At only 16 year old, this young beauty is already a singer, model, and owner of a promotional company, known as "Urban Mix". With an upcoming demo and grand opening of her official site once again, this female knows what she wants and is determined to become a star. Not only does she major in vocals as a minor soprano, but she also considers herself as a producer for R&B tunes. Spending some time with Melina truly expressed how much energy and hard work she places on all her activities, just to become an ultimate professional With strong influences from the late Aaliyah and Tejano singer Selena, Melina hopes to create a new legacy where her music will capture her essence into the hearts of listeners.Interview:
- Where did you grow up? Does that area offer any opportunity as a singer? Why?
I grew up in Baton Rouge, LA. It doesn't really have many opportunities to offer, because there are not that many talent agencies here. If their are, they are not successful ones. They are just there just to take your money. I have thought about coming up with my own company down here. Although there's a lot of good experiences down here, because in the Louisiana heritage we have. We always have festivals, carnivals, fairs, and more. Especially in New Orleans you can easily set a stage up and start singing.
- What about your school and it's music classes? Did it open many doors for you? What did?
I always have been in music classes. It very helpful cause my vocal teacher teaches vocal tricks and picks great songs. I think my high school teacher better then my middle school. I guess because its more advance. Although you will always have those other students interfere with learning but over all, I love the class. The more talent shows I join, it really helps.
- What was the main sacrifice you had to make just to grow as a singer?
I have two main sacrifices, the first one is my mother. She is very supportive of me and she definitely knows what best. I ask her if I can do a lot of projects and she turns down a lot of them and its hard when she says "No," but in the end I'm thankful she says no, cause I may have been in a situation I don't wanna be in. I just had to learn to take "No" and rejections as an answer. The second sacrifice is my father not being here with me anymore. He has been with me every step of the way musical. He just recently died and its hard to move on without him. It came to points that I just wanted to quit, cause I don't have him here to share my experiences with.
- Which song has a special meaning to you and why?
The song that has the special meaning is URBAN EYES, which is the title of my demo/album. It explains of all what goes through my life everyday. People always think I'm happy cause I smile every second of the day, but I'm not...Plus I think everybody can relate to this song, and every person goes through a down part in life.
- Do you compose all your songs? If not, who does?
I compose most of the songs on my demo/album. I felt in order to promote myself I had to let people get to know me as me and not someone else who writes my music. Although that will probably be the last songs I write *laughs*.I really don't like writing and I even had people tell me my lyrics suck *cough*lol.I do have one song that was written by my dads former girlfriend called "Why Did You Leave," which was dedicated to my father. It was originally written as a poem. I stick to producing lol.
- How did you became more involved in the music business?
I remember this day like yesterday *hehe*. I was watching the news at 6 yrs old and I heard about the late Tejano singer, Selena, allegedly was shot. I remember seeing her on stage and was in awe by her voice. She has such a differ quality in her voice, and like ever since then I said I wanna be a singer.
- Who discovered you as a talented singer? What were that person's reactions?
My father discovered me. He was shocked, excited, and just overwhelmed, because at once in his life he wanted to be a singer, but he never had the chance to accomplish that dream. Then God has given him talented daughter to share that special talent with. He would tell all his friends about my singing. He was happy because I have two older sisters that wasn't as active as me and he was happy to have that special child.
- Describe a typical day in your life as a singer.
A typical day for me, um, *lol* go to school, then get home start singing, and I either hang with my family, friends, and or promote myself. I'm very active and I like to keep moving, so I do just about anything and everything on an everyday bases.
- I noticed in your official website, you don't have much about yourself and seem very mysterious. Why do you limit yourself in promotion, something individuals do to show off their talents?
A lot of people say that *lol*. I try and do my website the way I really am in real life. People do find me mysterious and intimidating, but once you get to know me, I'm not really like that. I don't open myself up easily for the public eye to see. Plus I have a lot of valuable ideas and I don't wanna share them with the world yet. Within this year (2003) I will have more to offer to you guys, musically, but other than that I keep everything personal.
- What genre of music do you sing? Why did you choose this genre?
I'm more of an Urban/R&B singer but my genre of music is World Music. You won't ever catch me singing one type of music. It definitely shows that on my demo. I'm into all music from Rap to Classical to Country to Alternative to Tejano to Neo-Soul. With me growing up with 6 people in my family, we all have very unique personalities, which shows musically and we all like differ music.
- Who do you consider as a role model? Why?
