- by Nadine White -
Durable and powerful are two qualities of the metal alloy steel. In this instance, these traits also apply to rising star Melissa Steel, who definitely gives the impression that she is here to stay! Currently signed to Atlantic Records, she has been making huge waves over the summer with her smash hit ‘Kisses For Breakfast’ which features Dancehall artist Popcaan. This breezy anthem has a distinct island-pop/dancehall vibe to it and has been enjoying widespread airplay, particularly on powerhouse radio platforms Kiss FM and BBC 1Xtra. It has also peaked at #10 on the UK Singles Chart and #2 on the iTunes Chart.
A fun, sun-kissed accompanying music video was shot in Jamaica at the much-loved Hellshire Beach in Portmore, St. Catherine. Check it out:
The twenty one year old singer said the following of the shoot: “Because of the vibe of the song, we envisioned Jamaica as the perfect place to shoot the video. I had a blast!”. Being of Jamaican heritage, Melissa used to travel to the island frequently during her early adolescent years; she has a particular fondness for the beach resort town of Negril and its famous Rick’s Café. Her favourite Jamaican dish is Curried Goat!
Seeming to have come to nationwide prominence overnight, this talented young lady has actually been dedicated to honing her craft since the tender age of 11 – when she recorded her first song:“I’ve always loved to sing. By the time I was 14/15, Youtube and Myspace became really popular online platforms for people to share their music with the world and I started to upload my stuff. Then my views started to build up and so did a following”
Melissa was born and raised in West Yorkshire in the city of Bradford, which is home to a few pivotal figures within art and literature including Zayn Malik, of BRIT award-winning teen-pop group One Direction. Incidentally, he is a former classmate of her’s! Prior to the release of ‘Kisses For Breakfast’, she lent her vocals to ‘The Way We Are’ by drum & bass artist Kove and this single was extremely well received. This is a testament to her eclectic scope!
Fashion-wise, Melissa’s style is “crazy-sexy-cool”, redolent with a tinge of the nineties trademark yet fused with an up-to-time noughties edge. Citing the late songbird Aaliyah as one of her influences, the young starlet coos: “I love Aaliyah! Having grown up on a lot of 90s/early 2000s R&B – like Lauryn Hill, Destiny’s Child, TLC – it has definitely had an impact on my music. I always want to pay homage to that genre which gave me so much.”
Box braids were also very prominent in the nineties and is a hairstyle which Ms. Steel often sports; refreshingly atypical for a twenty one year old in current times, where weaves are more prevalent. She reveals that she wears them because “they are cool” and encourage healthy natural hair.
Melissa definitely appears to have her head firmly on her shoulders, insisting that “I have always had an idea of how I wanted to go about things” – noting that she has never wanted to audition for TV talent-search programmes, such as ‘The X Factor’, which saw her pal Zayn rise to stardom. She expands by saying: “Those platforms are amazing but I always knew that I wanted to do things differently, steadily work my way up.”
Unfortunately, the pressure of the cut throat music industry has seen quite a few emotional and mental casualties over time, particularly of those who start out at young age. Melissa says: “There are cases like that but I can’t speak on behalf of those people. I can say that I am at the right place at the moment with my feet firmly on the ground. I surround myself with good people and have the same friends as before – I know who I am and what I want. I’ve never been easily swayed! This will all serve to help me on my journey, I believe.”
Melissa is currently working on her debut album, which will showcase a number of musical genres. We just waved her off from Jamaica the other day, as she recently returned to shoot a new video for a brand new collaboration with label-mate Krishane and Beenie Man, ‘Drunk and Incapable’.
Buy ‘Kisses for Breakfast’ on Itunes: http://smarturl.it/kisses