronto-bred Melissa Bel followed her heart and took the leap to move to the UK with her new found love. Her latest album In The Light, due for release on 4th November 2016 via Belhop Records, tells the story of this journey.
The album charts the journey of how a girl from Canada met the love of her life in Las Vegas whilst attending a friend’s wedding. Little did she know, this meeting would change her life forever and she’d be relocating to the rural coasts of Devon as a result. Each track on the album showcases a different side to Bel, filled with the killer combination of infectious pop beats, powerful soul vocals and heartwarming ballads. Opening track ‘Real Tonight’ is an upbeat, funky rendition of ‘that’ night in Vegas, highlighting Melissa’s incredible ability to write an impressive pop hook akin to the likes of Meghan Trainor and Taylor Swift. Previous single Stay Gone along with tracks ‘Dirty Word’ and ‘Big Boys Don’t Cry’ captivate instantly with their contagious pop-infused melodies. Whereas title track ‘In The Light’ is a vulnerable ballad encapsulating the naked hope and fear of finding profound, visceral love.
Melissa grew up listening to soul, classic rock and draws inspiration from the likes of Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin and Christina Aguilera amongst others. She also regularly receives creative support from producer/songwriter Justin Gray who has worked with artists such as Joss Stone, John Legend and Amy Winehouse and also produced Melissa’s album.
Melissa is certainly not afraid of hard work, having already released three albums over six years and played numerous live shows including Montreal’s Festiblues and supporting Juno Award winning Canadian artist Matthew Good. With In The Light Melissa has truly found her voice, promising her most vulnerable and electrifying album yet.
In The Light is out on Friday 4th November 2016 via Belhop Records.
Meet – Melissa Bel
1) For those unfamiliar with your music, can you can you give us a little of your back history?
Long story short, I’ve been at it since I was about 17 and started making my first album which had a bit of success in Germany and allowed me to do a solo tour of 14 shows there. Since then I’ve released 2 EPs, have been signed and separated from a label, worked as a backup singer for Francesco Yates, thought about giving up on music at least once a year to always realize that it’s physical impossibility for me to do so. In late 2014 I met Justin Gray, who produced “In the Light” and I ended up writing most of the album in LA with him throughout 2015. Back in October I went to Vegas for my friend’s wedding and pretty much fell in love at first sight with an English guy, moved to England less than 4 months later, and am releasing “In the Light” on Nov. 4th!!
2) Who would you list as your musical influence?.
I’d say my very first musical influence as a child was The Beatles. Since then there have been many, from Stevie Wonder to the Spice Girls to Eva Cassidy to Justin Timberlake.
3) What’s the coolest thing that’s happened to you since you started up?
Hmm…A few years ago through a showcase in Toronto I won a trip for 2 to Barbados and got to play an awesome show there. That was cool. Singing backup for Francesco Yates and touring NYC, LA, London and Hamburg was super cool. Getting played on BBC Introducing a couple of weeks ago was very cool! Hard to pick a “coolest”!
4) What are your hopes and dreams as a musician for the next few years.
I’d really like to make an impact with this new record, and have it be my “breakout” year. I’m hoping to be playing the festival circuit this time next year and touring either on my own or as an opener for a bigger artist. And of course I want to hear my songs on the radio every day, and win Best New Artist at the Grammys 😉 Then I want to make another album and do it again, but hopefully even bigger and better. My dream is to spend the next 10 years recording and touring, then eventually have a home studio and write for other artists and never have to get out of my sweat pants.
5) What are some of your favorite albums from the past few years?
James Bay – Chaos and the Calm John Mayer – Born and Raised Janelle Monae – The Electric Lady
6) Do you see any real use for social media, or is it all just a pain in the ass to keep with?
I enjoy it for the most part, except when my life is boring and I have nothing to post – then you really have to get creative because social media is one of those ongoing jobs that just has to get done. I do think it can be a fun and easy way to stay in touch with fans and build your relationship with them.
7) Do you pay attention to reviews or comments from people about your music or do you just turn that noise off?
I pay very close attention to the good ones 😉 Constructive criticism is always welcome, but some you just have to let roll off your shoulders and forget about!
8) If you could tour anywhere in the world, where would you want to go?
9) Can music save the mortal soul or is just a good backbeat to your life?
I think it can absolutely save the mortal soul! It has done for mine many times. Hope my music can do that for some people as well.
10) Any last thoughts for your fans?
Thank you for being fans before most of the world even knows my music exists. XO