About Mel

Melismatic is a pop music blog, a space for rants, reviews, gushes and general thoughts on music that moves me, Mel.

It was founded and formed officially in November of 2008, and became MelismaticBlog.com in June of 2010.

For artist submission information, please click on the "Submissions" tab above.

Melismatic was voted 'Best Blog of the Day' on April 20th, 2009.

In addition to being the sole editor of MelismaticBlog.com, I have been:
  • the 'American Idol' columnist for the show's ninth season at HitPredictor.com
  • contributed pieces to a few of my comrades blogs, including The Chemistry Is Dead and Adventures of an Audio Diva 
  • featured on the BBC Chart Blog for Radio 1 in the UK (August 2010)
  • featured on MTV K's 'Top 10 Countdown' (April 2013)
  • a guest editor for She Is Fierce!
  • a guest editor for The One Shots

I also was a regular contributor to the co-founded The KPOP Panel, as well as the Pop Reviews Now founded The KPOP Writer's Workshop.

From September 2010 till May 2011, I spent my Wednesday nights from 9pm to 11pm broadcasting live on Resolution Radio. <3s to Lilly and all of my fab listeners. :)

Regular Columns:
HEAR THIS - single/song review
WGO - "What's Going On"; chart analysis
FRESH OUT THE BOX - new releases breakdown
IN REVIEW - album/EP review
NOW KPOPPING - dalliance in South Korea's Idol Scene
MIXTAPE (PLAYLIST) - a themed list or series of brief reviews of songs I'm listening to at the 'mo
MAILBAG MONDAY - brief reviews of songs I've been sent for review, usually of indie artists
BACK IN THE DAY - a flashback to the "oldies"
LIVE IN NEW YORK - a live concert review
CLUB SETLIST - a 10-piece monthly mixtape "set list" for the dance crowd


Several blogs that I frequent have a little section where they talk about themselves. For most writers, this is a bit difficult to write about, because it feels borderline narcissistic. I apologize now if I bore you, but it was you who chose to click on this link. ;)

My given name is not Mel. My name is not Melissa, Melania, Melanie or Mel Gibson (yes, I was asked this before). It is in fact a pseudonym I have personally adopted in order to feel more free about speaking my opinions. It's not that I do not stand by them, because I do. It's a matter of wanting to be honest not just to my readers but to myself. Mel is short for Melisma, a musical term.

melisma (n.) (mi-liz-muh) - an ornamental phrase of several notes sung to one syllable of text, as in plainsong or blues singing. (read: Christina Aguilera, Mariah Carey or Whitney Houston's riffing)

Melisma is a phrase I've been interested in for a long time, mostly because I was so deeply influenced by R&B music since a very young age. Hence the name of the blog: "Melismatic", the adjective form of "melisma", because I am often describing both music and musicians in this blog. Bet you didn't think you'd get that in depth of an answer, now did you?

Mel Elsewhere On the 'Nets: Twitter, Last.FM, Instagram

Personally, I am a lifelong music fan. I was born in June of 1987 in a mid-level city in upstate New York, when Atlantic Starr's "Always" was the number one song in the United States. My first real experience with music, so at least I am told, was later that year upon the release of the quintessential 80's film "Dirty Dancing" starring the incomparable Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey. The love theme song "(I've Had) The Time Of My Life" was all over the radio at the time, and my mother testifies to the fact that despite being about five months old at the time, my whole face would light up whenever the song came on the radio, and I would "bop" to the beat, giggling fiercely from the core of my belly. I guess you could say I was destined.

The first album I ever "bought" was Mariah Carey's "Music Box" in 1993, when I was six. The album spawned the singles "Dreamlover" and "Hero". Mariah instantly became my own personal 'hero'. I used to line up my stuffed animals and sing into my hairbrush or pencil, wavering my little hand to the riffs as I heard them through my humungous stereo system in our den. I would close my eyes and pretend I was on a stage, pretend I was Mariah.

Other early favorites include Whitney Houston's "Whitney", TLC's "Crazy Sexy Cool", Janet Jackson's "Janet." and En Vogue's "Funky Divas". The latter was my absolute favorite, and I still listen to it all of the time. I used to play dress up and act out "Never Gonna Get It" by myself (as I was an only child), not really understanding what "it" was.

The switchover to pop music was basically a sneak attack on my R&B focused mind. It was thanks to three little blonde boys from Oklahoma, better known as Hanson. The boys broke through in 1997, when I had just hit double digits in age, the youngest in the band being just two years older than me. Their debut, "Middle of Nowhere", began my journey into adoring pop music. Not long after, the Spice Girls began dominating my youth culture, encouraging little girls everywhere to chant "Girl Power". I still remember going to birthday parties in the 5th grade when all we'd talk about was the television show "Boy Meets World" and work out dance routines to "Spice Up Your Life."

Shortly after the Spice Girls' star began to fade, the boy band invasion began to take over America, thanks largely to the Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC. If you were a preteen/teenage girl in 1999, you had to choose a side. You couldn't pick both. It was un-American and unconstitutional. I, of course, leaned on the side of *NSYNC, which led to three concert experiences, endless hours of recorded performances on VHS, lots of posters cut out of teen magazines, and even more screaming. I think just about everyone has to go through that experience with some musician, and I'm glad mine was *NSYNC.

