Katie and Paul caught up with Melissa Steel after her set at Freshers Ball. Snippets of our interviews at Freshers Ball are available in Issue 2 of Label.
Hey Melissa! We’re curious, one of your best known tracks is ‘Kisses for Breakfast’, how did you feel when that got into the top ten?
I was amazed, like, I wasn’t expecting that, it was my first single and I was kinda shocked but I was so happy at the same time! I’d had that song for over a year ready to release it and I loved it, I was just happy that everyone else did.
So how did you find out, where were you when you realised it had got into the top ten?
So we want to know, do you really like kisses for breakfast?
Yes, of course…
With anything else…eggs, bacon?
Yeah absolutely, although I don’t eat bacon…
Do you plan to branch out into any other genres or any other audiences in the near future?
I do a bit of everything, I listen to almost every genre of music so I wouldn’t put myself in a box, I feel like my voice is me. I just want to make good music!
You’ve collaborated with various artists, who was your favourite to work with and why?
The Blonde boys were really nice, I’ve done a lot of performances with them, they’re really cool guys. The last song I did ‘You Love Me?’ was with Wretch 32, he was an amazing person to work with, I’ve known him for a while now, he’s really cool, we went to LA to shoot the video. I don’t know if I have a fave, I love working with all of them, I chose to work with them for different reasons!
Is there a dream person or act who you’d like to work with?
I’d love to write a song with Drake, that’s probably one that everyone says, but I’d love to work with him. And Rhianna, but she’s on a different level to me.
You never know! So what’s your favourite music video you’ve worked on?
I’d say ‘Kisses for Breakfast’ because it was my first one so it was special to me, and we shot it in Jamaica, and I’m half Jamaican, I love that Island, my best friend was there with me as well, and she was in the video. I spent the whole week with her and I was less nervous about it, that was just so good.
Did that take the whole week or just a couple of hours a day?
We arrived three days prior to filming to do location scouts and then we filmed for two or three days. Two full days, from sunrise to sunset, which was long, and hot because it was Jamaica!
Well I was not expecting people to be wearing tuxedo’s and dresses! The crowd here was amazing, I feel like the further North I go the wilder the crowd gets, I love a Northerner. The best show I’ve done is probably when I toured with Ariana Grande, in the arenas, so probably when I did the O2.
Do you do many student venues?
Yeah last year I did a lot of freshers! It’s great, everyone’s on a hype, I feed off the energy. This is the only one I’ve done this year, so yeah quite special.
Yeah they’re noisy, I think they’ve enjoyed it! Any other new songs or an album on the cards?
Well I have ‘You Love Me?’ with Wretch 32, and also I’m just finishing my album at the moment, it should be ready for the beginning of next year. I’m just getting it to be as good as it can be. I’m looking to release another single before then, I just have to decide what that’s going to be.
How do you know when a song is finished? When do you go I’m gonna leave it, not tweak it any more?
I go off my gut instinct a lot, it’s quite nerve-wracking because you never know how anyone else is going to take it. It can be quite critical of my own work, that’s quite easy to do as an artist.
When you perform an older song, do you ever change it around?
I just have my own way of performing it, although I do switch it up a bit.
Is there someone you take inspiration from?
AliA is my main inspiration, I love Mariah, Whitney. I’m a 90s baby, I grew up listening to 90s RnB.
Does it scare you how far you’ve got? Are you the kind of person who looks back at what you’ve achieved or looks more to the future?
I look more to the future, but obviously I appreciate everything that’s happened. Then thinking about it, I look back like ‘oh my god- I’ve smashed it!’ To me, I don’t really think much about that, for me I’ve just got my foot in, I’m right at the beginning, I’m just thinking of what I want to do next! I just think of years and years ahead.
So finally, where do you see yourself in five years time?
I want to be doing a World your, basically I want to be international, I want to smash the World and I want to branch out outside of music eventually, I want to see how far it can take me. I want to do fashion, maybe films, I have been filming for something, I’d love to do more of that!
Many thanks to Melissa Steel for the interview!
Photos by Paul Johnston
Photos with Melissa Steel coming soon