Gorgeous piano, lush strings, and a fearlessly intimate vocal. Songs about love, humanity, metamorphosis … Recommended if you like: Tori Amos, Regina Spektor, Norah Jones, Sarah McLachlan, Peter Gabriel
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 from Nova Southeastern University before moving to the burgeoning music and arts scene of Denver, Colorado. Since then, she was twice awarded scholarships to participate in songwriting and world music workshops hosted in the UK 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 (Robert Plant), N’Faly Kouyaté (Afro Celt Sound System), and Andy White (Big Blue Ball). She co-wrote the song “Every Place Is Home” with White and fellow Colorado musician James Jacoby. Often 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 heart of the Rocky Mountains and the California coast.
With the support of nearly 200 backers on the Kickstarter crowdfunding platform, Axel raised over $7,000 in pre-orders toward the independent release of her first full-length album, LOVE . HUMANITY . METAMORPHOSIS. Produced by Justin Peacock (Zero 7, Indigo Girls, Colorado Symphony), the record represents an expansive leap forward from her pensive 5-song EP Transition. Pressed on limited edition vinyl, the 12-song LP 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.
Experience & Education
Recording artist (singer/songwriter on piano) for Melissa Axel MusicMay 1998 to Present (over 19 years)
Recording artist (singer/songwriter on piano), lyricist/composer; Awarded scholarships to WOMAD (World of Music, Arts, and Dance, founded by Peter Gabriel) songwriting/world music workshops in the UK; Transition EP 2009; LOVE . HUMANITY . METAMORPHOSIS LP 2011
MS Ed. in Interdisciplinary Arts at Nova Southeastern University2004 to 2006 (2 years)
Professional Diploma in Songwriting, Performance, Music Production/Technology, Music Business/Management at Berklee College of Music2000 to 2002 (2 years)
BS Business Administration in Management at University of Florida1994 to 1998 (4 years)