Big Boys Don’t Cry – Single
Stay Gone – Single
Sobered Up – Single
Don’t Forget to Breathe
Melissa Bel has been captivating audiences and listeners her whole life with her soulful voice and powerful songwriting. Since 2010, the Toronto-bred, UK-based artist has released 4 albums, headlined a solo tour of Germany, toured as a backup singer for Francesco Yates, appeared as a finalist on “La Voix” (Canada’s “The Voice”), and opened for Tegan and Sara, Matthew Good, Joey Landreth and Maverick Sabre. Since the moving to the UK in 2016, the singer/songwriter has performed at London landmarks The Shard, The Gherkin and Tower Bridge.
As she explains, “My mom would say I started singing before I started talking. I remember being in daycare as a two year-old and singing for everybody. I have a vivid memory from age six of looking in the mirror and saying ‘I’m going to be a singer.’ I just knew that’s what I wanted to do.”
To realize this enduring aspiration, Melissa picked up the guitar at age 14, attended singing lessons from age 12, and took vocal music classes and sang in the choir at school, all of which has provided her with invaluable experience for her calling. Melissa has enjoyed a positive critical and popular reception to her full-length album, Brave (2010) and three mini-albums, Distance (2011), Don’t Forget to Breathe (2013) and In the Light (2016), which have chronicled both her personal loves and losses, as well as the gripping evolution of her musical style.
The Canadian musician now finds herself living and working in the United Kingdom, having made the bold decision to pull up her roots and relocate in order to live with her partner in Devon, England. What began as a trip to Las Vegas for a friend’s wedding in 2015 led to a passionate whirlwind relationship that changed her life.
Her latest album, ‘In The Light’, which was released on 4th November 2016 and reached #49 on the iTunes Canada Top 200 Pop chart and #188 on the UK equivalent, tells the story of this journey. The record has received critical acclaim from various media outlets in Canada and the UK, including BBC Introducing, CP24 Toronto, The Vinyl District and Vents Magazine, and has lead to opening slots for Joey Landreth of the Bros. Landreth, and the UK’s Maverick Sabre. One of the album’s singles, “Big Boys Don’t Cry”, was recently added to the Adult Pop stream on CBC Music, and the title track, “In the Light”, is in rotation on UK coffee giant Caffe Nero’s in-store playlist, featuring in hundreds of stores worldwide.
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. Singles ‘Stay Gone’, ‘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.
Produced by Justin Gray (Joss Stone, John Legend), ‘In The Light’ witnesses Melissa truly finding her voice, and promises her most vulnerable and electrifying album yet.
Written by: Gillian Shields