#BecomeMajor is a call to all music industry creatives to stand together and connect on a deeper level by building relationships and networks that can help each other grow and inspire. We’re committed to standing with artists to help get them get to the next level by providing them as many tools and education as possible to help them become bigger than anything a major record label could ever provide.
We continue our interview series with Melissa B.
Who is Melissa B.?
Melissa B. is an American recording artist and songwriter, but I identify myself quite nicely as being ‘from everywhere.’ Both of my parents were in the Air Force, which allowed me to live in different corners of the world, notably in Japan, Germany, Hawaii and Virginia. I have an eclectic mix of pop and R&B musical style, which reflects my worldly experience offered to me by my family.
You have a new project by the name of Mixed Native Collective. Can you elaborate on that?
Mixed Native Collective (Nikko Sherard, Melissa B., Drew Vision, Seven Güzel and West Native) is a group of creative and visionary solo recording artists bound together by music, creativity, spirituality and love. Mixed Native Collective is equal parts pop, soul, hip hop and R&B. Sometimes we record and perform as a group, other times we simply support each other’s solo efforts, but at all times we represent a dynamic new model for a new kind of modern musical family.
Who has influenced you and why?
I was influenced by many artists like Blondie, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Earth Wind & Fire, Ray Parker Jr. and James Brown and Donna Summers. Computer-wise it has been Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, the girl-geek side of me.
All of them have given me a piece of energy that I was able to combine in my own style. Michael Jackson said it perfectly: “In order to become great you must first study the greats.” To me there are many more that I studied and that have helped me be who I am as Melissa B.
What makes you different from other artists doing the same music?
What makes me driven and different is utilizing technology that is putting me in a lane of my own. I always sets myself apart by not only having the vocal chops of a great musician but also by intertwining technology in my everyday use as an artist, like my Google Glass and being able to be one of the first artists to perform live on stage with the Glass and letting my fans experience it with me on stage. I also express my passion for the computer science world, but I vocally break down the barriers between music and technology. I am doing this to inspire young women to be interested in computer science again. Geeky is the new sexy!
How does the movement of #BecomeMajor influence you?
Being an independent artist, I love the whole movement of being the underdog in this industry. We are the hidden gems that people are finally discovering. Having a family of other independent artists with the same goal of pursuing the love of music is huge. We are the unspoken heroes in this industry but collective as a group we are more powerful in numbers.
What is your overall goal for your music career?
My overall goal in my music career ever since I was five years old was to just let people hear my vibration ( voice) I want to heal the world with music. I truly beleive that with love, determination, and dreams you can make anything happen. I am finding my other talents like songwriting and producing is another trait I have. I want to be an inspiration to women that you can do anything but you got put in the hard work and trust me it pays off
Do you believe that the independent music scene can overcome major artists?
Yes I do. It’s all about coming together and formulating something that can show we are banded together in numbers. It’s a whole support system that we have in this industry. A lot of people just don’t know where to go or look for a group of like-minded people that can help them. I think that’s why my crew for Mixed Native Collective banded together in that way. Because we realized that together we are greater than being alone in helping each other with music and anything else.
What about being an independent artist do you like?
I am able to freely express myself of who I am. I have no deadlines on making my albums. I can create when I want and I can give as much as I want to my fans. I am free to be as an artist should be. I am not the norm. I don’t like to be boxed in and I will never be.
If you had a wish for the music scene, and in particular how independents revolve around it, what would that be?
My wish would be that every independent artist finally sign up to become Grammy voting members in order to partake in helping their peers have access to music that they enjoy and respect and are able to vote for them. If every independent artist would realize they can become members we could dominate the Grammys. I am just a little bird giving knowledge to my independent family. I am a Grammy member now and I can tell you, it’s amazing!
What is upcoming for 2015?
Currently I am working on my Computer Love album that I am looking to release soon in the next few months. I am working on my next music video called “It’s Real” which was produced by B. Howard and I have Damion Daniel doing a remix to the song as well. I have been working with Spencer Battiest and producing for his album of Hard Rock Records. I am also co-executive producer for my bandmates album Seven Guzel’s EP which will be coming out soon as well. I am also working on other side projects with technology you will see very soon.
Finally, where can folks find out more information on you?
You can find me on my website at http://www/melissab.com