She was billed on the Canadian Music Week official schedule as “Melissa Bellm”, but this was changed soon after taking the Friday night opening stage at the Rivoli. “I’m changing my name to Melissa Bel,” she announced, carefully spelling out her new MySpace address. “Bellm was just too confusing.”
No matter which name she chooses to be remembered by, this young performer’s voice is certainly memorable. Amongst her listed influences, Aretha Franklin, Kelly Clarkson, and Mariah Carey provide much of the strong, independent inspiration that you can hear present in Melissa’s own style and emotional vocalization. Her music is varied and flows easily from pop, to rock, to tunes with a more R&B feel. Personally, I enjoyed her more bluesy songs more, setting her apart from the usual Indie/Pop/Rock offered by other performers and bands.
Melissa and her 5-piece band hail from the oh-so-far-away Burlington, Ontario. Although this show was the first gig the band has ever played together, you never would have guessed it; their sound is cohesive and well-showcases the vocal talents of Ms. Bel. Definitely worth hearing again!
Connect with Melissa on MySpace.