Tuesday, 27 October 2015

A Day Recording

I am planning to record my next new song, “Swept Away” with my co-writer Shane Ryall.  

Behind the strutting, pouting entertainer who has been blessed with a rare five octave range - Melissa is just a shy Aussie girl from Melbourne who still gets pre-recording jitters.  

“I get a bit jittery before recording a new song only because I have to absolutely sound my best because recording is forever, you can chop and change things in the studio but the voice has to sound good and rested,” says Melissa.

As much as fans would like to think, singers just don’t get out of bed one morning and sing their way into the Top 20s still dressed in their pyjamas. Sounds amazing, doesn’t it?  But the lifestyle of a singer isn’t always a colourful, anything goes, “sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll” kinda thing. Vocal recording is an art unto itself and every artist approaches it differently.  

So how does our Aussie pop diva, Melissa James do it? She begins by getting a good night rest the day before the session.

“I get up reasonably early,” Melissa said. “I avoid doing things like checking emails and taking phone calls. I’d rather chill. I have my morning coffee and a bit of cereal.”

It takes Melissa hours of mental and physical relaxation before her voice is ready to begin a warm-up. If her recording is late afternoon, she will usually start at midday and warm up for an hour like an athlete to set the tone and warmth of her vocals. It’s only then that she is ready to take on a recording session.  

“I make sure that I wear something super comfortable. Maybe some jeans, Ugg boots and a casual track top.” Melissa shyly smiles.

Okay, not quite the pyjamas that fans imagined, but just as comfortable! It’s all about getting in the zone, keeping your vocals super fit and relaxed from beginning to end.  No wonder it takes time for Melissa to unwind and bring the mind and body back to normal after a session.

“It’s hard work, you to do a warm up for your vocal session and a warm down when you’re finished by humming for 15 mins,” Melissa says.  “After my vocal session it feels like I have done a work out.” 

Friday, 23 October 2015

How it all started . . .

It all started at a night club with me singing Whitney Houston’s, “The Greatest Love of All.” 

Born into a family of singers and performers, Melissa is the daughter of a piano accordion and tenor.  Her uncle fronted a Melbourne band Tropicana, which he also played saxophone.  It’s not surprising that her family inspired her to become the global pop artist she is today. 

“My mother played the piano accordion and my father had probably the best tenor voice of all time, untrained but had a beautiful tone, a friend nicknamed him the ‘4th Tenor’…My inspiration came from my family.”  ~ Melissa James

There was never any doubt about what Melissa wanted to do in life.  From having fun performing ABBA songs (Melissa blushes when she tells us) in front of her classmates to auditioning in talent shows.  But her real start in music began on one Saturday night at a Melbourne club. Melissa plucked up the courage to sing with a duo playing in the bar. 

“I chose to sing 'The Greatest Love of All' and who should be on keyboards Chong Lim,” says Melissa. “He said 'Melissa that was great… you are going to be a star!”

And of course, Chong Lim (Malaysian-born Australian keyboardist, producer, and session musician) was absolutely right. 

Since then Melissa released “Beautiful Day”, receiving national exposure through TV and radio air-play.  She became the highest Australian Dance Artist on National Dance Aria Chart with her release of “Baby Come Back”, which was produced by Ross Inglis. They also co-wrote songs like “Sweet Possession” and “Show Me”.

Later Melissa performed and co-wrote the rap on “Love You Right” by Euphoria, which went to number #1. She also rapped on the Lou Richards release of the popular song, “Up There Cazaly”.

Melissa’s voice and song writing continues to soar in the release of her latest single and music video, “Like This Like That.” Its fresh groovy beat is infectious and will get you up dancing with deep underlying lyrics to make it more than just another pop song.  

You can listen to Melissa on YouTube, iTunes, Vevo, Vimeo Amazon, Rhapsody, Emusic and Napster. 

CLICK to listen to ‘Like This Like That