With an exciting story and an eclectic blend of influences, Mela Bee is quickly becoming a fan favorite amongst new artists to discover. This small-town singer/songwriter hailing from Canada combines dark, smoky undertones layered with uplifting vocal deliveries around lyrics that hit you right in the feels. Or as her bio appropriately states, “Mela’s music feels like a deep talk with a close friend at 3am”.
We had the chance to sit down with Mela to discuss her accelerating career growth, latest single, upcoming tour, and some insight into what she has planned over the next year.
Her new single “Shine” featuring rapper Kodie Shane has clocked over 100,000 streams on Spotify in less than 8 weeks (only Mela’s second official release) with a growing number of positive reviews from critics:
“She’s got the qualities of a superstar, and I think they’re being put to use brilliantly in ‘Shine’”
— Loretta Kim, Famous & Made
2023 has been even more unpredictable for the pop genre than 2022 was, but if you’re trying to find reliability in a rookie artist, Mela is the gold standard in the industry right now.”
— Rachel Townsend, Spotted Cat Magazine
“‘Shine’ is a streamlined pop treat from an increasingly evocative voice in Mela that I can’t get enough of”
— Claire Uebelacker, Ballyhoo Magazine
“Shine” empowers the listener with an uplifting message, something we could all certainly use more of – what was the process like getting this song put together?
(Signed album art for “Shine” Mela is sending out to her “Bee Squad” fans)
“I wrote Shine for a friend that was going through a hard time and I really felt her pain on another level. After many years of not chasing my dreams, meeting someone else struggling to do the same inspired me. Scott Foo had sent me a few beats and I gave them a listen right before bed. I ended up staying up until 2AM because I couldn’t put this track down. After writing Shine and recording vocals at Up North Studios with the talented Mike Di Biasio, a couple months passed, and it felt like something was missing. I connected with Tube from Tube & Berger and he fell in love with the song. Unexpectedly, within 24 hours he sent back a version with added production elements. It really leveled up the song. Shortly after, Kodie Shane got ears on it and wrote her verse, which blew me away and was added into the mix as-is without a single tweak. I never anticipated this song getting into so many talented hands. I can hugely thank Jett from PennyFly Entertainment because I’m just a basement musician from a tiny little town…my music would still be locked in a harddrive if I didn’t have my team to push it beyond my reach. Jett believed in the song just as much as I did, and really shaped the way it turned out. When we wrapped up production, Sefi Carmel and James Forbes took Shine to an entirely new universe with mixing and mastering. I was overwhelmed with happy tears when I received the final master. I never knew my music could sound THAT good.”
Some may recognize Mela from her time spent across a variety of web3 communities. She has frequently participated in countless spaces on Twitter and has become one of the more recognized singer/songwriters in the NFT and crypto realms. Mela has hosted discussions with the likes of 3LAU, Shontelle, Scott Foo, CryptoKaleo, and Matt Lillard (Shaggy) to name a few. In fact, she was selectively ushered into the space by one of crypto’s most beloved influencers, CryptoCobain aka “Cobie”. While hosting his podcast UpOnly, Cobie came across Mela performing live on Twitch – within hours, thousands of his followers flooded the stream resulting in an overwhelming outpouring of support through crypto donations.
(screencap from the Crypto Cobain twitch raid where thousands of new fans donated to Mela live on stream)
Mela shared what was going through her mind while this absolutely life changing experience unfolded:
“I could not believe what was happening, and to this day, it is still so surreal. I had very limited knowledge on crypto, yet suddenly I was showered with incomprehensible donations. When reality set in, I felt a huge weight lift off of my shoulders. I no longer had that pesky voice in my head saying “give up on music and find a real job”. That type of financial freedom is something I wish I could give to every musician. The freedom to pursue what you love is what Shine is all about, and the crypto community gave that to me.”
That is certainly a magical moment to experience to say the least! Now that you’ve immersed yourself in the space, what is your take on crypto and NFTs in general?
“I didn’t choose the degen life. The degen life chose me…literally; and now I’m really living it. I went from knowing very little, to knowing more (not everything)…and I am continuously furthering my knowledge on the topic. Crypto is not just magic internet money. At its core, it represents the very theme of my music: freedom. Sure, people are involved because they’d love to make quick riches, but ultimately, the technology provides possible solutions to so many global issues. It can free us from the restraints of centralized entities. That is not to say it is perfect by any means – any advancement in technology comes with problems, but people more intelligent than myself are spending every waking moment attempting to fill those gaps.
Music NFTs are a topic I am very passionate about, in fact I spoke on this at a conference held in Miami last year. Non-fungible tokens present musicians with another opportunity for revenue, and one that they have complete control over. That is so unique because the music industry has historically taken power from artists and placed it in the hands of labels and streaming platforms instead, leaving most musicians with very little opportunity to make money unless they land a good record deal. There is a huge gap between struggling musicians and successful ones, simply because the job doesn’t often pay well. While I think music NFTs are still very niche and have not reached their full potential, I have spent the past two years determining how I’d like to be involved in the metaverse…or the Melaverse (hint, hint). I can’t share too much just yet, but I can say that my Goober Alien holders and Bee Squad members will be greatly rewarded for their early support.”
From looking at your social media posts lately, you’ve been talking a lot about this VIP fan experience you’ve been working on. Does this tie into the Melaverse?
“My biggest pet peeve about the music industry is how impersonal it can be. I have been so fortunate to receive support from my fans, so giving back to them is the centerpiece of everything I do. I want to provide the most unique exclusive experience possible. I don’t just want fanships, I want friendships. That’s why I invite Bee Squad members to virtually join me in the studio and writing rooms, I ask for their feedback to shape the song’s final form, and I send out handmade/signed merch with personalized messages to them. When they sign up for the Bee Squad, they receive messages directly from ME, and not the repetitive “please buy my merch” kind. They get life stories, acoustic demos, and insight on what’s going on behind the scenes. The Bee Squad is always first to know, and they will be first to access the Melaverse.”
We understand you’re currently gearing up to tour across a few states in the US with Kodie Shane soon, what can you tell us about that? Anything else exciting around the corner?
“I can’t wait! Kodie Shane radiates amazing energy when I watch her live performances through a screen, so I can’t even imagine how much that will be amplified IRL and I am SO honored to have the opportunity to perform with her. Aside from touring, I have so much in the works. I have tracks being cooked up with PJ Bianco, Tube & Berger, and more that I can’t mention just yet. It’s honestly surreal to be working with world renowned producers and I can’t thank my team at PennyFly enough. They’ve provided me with so much opportunity while leaving me with full creative control, which is so unique in the music industry. It’s truly a remarkable feeling to have a team that not only drives results but is genuinely passionate about my music. #BLESSED”
Mela’s latest single is available on all platforms, and we’ll be looking forward to hearing what comes from the above collaborations, the Melaverse, the upcoming tour, and everything else in store. In the meantime, readers can sign up for the Bee Squad directly on her website at melabee.io which features a wild space-voyaging experience all in itself – complete with a mysterious black hole labeled “Melaverse”. We’ve certainly enjoyed our adventure into all things Mela, check her music out and show some love!
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