During this time, a time before mp3s were the main currency of music and new releases, I vividly remember waking up early every Saturday morning to listen to Rick Dee's Weekly Top 40 radio program. I would eagerly write down all of the chart positions, clamoring over the changes from week to week to whoever would listen, and would keep each week's position safe in a plastic black binder. No joke. I still have it. I would also tape various songs live from the radio broadcast onto a tape so that I'd have a real copy. This is recognized as illegal now, but I was rebel when I was 12.

In 2001, shortly after the dominating effects of September 11th, I was 14 and found out about a latina quartet called Soluna. I began following their career, which led to helping form a national street team for them with two other fans, that was not only recognized by their label, Dreamworks Records, but more importantly, the girls themselves. After several concert trips to far away cities (Chicago is a long way away from upstate New York and is even farther when you travel alone and you're just 15 years old). I'm proud to call all of the four women in that now defunct group my friends, and I continue to follow their careers to this day. It was through working with Soluna that I truely began to realize that music promotion was what I wanted to do with my life. It was my calling.

In 2005, upon graduation of high school, I made my transition into college, still at a safe upstate state school, majoring in music industry, with a minor in Spanish. I finished up this degree in May of 2009.

In late 2006, I was approached on MySpace by a fledgling girl group then called Bliss, made up of a trio of New Jersey teenagers, who had recorded a cover of "Take Me Home Tonight" by Eddie Money. The group would later become the Candy Coated Chaos of today, and I began developing a street team idea, complete with fansite www.cccfans.net to help promote the group. I've been in contact with the group ever since, again following their career despite their premature breakup in 2009.

In late 2008, I accepted an internship at a prominent record label in New York City and recently made the transition to living in the big city, beginning the internship in January of 2009. Now graduated from college, I work full time in Social Media and Digital Marketing for a prominent beauty retail store here in NYC. I'm living life in the USA's biggest city still trying to find where I fit in...

Foremost, to my mother. I don’t know what I would do without her. She’s been my perpetual best friend, a shoulder to lean on, a confidant, and the biggest supporter of my dreams since day one. I love you so very, very, very much. With all my heart. 

To my entire extended family, especially Kurt, Amy, Aunt Cyndi, Aunt Sheila, Aunt Frankie and everyone who’s had a kind word to say, please know, I love and appreciate you all very very much.

To my musical idols, who have helped mold my life (and my ears) into who I am today, especially Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Janet Jackson, Madonna, En Vogue, TLC, SWV, all five members of *NSYNC, and of course, Soluna. Thank you.

To Kristin, my oldest friend – for riding this crazy journey with me in the Big City. To Jessica, my best friend from SUCO – our lives may lead us in different directions now, but we’ll always have those midnight girl talks and sleep-talk sessions. To Sam, back in the 315 – I miss you more than you know. To Janae and Mariana – for making the day job livable – and to everyone at the Web Department, for making my first real job one I appreciate (and yes, Anthony – I’m including you in this, even if you don’t work with us anymore). To all of the many friends I’ve made in “real” life over the course of these 23 years, whether I met you through high school, SUCO or post-grad – thank you. Let’s get lunch sometime. ;)

To all of the artists I’ve been lucky enough to interview, whether through Melismatic or jointly with Pop+Nation, thank you for your time and your consideration. Special thanks to  Rochella Danishei, Pasquelina, Lady Phoenix, Purple Reign (and everyone at their management team), H*Wood (and everyone at their Management team), Team Darkchild/Darkchild Records, Marina Chello (and everyone at Bad Boy Records), Tamar Kaprelian, Sean Ray, Red Blooded Women, The Insomniax, Jada (and everyone at Universal Motown/Bristol/Jada Ninja Street Team), Jadion, Mandy Ventrice, Mandi Leigh, Agnes Carlsson, AdvaMobile, Lorelai Carlson, Matt Mariner, Monet Monico and Evan Taubenfeld.

To everyone at Hit Predictor.com (especially you, Maija!) for welcoming me with open arms into your blogging community and challenging me to write a new style of blogging column. Your support for my ramblings is overwhelming, and I can’t tell you enough how much I appreciate it. Thanks and love to Lilly and everyone at Resolution Radio for welcoming me with open arms into the world of Internet Radio!

Last but certainly not least, to my second family – the group of bloggers I’ve counted myself lucky enough to call friends: Nikki (Pop Reviews Now), Paul (My Fizzy Pop), Elvin (J.Mensah’s Billboard Files), Loy (RC.Loy), Ken (The Beat Review), Jessica (This Must Be Pop), Jennifer (The Audio Diva), Will (Mr. Will W), John (Pop Music Notes), Aaron (Fabtastic Music), D’Luv (ChartRigger), W00shie (Sexy Never Left), Poster Girl (Pop Poster Girl), Adem (Adem With An E), AusPop, The Chemistry Is Dead, Yuri (Olga Loves Yuri), Kat (Pop From the Block), beE & Kat (Pop-Nation), Mike (Pop Trash Addicts), The Prophet, Jio (The Reflective Inklings), and countless others who I continue to read with fervor. You all have made me so happy in various ways – whether its through Twitter messages, Gmail chat sessions, blog comments or e-mails. Who could have thought I’d have such a family found in a corral of people I’ve never met? So many of us may have never met face to face, but I feel as if I know you all so well, since we share such a common bond, which is of course, our love for music. Thank you for all of your support, encouragement and creative energy. You all inspire me to be better, and to continue to write.

Follow Me on Instagram via @melismaticdiva