The Vision Behind The Voice: How Mela Lee Is Inspiring A New Generation To Break Barriers And Be Themselves

Mela Lee is creating a world where it feels safe to be creative. She is a voice actress, musician, and inspiration, who is changing the world one voice over, and one song at a time.

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Mela Lee is a Los Angeles-based voice actress and vocalist, whose days are either spent on set or in the studio. She effortlessly speaks life into the characters and stories that she tells in a way that has you questioning whether you’re experiencing a fictional character or are somehow transported into a whole other universe. She is authentic, bold, and unapologetically herself, which are just a few of the reasons fans adore her so much.

Lee’s journey in the entertainment industry began singing demos for multiple labels, becoming the voice of several household brands in commercials, and appearing in popular anime franchises. Her flexibility as an artist led her to work on multiple award winning television shows and films as an ADR voice matching and voice replacement specialist (The Good Wife, Gotham, Atlanta, Power). Since then, she has stepped into more high profile roles, landing her in the StarWars universe (Star Wars Squadrons), Marvel’s Avengers/Black Panther’s Quest (Princess Zanda), Apex Legends (Lifeline), and Mortal Kombat 11 (Jade), as well as multiple roles for Disney, Netflix and Amazon Studios.

Yet the most important role Lee has played in her career thus far isn’t that of an animated character or fighter in a video game. It’s the one she plays everyday when she wakes up in the morning and chooses to be authentically herself in an industry where there were few people that looked like her.

“When I first started in the voiceover industry, there weren’t many people of color or curvy girls in the mix. Diversity wasn’t a hashtag,” she says. “I remember looking up to barrier breaking icons like Cree Summer, Phil Lamarr, Dave Fennoy and Keith David as well as comedy legends Key & Peele. Seeing their incredible intelligence, talent and grace inspired me to dream of more. Although I was extremely grateful to get any work I could, there was definitely a waiting period for the depth of characters I get to play now.”

Yet today, Lee has fans from all over the world who wait hours to see her at Comic Con events, and celebrate her as someone who breaks barriers, challenges the status quo, and paves the way for diversity, inclusion, and representation. As rewarding as it is, getting to this point has been a difficult journey for Lee who has overcome grave hardships and faced paramount uncertainty and self doubt along the way.

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“I could never have dreamed of the beautiful life I have now,” she says. “When I was younger I had step siblings and family in my life that made it very clear they did not see me as an equal. The color of my skin gave them license to be incredibly cruel with impunity. The unchecked physical and verbal abuse I experienced at home and at school has taken a good portion of my adult life to comprehend. It took a moment to achieve an alchemy over my emotions, and to be able to turn my pain and experience into something beautiful,” she says.

One of the many ways that Lee has been able to turn her experiences into something positive is through music. “Music has been an extraordinary healing instrument for me,” Lee says. “It’s the soundtrack to my life.”

Formerly the lead singer for Magnolia Memoir, Lee is currently delving into a highly-anticipated solo career. Her debut single, with producer Keith Harris, Another Hallelujah, was released October 14, 2022. The opportunity to create songs and compose music, has helped her to step into a higher version of herself, one that connects with and inspires people every single day.

“The truth is, I was just a kid who dreamed of something better,” she says. “I dreamed to escape the life I had, and now I’m here – living the visions I had when I was a little girl,” she continues.

Lee’s story is a reminder that it doesn’t matter how old or young you are, whatever your size is, your skin color, or what experiences you’ve endured in the past. You are perfect, capable, and beautiful just as you are, and there is space in this world for you to create and succeed.

“When I am vulnerable and I talk about issues that I’ve faced in the past, I only hope that I could be a light in the darkness for someone that is struggling with the same. It gives me purpose daily to think that I could be what I so badly needed when I was younger,” she shares. “You matter. Your story matters, I hope you find a way to tell it. The moment you do, you give someone permission to do the same,” she adds.

“I aspire to be a soft place to land offering words of encouragement. There’s so much ‘no’ in the world that I hope when people speak with me, my voice is their ‘yes,’” she concludes.

This is evident in Lee’s dynamic Authentic Voice Resonance workshops, a platform where she guides actors and artists to improve their craft and succeed in the industry and in life.

To follow along Mela Lee’s inspiring journey and see where life takes her next, be sure to follow her on Instagram, Tik Tok and check out her Youtube channel where Another Hallelujah is available now. 

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