Bradford singer Melissa rides high in the charts

Bradford singer Melissa rides high in the charts

Bradford singer Melissa Steel

How the T&A reported Melissa’s early singing success, and pictured today to promote her latest release that has gained plaudits from the likes of X Factor judge Cheryl Cole

First published in News
Last updated
Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , Leisure and Lifestyle Editor

BRADFORD'S Melissa Steel is causing a stir on the pop scene, with Cheryl Cole among the fans of her debut single.

Melissa, 21, is enjoying chart success with catchy song Kisses for Breakfast, which is accompanied by a video shot on a beach in Jamaica, and she's working with some top names in the music industry.

But the Telegraph & Argus spotted her talent a decade ago, when we reported that Melissa, then aged ten, was in a Stars in Their Eyes tour, mimicking Alicia Keys.

"A power-packed performance from a young Bradford pop wannabe" was how the T&A reported Melissa's success in 2003, when she was picked at an audition held at St George's Hall.

The T&A also reported that, in 2008, Melissa was battling it out for a place in the national final of the UK Idol talent competition.

Now Melissa is set to become a pop sensation in her own right. She signed a deal with Atlantic Records this year and her single, featuring the vocals of Jamaican dancehall artist Popcaan, is Number 10 in the UK charts.

Melissa, of Little Horton, is thrilled that Cheryl Cole has tweeted her support for the single. "I couldn't believe it, it's amazing," said the former Tong High School pupil.

"It all seems a bit overwhelming but it hasn't happened overnight. Singing has always been my passion, my mum used to record me singing as a child, and when I was 15 I posted a video clip of me singing on YouTube. It generated a lot of views and drew attention from record industry people in London. That's how I got noticed.

"I have some family in London so I went down there and recorded a cover of Moment in Time by Cherish and I Wish You Loved Me by Tynisha Kelli, which got a big following. It all went from there."

Melissa is now writing and recording tracks for her debut album.

"As an artist it's important to write your own songs, you have to feel it," she said. "My dad died when I was young and writing was my outlet. Writing songs is like writing a diary.

"I'm a 90s baby and grew up listening to artists like Alicia Keys, Whitney Houston and Destiny's Child. That's the music that influences me."

As a child Melissa went to Bradford performing arts groups Xplosion and JLW. "They really helped me with experience of performing live," she said. "I was always a confident child, as a singer and dancer, but my success has been gradual and I've worked at it. Now I feel like I'm ready and I'm very focussed."

Melissa returns to Bradford to visit her family and hopes to perform live here.

"I'd love to do a gig at my old school," she said. "I'm a Bradford girl and would like to be an inspiration to anyone who has big dreams, like I had."

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