SingerUniverse Magazine is headed by A&R executive Dale Kawashima. SingerUniverse Magazine presents a wide range of articles of interest to singers, artists, managers, agents, record producers, plus the music community and fans in general.
This competition not only spotlights the winning singer, but also showcases the Top Five new vocalist recordings/demos that we hear each month. Many A&R label execs, producers, managers and booking agents check out the winning songs each month.
Melinda Named December “Best Vocalist Of The Month” With “Don’t Be Sweet”
By Dale Kawashima
Melinda, a promising blues/rock singer & writer based in Los Angeles, has won the December SingerUniverse “Best Vocalist Of The Month” Competition, for her performance of her song, “Don’t Be Sweet” (co-written with Kristian H.). This song will be included on her upcoming debut album, which she will release independently next summer (2010).
“Don’t Be Sweet” is a traditional blues/rock ballad, with music tracks consisting of electric guitar, organ, bass and drums. The highlight of this song is definitely Melinda’s soulful, passionate vocal performance. Melinda’s vocals start off soft and understated, and then gradually builds in power and emotion. This recording was adeptly produced by Melinda and Kristian H., who also plays excellent guitar on this cut.
Melinda was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA, where she learned to play guitar at age 13. She was influenced by listening to such favorite artists as Aerosmith, Bonnie Raitt and the Rolling Stones. During high school, she began to play solo gigs, and she regularly jammed onstage with other blues musicians in Pittsburgh.
Following high school, Melinda received a scholarship from the Berklee College of Music in Boston, where she subsequently graduated with a Professional Music degree concentrating on vocals. It was during college that she joined an all-girls rock band called Mass Ave., which was produced by L.A.-based hit writer/producer Clif Magness (Avril Lavigne, Kelly Clarkson). “We showcased for many labels and came close to signing with Epic Records,” said Grey.
However, she decided to focus on her solo career as a blues/rock artist. “I moved to Los Angeles in 2007, and I’ve been writing & recording at the House Of Blues studio,” she said. “My album is halfway completed – I’ve mainly been collaborating with Kristian H. Kristian is an awesome guitarist. Also, last year I went to Minneapolis to work with Kevin Bowe (who has produced Etta James, Jonny Lang and Lynyrd Skynyrd). We wrote a song together called ‘The Hard Way’.”
In addition to finishing her album, Melinda has formed a band and she is playing gigs in Los Angeles. “We played the Knitting Factory, and we’re planning a showcase at the House Of Blues club,” she said. “I would love to set up a tour. Also, I’m looking for an independent label to partner with, and I’m also looking for a manager.”