Running Helps Canadian Singer Melissa Bel Stay on a High Note

By Christine Blanchette

Some choose running to lose weight or simply to keep fit. All one needs is a pair of shoes and an open road. Overall, there are many benefits to running just ask Canadian singer and songwriter Melissa Bel. In a phone interview, the Toronto native now living in Devon, England talks about her music career and how running helps her both mentally and physically.
Melissa says, “It has been over a year now living in a rural village called Devon. It is a slower pace of life where everything closes at 5pm,” she laughs. Despite missing the busy city life in Toronto this Canadian pop soul artist finds running on country roads relaxing. “The city drives you to be busy. Having that balance is good,” she adds. She wouldn’t have any other way because of her choice to move there because the love of her life whom she met in Las Vegas in 2015.
And when she isn’t doing media interviews or busy promoting her music, Melissa is running on the country roads in Devon. She says, “I originally started running to lose weight, tone up my legs and improve my fitness. I’ve been an on-and-off runner for about 6 years, but recently have started to be more consistent with it. Possibly because the more mild UK climate makes it easier to run outside all year long? I’m actually thinking of doing my first-ever race in October, the 10 mile Great South Run (I have to stick to it now that I’ve said it on record!). I still run for the same reasons as when I started, but also to blow off steam, clear my mind, and challenge myself. It’s a bit meditative for me as well because it’s one of the rare times where I’m fully in the moment and not getting distracted by thoughts and worries. I’m fully focused on my breath and my strides.”
“In the Light” which includes seven songs on the EP (Extended Play) was released on November 4th last year.  “My music is a mix of fresh contemporary upbeat pop sound and melodies with lots of more classical, old soul and blues influences which I liked. My music is now a bit more pop, more my age and younger girls. Girls my age connect with me which it is interesting,” she says.
This will be Melissa’s fourth album and her music before was jazz and blues attracting fans in the 40’s and 60’s age groups and a huge following in Quebec. Melissa says, “My earlier albums were definitely more jazz and blues, with bits of pop, folk, soul and even rock. I wanted to be more consistent as far as the genre of “In the Light", and to be perfectly honest wanted a better shot at getting played on the radio. My goal with this album was to do something fresh and contemporary while incorporating my soul and blues influences. Hoping to gain some new fans while giving my existing ones something a bit different that they’ll still enjoy!”

I asked how supportive was your family with pursuing a music career, “She says, “SO supportive the day I started as a kid. I started in music lessons. All my friends went to university. My family supported my decision to pursue my career in music.”

By Christine Blanchette
Twitter: @christineruns
YouTube: runwithitcb1



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