FYIG Chats With Singer/Songwriter Melissa Bel

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Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Hello! I’m a Canadian artist and songwriter and I’ve been living in the UK since
2016 after meeting the love of my life on a random, fateful night in Las Vegas. I
love The Beatles, animals, yoga, wine, sunny days, and soul music.

How would you describe your musical style?

A little bit of lots of things! I’ve released everything from blues to rock to pop,
and my latest single “ Can’t Go Home ” charted on the iTunes UK Country chart.
I write most of my songs on acoustic guitar or piano and often they could go in
lots of different directions stylistically…it usually depends on what I’m inspired
by at the time. This latest batch of songs I’m working on is heavily inspired by
my love of classic music and has a soulful Americana feel.

What can you tell us about your latest single, “Can’t Go Home”?

“Can’t Go Home” is the first in a group of tracks I’ve been working on that have
this Americana, new-vintage sound that I’m really excited about. Lyrically the song is about dreaming of running away, starting again and leaving all your
problems behind – even though you know deep down that they’ll eventually
catch up with you.

You wrote this song in 2013. What led to you finally releasing it to the world?

Around Christmas time last year, I was going through old notebooks at my
mom’s house near Toronto and came across some old lyrics, including the
ones for “Can’t Go Home.” I didn’t have a worktape or demo of it but the
melody pretty much came straight back to me and the whole idea of the song
still really resonated. When I wrote the song it was inspired by my parents
splitting up a few years earlier, and I think I wasn’t quite ready to share it with
the world even in 2013, but now I finally am.

You co-wrote Avril Lavinge’s single “Tell Me It’s Over” from her latest album. How did that opportunity come about and how has it helped your career?

I was writing in LA a few years ago and I kinda ended up in the right place at
the right time. I’m so thrilled I got to be a part of that project and the fact that it
was my first cut is still mind-blowing! It’s helped me open a lot of doors I
wouldn’t have been able to otherwise, and also was a huge confidence boost in
my abilities at a time when I really needed it. It’s also taught me that one
success doesn’t mean everything else will be a walk in the park all of a sudden.

Do you approach songwriting any differently when you’re writing for other artists?

I love writing for other artists/projects because it’s an opportunity to write
something a bit different than I normally would for myself. It’s amazing to have
an outlet for lyrics, melodies, and production styles that I love but don’t
necessarily fit the vibe of my artist project. I’d say I feel a bit more determined
to finish a song quickly, usually because you’re on a tighter timeline to submit
it, but at the end of the day, I just want to write the best songs possible.

How has your move to the UK aided your music career?

I felt like I was spinning my wheels a bit career-wise in the months before I
moved to the UK, so relocating gave me a fresh start and some renewed
motivation. Since I barely knew anyone in the industry here I pushed myself a
lot harder than I ever had to make new connections and establish myself as an
artist and songwriter.

What’s next for your career?

I’ve just signed some of my publishing catalogue to Palm Bay Music which is
exciting, and I’m looking forward to new opportunities to get my music on TV
and film. And I’ll be releasing another single at the end of summer so look out
for it!

What advice would you have for aspiring singers/songwriters?

Learn about the music industry and become as self-sufficient as possible.
Learn about how royalties work, how publishing works, how to write grant
applications, how to record your own demos, etc, etc! There isn’t an easy or
clear route to success in this business and there are a lot of people out there
who want it just as bad as you do so you have to hustle. Keep writing,
practicing, meeting new people and getting better at your craft. There will be
plenty of setbacks but the wins are so worth it, so keep pushing.

What’s your life like outside of music?

My partner – who is the reason I moved to England in the first place – and I got
engaged over lockdown so we’re in the early stages of planning a wedding!
We’re also about to buy our first home and move, so life is slightly hectic – but
very exciting. I’ve been doing a lot of at-home workouts and a bit of running,
and I’ve been helping care for a flock of sheep (a far cry from my former
downtown-Toronto life!). So I’ve been bottle-feeding a little lamb every day for
the last 2 months which is absolutely as amazing and cute as it sounds!
Normally we would spend a lot more time with our friends and family and I
would’ve been back to Canada at least once this year, so I’m really looking
forward to being able to all get together again.

Let the readers know where to find you online.

Yes! Here are the links…
Spotify
Facebook
Instagram / Twitter