Melissa is a singer/songwriter from Blyth, Northumberland, England. She is now 19 and has had a passion for music since she was very young, her first live singing performance was at the age of 7, in a school play. This was just the beginning for her as a few years down the line she went on to play the lead role of Sandy in a performance of Grease. I went to Gateshead to meet up with Melissa and her family and spent a very nice hour chatting to her about her music. This is what she had to say: "Singing has always been a main part of my life. One of my main influences is the singer/songwriter Colbie Cailliat and after seeing her live in 2008 I was inspired to teach myself guitar and start writing my own songs straight away. Soon after this I entered a talent show which I won. Music is my passion and my main influences come from a variety of artists – from Beyonce to Bon Iver. I mostly listen to alternative, singer/songwriter and acoustic music and this can be heard through my original songs which are influenced by particular artists from this genre. I particularly enjoy the music of Kina Grannis, Jason Reeves, Bon Iver, Jason Mraz, Brandi Carlile and Eva Cassidy. I am a serious fan of Beyonce, Lady Gaga and Jessie J – all these artists have inspired me in very different ways. My guitar is a real part of me – I’m also keen to play keyboard and dabbling with the ukele to create new sounds for my songs".
The first song that Melissa wrote was “Lookin’ For You”, and she is now in the process of recording a full EP. She still finds time to perform regularly at acoustic nights in her local area as well as many other live musical events.
Yellow (Coldplay) *NEW* cover by Melissa Davison
Interview with Melissa
By Garry Urwin
Garry: What about your family life?
Melissa: I live at home with my mum, dad, and West Highland White Terrier, Bonnie. My older sister, Jennifer, studies languages at Newcastle University. They are always telling me to be quiet when I’m constantly singing around the house! They are very supportive of me, and I love to sing at family parties. I try out all my new songs on my family and friends – there’s always a song in my head!
Garry: Tell us a little about your education, Melissa
Melissa: After doing my 'A' levels, I left St Benet Biscop’s High School and went on to
Edinburgh Napier university, where I'm training to become an adult nurse. I love student life in Edinburgh, the culture, and the history, and there's always loads of stuff going on.
Garry: Tell us more about your part in Grease. How old were you and where was this?
Melissa: I was only young, about 13-14, and it was in a school production. However, this was a turning point for me as it was one of the first times I had sang in front of a large audience. When I was younger, I took part in quite a few productions, as I was part of my local theatre group.
Garry: You are studying to become a nurse. How will this affect your music?
Melissa: Nursing is a demanding career. However I will always have time for my music!Listening to music, writing songs, and singing helps me in many different ways. Music is my main passion, and after a long day, I always look forward to coming home and writing songs and playing the guitar. It helps me relax and release my thoughts and emotions through writing
songs and playing my favourite songs.
Garry: If it ever came to the point of having to choose between the two as a career, what would you do?
Melissa: To have a career in music is my dream. I love to share my songs with other people! Even though I enjoy being a student nurse, I would love to pursue my music at a professional level. It has been my dream since I was young!
Garry: How do you find your venues to perform at?
Melissa: I normally perform at different acoustic nights in my local area, and I have been asked to sing at several parties and events. Doing more live performances is something that I would love to do something more of on a regular basis, and I’m looking for any opportunity to do so!
Garry: Do you get nervous before performing?
Melissa: I do get a little nervous before performing, but I think this is normal and a good thing! After a few seconds into my song, I feel more confident and really enjoy it! I try not to get really nervous before performing, but I think it’s important to have a few nerves!
Garry: Have you ever had a bad experience?
Melissa: I can’t say I have really, fingers crossed!
Garry: How do you see yourself in 10 years time?
Melissa: I see myself in ten years in a job that I enjoy, whether it is in music or as a nurse. I see myself still playing guitar, singing, and writing songs, and still sharing them with people. I really want to travel, and hope to see a lot of the world! I find it hard to imagine what I want to be doing in 10 years time because I try and take every day as it comes. Mainly, I just want to be happy and enjoy life!
Garry: What are your ambitions?
Melissa: I would love to continue with my music on a more professional level. I have always dreamed of selling albums and sharing my music. I love performing live at different events
and acoustic nights in my local area. I am looking for any opportunity! I simply have a passion for music, and I just want to share my songs with everyone!
Garry: Have you any fears or phobias?
Melissa: I don’t really have an extreme fear or phobia, I don’t like creepy crawlies too much but if I have to deal with them I can!
Garry: What would you class as a good evening out
Melissa: I am always out with my friends, and this is something that I enjoy very much. We are very close and have been friends since we were four, so we all grew up together. I think my ideal evening out would be spending time with them going to the cinema or out for a meal, and then
maybe going to Newcastle to have a dance!
Garry: What is your favourite food?
Melissa: I think my favourite food is probably Italian - because of my Italian family connections!
Garry: Where would you like to travel to if you could go anywhere?
Melissa: Travelling is something that I really want to do a lot of. I would love to visit California and experience the lifestyle over there, I’ve never been to America before. A lot of the musicians I like are from that area! I would love to visit New York and Hawaii too, but I
would say California would be the place I would go to first! I love visiting different places and seeing the different way of life abroad.
Garry: Is there any genre of music that you don’t like?
Melissa: I like to listen to a range of music. However, I wouldn’t really choose to listen to heavy metal or dance music!
Garry: Have you a favourite song of all time?
Melissa: It’s so hard to pick one song! I love a lot of different songs which are totally different. ‘Halo’ by Beyonce has to be one of my favourite songs, and when I saw her perform that live it was amazing! I also love the song ‘Holocene’ by Bon Iver and ‘Hiding my Heart’ by Brandi Carlile. I find it too difficult to pick just one because I love too many!
Garry: Is there a song that you think could sum you and your life up?
Melissa: I don’t think there is just one song that I could pick, because I have a lot of different songs that I could choose from that remind me of different memories, people in my life, and
also relate to me. I love how a song can remind me of a certain situation or person, and I think this is one great thing about music.
Garry: Have you any other interests apart from music?
Melissa: Apart from music, I also enjoy painting, photography, going to the beach with my dog, going out with my friends, travelling, and meeting new people!