“You never know until you ask and you try” is something Melissa B.’s father taught her.
Aside from growing up all over the world in places like South Carolina to Japan, listening to Donna Summer, and coining her own music style as “electric pop,” Melissa B. — recently, incorrectly referred to as Melissa P. in this MTV VMA video — is a technology geek (formally, a network engineer) that effortlessly intertwines music. She started singing at the age of 5. She’s classically trained and she emerges from a musical family. Dawnn Lewis is her aunt, perhaps best known for her roles on sitcoms such as A Different World. She’s no joke! Subsequently, she is involved with a digital app called Stereotypes that nurtures the void of the MTV VJ and allows you to control your own video rotations like a DJ would do with his or her music. It is available on iTunes, download it here. Aptly, it is “the MTV for the YouTube generation”. She touches on her single “Addicted” and what it is that she finds most challenging as an innovator in the music industry.
Meeting B. Howard, her main producer, through the Internet was one of the best things that happened to her. She actually met him on the Internet a year ago. Isn’t the Internet amazing? Melissa credits the Internet for and calls it “a blessing” and she “loves the way she’s been interacting with everybody”. She stumbled upon B. Howard via a tweet. She looked his stuff up and soon after, she viewed his producer credits. He asked to hear some of her music and she sent it to him.
“We’ve been coming up with some great great stuff,” she shared and credited to their chemistry. “We just started working.”
Have you always been aligned in electropop music or is it more of a current thing?
You know what’s so funny? No, I have not. A lot of people put me in between like a Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Aaliyah and Janet. If they all had a baby, I would be that one.
What an orgy.
I am that R&B soulful singer. I grew up listening to Donna Summer. My parents brought me up to listen to everything. Everyone’s doing this electronic music stuff and all of a sudden, it’s like, it was this voice that was missing.
[highlight_blue]Listen To Melissa B.’s Addicted via this awesome link.[/highlight_blue]
Why do you call it “Addicted”? What, specifically, are you addicted to?
I’m addicted to computers. I am addicted to love. I’m addicted to technology. If you look at the cover, it’s actually a circuit board heart. So I am slowly giving hints — even from the beginning — so people can actually identify and know what it is about me.
What do you find most challenging with what it is that you do? Especially, since you are network engineer by day and a musician by night. Do you have any challenges? How do you juggle the two?
That’s a good question. I think the one challenge is juggling both. I’ve been doing it very well but the thing is keeping up with the times. With anything in technology, it definitely changes. It’s like having a doctor’s degree. With the human body, there’s always something new happening. It’s the same with technology. You’re always going to have to keep up with so much at a rapid pace. It used to be where technology was changing every couple of years. Now, it is actually changing every couple of months. Like, even three. It’s even less than that! So these are the things I find challenging. Keeping up with technology and being up to par, or way ahead than anybody else. Thinking way ahead. That’s what I do.
GC: So, that means you’re mind is always working.
On Why She Pursued Music
I’m getting a little sentimental now because when I think of Whitney Houston, ever since I was a little girl, I never knew another singer that I could truly identify with, and with her, she resonated to me. That’s what made me want to become a singer. She was the one person like — My parents were like, you know, ‘What do we do with her voice?’ It’s like trying to find yourself. It’s like how Johnny Gill when he was young. He had that voice. The label didn’t know what to do with it and then, he got into his own. I think this is where I am right now. I’m in my lane and I am getting into my own. Slowly but surely, people are starting to hear about it.
GC: Absolutely, because I think that your voice, and it being paired with the electronic sound — it’s — You can’t deny it. No one sounds like that over electronic music, so congratulations. It’s great!
I was curious, and I was curious as to what it was about. It’s a unique name, so it intrigued me. I’m the type of person that, when someone gives me a certain name, like if something doesn’t corner my attention, I’m not going to go to it. So when I heard the name, I was like, ‘That’s different!’ I was like, ‘What’s that about?’
GC: It is a dichotomy. I kind of took the Pythagorean theorem approach. Grunge being undiscovered, you know, like you. For instance, you’re a great talent but everyone doesn’t know about you yet. So, you’re undiscovered to the masses. You know, the right people know who you are. It’s about your journey and where you want to go and where you want to take and possibly be someone as big as a Whitney Houston or a Mariah Carey or whoever — That’s getting to the Cake. Also, the grunge being the beginnings being hard and the struggles, not having all of the information, assets or components to your goal. Then, when you get to your goal — That’s the Cake. It’s moreso about the human journey or the artistic journey. That’s what it is.
Okay. I love it!
GC: Thank you.
I love it.
GC: And it loves you!
GC: And you just followed me [on Twitter]. It just told me.
We continue to laugh.
I don’t play. I don’t around. I’m on top. I know what to do.
Currently, she’s working on Electric Love EP, in which she’s been working with different producers. We’ll share the release date with you as soon as we get the information. “What You Started” is her upcoming release. You can watch a snippet of its official video here. For more information on Melissa B., just click here and for more about her non-profit focusing on women in technology in New York City, please click here. It’s awesome!
For more Melissa B., just click here.