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Melissa Rose

Toronto, Canada

by Mike Hoy
Twice a week I like to get an early morning coffee at the Beyu Cafe in downtown Durham. The Beyu is a staple on Main Street, a place for young "doers" to enjoy great java, delicious food and superb ambience. It's most notably known for the evening time music it draws; some of the best Jazz and R&B musicians south of New York and east of New Orleans.
Melissa Rose
Last month I was reviewing music during my Tuesday morning pilgrimage to the Beyu, when I came across Melissa Rose's submission. I must admit, I am a sucker for circumstance, and in that moment, I was looking out the window of one the best jazz dives in North Carolina (as the sun glazed my beautiful 2001 Honda Accord named "Goldy"), sucking down my second coffee, now with seductive sounds of a smooth yet punchy, neo-soul indie goddess painting a musical background.
All that being said, I could have been anywhere in the world at that moment and fallen in love with Ms. Rose's song Still In Love. I was pumped to have a chance to ask her a couple questions and here's what she had to say:
MH: Let's start from the beginning, when was the first time you KNEW you were going to be a musician?
MR: According to my mom she knew I was going to be a musician when I would sing at the top of my lungs repeating music I heard on the radio that she never taught me even before I could read or write.
But, according to me I knew I would become a musician because it was the only thing I did right. The one thing that clicked with me and I didn't have to try too hard. Music spoke to me on so many levels, I felt like it was my own world and I wanted to keep it for myself. I felt like music was my best friend because it healed me, it protected me and it nurtured me. I am music and music is me.
MH: That's beautiful. You probably share that same sentiment with many of your listeners. What is the first song you remember hearing?
MR: Whitney Houston's I Will Always Love You.
MH: Proudest moment as an artist?
MR: My most proudest moment as an artist was creating my own original work; my first single Still In Love. It's amazing having been able to do that, given all of the challenges.
MH: Most regretful?
MR: There was a period in my life when I locked music out. I was in sooo much pain, hurt and anger. I couldn't create and knowing that brought me sooo much more pain. I regret it because I wish I had the strength I have now to push through and use my gift to heal. The longer I waited to create the harder it got for me to unblock my creative space. I dont ever want to lose my talent again... I'll fight anything and anyone that stands in my way.
MH: Do those difficult times fuel your writing? What is your favorite thing to write music about?
MR: I like to write about life's challenges but I love to write about love. Its a real complex and complicated emotion. One that I haven't gotten the hang of yet.
MH: Love can be a tough one to master, but tends to be the best muse! Best part about what you do?
MR: If it's not the writing aspect it's performing. They go hand in hand for me. I am very particular about my music and the message I want to put out there and I am just as particular about when I perform. I never do anything half-hearted. I bare my soul by leaving my heart on the stage.
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