MELISSA AXEL — Songwriter/Recording Artist
by Melissa Axel
(Los Angeles, California)
Photo by Lindsay Giles McWilliams Photography
At just eight years of age, Melissa Axel was writing songs about the bittersweet journey of life, love, struggle, and inspiration—and not much has changed since.
The piano-driven storyteller studied at Boston's renowned Berklee College of Music and went on to earn her master's degree in Interdisciplinary Arts on a full scholarship to Nova Southeastern University, where she created the multimedia stage production The Human Adventure. Before moving to Los Angeles, she spent six years in Denver and was twice awarded scholarships to participate in UK songwriting workshops hosted by the WOMAD Foundation (World of Music, Arts and Dance) created by Peter Gabriel.
Through WOMAD, Axel has shared the stage with Gabriel collaborators Justin Adams & Juldeh Camara, N'Faly Kouyaté, and Andy White, with whom she and James Jacoby co-wrote the song "Every Place Is Home." Accompanied by Jacoby on tuba, Axel has performed everywhere from the South Florida heat to the cool of Iceland, the frenzy of New York to the peaceful Swedish seaside, the sweeping Colorado Rockies and sparkling California coast.
With the support of nearly 200 backers on the Kickstarter crowdfunding platform, Axel raised over $7,000 in pre-orders and donations toward the independent release of her first full-length album, LOVE . HUMANITY . METAMORPHOSIS. Produced by Justin Peacock (Zero 7, Indigo Girls, Colorado Symphony), the 12-song LP represents an expansive leap forward from her pensive 5-song EP Transition. Pressed on limited edition vinyl, the record features a wealth of talent, including DeVotchKa's Tom Hagerman, Mackenzie Gault of Flobots, and string arrangements by award-winning composers Matthew Nicholl and Kailin Yong.
Powerful yet subtle, comforting yet complex, this music gives voice to the diverse emotional spectrum connecting us all.