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An Interview with Melissa Bollea
by Karla Ash

The word “simplicity” suggests class and an understated elegance. It’s not something you hear often anymore, especially in the entertainment world, simply because people have become so crude. Singer/songwriter Melissa Bollea named her album
Simplicity, and nobody can argue how classy and elegant it is, a pop gem with a country twist and a Christian heart. It’s also a labor of love, one that she discussed with me in detail.

Karla Ash: Your music has elements of country but I wouldn't call it a country album. In terms of musical taste, which genre do you feel more comfortable with—country or pop?

Melissa Bollea: Well, I would have to say country or is there such a thing as alternative country?

Ash: You sing of God yet you don't seem to be marketed as a Christian; was that intentional?

Bollea: To a degree, yes. What I would really like to see happen someday is for the mainstream to accept more elements of "faith" in the music they listen to that is not necessarily labeled Christian. The reason I say to some degree is that if given the choice overall, I would gladly accept the title of a Christian artist as my faith is number one to me.

Ash: What is the album title referring to?

Bollea: Simplicity for me was more of a "polished" title quite honestly. I like the meaning in a way that is actually the opposite of how complex life can seem. Especially when we as artists express in our music the elements of life, it's anything but simplistic.

Ash: Of all your lyrics, which ones were the most emotionally difficult to write and why?

Bollea: The lyrics in the song I titled “Mr. Crowley.”  There is very deep meaning for me in that song as the song touches on three subjects that are very dear to my heart; sudden or unexpected death of a loved one (verse 1); child abuse (verse 2); and substance abuse, (in this case lyrically, alcohol, in the last verse.)  The chorus reflects the way I feel in respect to wanting to make a difference when people suffer the grips of these things.

Ash: "Pretty in Blue" is about 9/11; how did you find out about the tragedy that day?

Bollea: I was working in my family’s salon, which I had been working in for over 10 years before quitting my job to pursue my music full time.  I remember mostly that the client I had at my desk became only concerned about her personal bank accounts as we watched the devastation of the second tower being hit. I was shocked twice that morning, once for what was happening and a second time for my client’s reaction.

Ash: Where did you learn how to sing?

Bollea: I have not had any formal singing lessons. My gift of lyric and passion for the music gave me the courage to sing. Over the years, with much experience, my vocals have improved drastically. Even today, my new recordings sound much better than my previous ones.

For more on Melissa Bollea, visit:
http://www.melissabollea.com