I consider GOD a role model. He's actually more than that. He is here with us no matter what. I have to be honest I may have turned opposite ways from him many of times, but he was and is always there to get my life back on track and I am thankful for him being there with me everyday of my life. Who knows where I would be today.
- How old are you? Does your age bring positive and/or negative results in others taking you seriously? Why?
I am 15 years old. People surprisingly don't say anything negative. All they say is I carry myself very well and act very mature for my age. I usually let people hear my voice and see me before I tell them my age, and they are like WOW! Plus for the tour, if I tell them first off I'm 15 years old they would think what is a 15 year old doing be the CEO of a tour, but I wait and sound professional as possible *lol*. A lot of adults admire me of what all I have accomplished at a young age, and I'm like what? cause I haven't even begin doing all the things I wanna do.
- You announced a future tour for yourself in 2004. What should people expect about yourself as an individual and your music?
People should expect, a lot more of musical talent and they will feel that the would got to know me a lot better. They should look forward to more collaboration and appearances. Also my upcoming music group which I'm so very proud of.
- Where can people learn more about this tour and purchase tickets?
You can learn more about the tour on the official site www.ultamitestars.cjb.net and purchase tickets at your local Ticketmaster or you can go to Ticketmaster.com.
- You seemed to open up about yourself in other publications as a way of "early promotion," Which publications were those? Which one was the easiest and hardest to work with? Why?
The easiest was the Ultimate Stars because people are always hungry to be known and for more promotion and do anything to help promote themselves. The hardest was the Ultimate Tour, cause there's people that think it's a scam and stuff, which is understandable.
- Other than singing, what are your hobbies?
Other singing, I model for Exposure Entertainment and Dance for Tari Dance, which she is the choreographer for LSU (Louisiana State University) dancers and cheerleaders. I'm also a member for AKA Sority Club for teens, which is a lot of fun cause you help with the community which is definitely my thing.
- You're very private with others seeing your photo. You plan on creating a quiz that people music gets at least 50% to see you. The photos I seen are blurry, hiding a shy face. Explain your actions.
I'm not confident about having things on the Internet. There's crazy people out there and I'm still young lol. You get what I'm saying? But within next year I will have more pictures up without the password protected, because the tour will come up then and people would like to see me.
- You have a special email address in which anyone can ask you questions and just simply talk to you. Is this an obvious representation of embracing future fans? Explain.
Yea, I feel it's important to stay close to your fans. Hopefully when I get signed *lol*. I will stay close. I don't know why but I feel it's important. I'm a type that likes to hear other peoples opinion and I like to hear what fans would like more from me.
- Are you planning to have a CD created? What does this CD contains?
Yes, I just recently finished it which will be released January/February 2003. It contains 5 original songs including Urban Eyes, Get Up! (feat. X'Saile), & Do You. Along with 2 cover songs and a Bonus Track.
- Are collaborations important to you? After all, you collaborated with a rapper and a group. Explain.
In a way they are. I like to work with other talents because your able to share ideas, plus it helps to gain more and differ fans.
- What are your future plans?
My plans for the future is to finish high school & go to college to major in Computer Engineering and Business Administrating. I hope to come up with my own record label, so that will be cool. I also hope to have a record deal by then.
- You claim to be taking a break, musically, due to emotional and personal problems. Is there an explanation for this that you may feel comfortable talking about? If not, does this mean the end of singing for you?
Well, I have been going through family problems, with my father just recently passed. It's just now hitting me and I'm taking it pretty hard as of right now. I'm just so use to talking to my father about all my accomplishments and its hard to accept the fact that he's not here. I almost did quit, I'm be honest. But luckily I have very supportive people around me and stuff. Also I know this is my dream and I have been working very hard so why quit now? I just need a break and need time to think things over. I have got so many opportunities and before I make a move, I just got to sit down and breath.
- Is there anything you would like to say about yourself that few people may know about yourself?
I am an African American woman lol & to live life to the fullest you never know when you going to leave this world. So if you haven't had the chance to tell the people and or person you love, you love them. Do it now cause you never know, you may die at this very moment.
I also have a site that promotes artists, dancers, groups, producers, models, etc., which the link is www.ultamitestars.cjb.net. Also I have a tour coming up in 2004 which is associated with the Ultimate Stars site, which is called Ultimate Tour. The tour is to help promote unsigned singers, dancers, producers, etc., hehe. The link to that site is www.ultamitestars.cjb.net.