melanie durrant
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melanie durrant

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | SELF | AFM

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | SELF | AFM
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Melanie Durrant:
Melanie Durrant From: Where She Came, and Where She’s Going
By T. Micallef

It’s been said that talent alone will only take you so far, so maybe it’s the combination of perseverance and personality, on top of that incredible talent, that brought Melanie Durrant to the heights she’s achieved thus far. Or perhaps it’s because she knows the importance of believing in yourself first, before anyone else can. Then again, it may have something to do with her hot style or her striking stage presence.

“The only thing I’ve been doing is working, trying to do something every day to work towards it, and I think people have got to realize that every day counts,” says the modest performer.

Take your pick, but whatever the formula, Motown president, Kedar Massenberg, recognized that Melanie was going somewhere straight off the bat, as did many Torontonians, when he heard the single, “Where I’m Going”, on a PT Cruiser commercial in 2002. Soulful, sultry and original, it’s no wonder she was scooped up by the label, known for its roster of R & B prodigies, only a few days after Massenberg heard the promising songstress do her thing.

While she’s been compared to, “Minnie Ripperton and Blu Cantrell, and someone else said Jill Scott,” she maintains, “I don’t mind comparisons, but I think I have so many colours to my voice that it’s tough to find. I’ve got jazzy stuff, rock stuff, high stuff, low stuff.”

What might appear at first to be an overnight success is actually quite the opposite. The president of Motown may have been the mighty wind that sent her rolling across the border, but it was years of hard work that set the ball in motion for Melanie. Born and raised in Toronto, Melanie attended the Earl Haig School of the Arts. She trained at the Royal Conservatory of Music and worked on an eclectic array of projects before she became an “alternative hip-hop soul” (as she describes it) artist. She performed in Rent and The Exhale Show, appeared on Snow’s album, Justus, and performed regularly at Honey Jam, where she started a buzz with underground audiences.

It seems music is in the blood, too. Karen Durrant, Melanie’s mom, tours Canada with her band as a Tina Turner impersonator, a show Melanie was once a part of. Her mom now also sings back-up at Melanie’s shows.

Melanie’s first single, “Housework”, hit the airwaves in 2002, before she struck her deal with Motown. People responded well to the playful, infectious track and to her powerful, wide-ranging voice and wanted to hear more, which prompted the release of “Where I’m Going”.

“I really thought about, where am I going, and how am I gonna make this happen for myself, and I decided I wanna sing, and I wanna perform, so I’m gonna make this happen. I definitely haven’t made it yet, but I’m gonna get there.”

She’s coming from Toronto, and she has plans on taking it much further.

Summing up why she’s going where she’s going, when so many others have tried and failed, Melanie says, “Stay true to yourself. Stay true to who you are.”

Watch for the video for “Where I’m Going”, directed by Little X, coming soon and her album also out soon. Also, check out Melanie on August 29th at the Toronto Urban Music Festival.
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It’s been said that talent alone will only take you so far, so maybe it’s the combination of perseverance and personality, on top of that incredible talent, that brought Melanie Durrant to the heights she’s achieved thus far. Or perhaps it’s because she knows the importance of believing in yourself first, before anyone else can. Then again, it may have something to do with her hot style or her striking stage presence.

“The only thing I’ve been doing is working, trying to do something every day to work towards it, and I think people have got to realize that every day counts,” says the modest performer.

Take your pick, but whatever the formula, Motown president, Kedar Massenberg, recognized that Melanie was going somewhere straight off the bat, as did many Torontonians, when he heard the single, “Where I’m Going”, on a PT Cruiser commercial in 2002. Soulful, sultry and original, it’s no wonder she was scooped up by the label, known for its roster of R & B prodigies, only a few days after Massenberg heard the promising songstress do her thing.

While she’s been compared to, “Minnie Ripperton and Blu Cantrell, and someone else said Jill Scott,” she maintains, “I don’t mind comparisons, but I think I have so many colours to my voice that it’s tough to find. I’ve got jazzy stuff, rock stuff, high stuff, low stuff.”

What might appear at first to be an overnight success is actually quite the opposite. The president of Motown may have been the mighty wind that sent her rolling across the border, but it was years of hard work that set the ball in motion for Melanie. Born and raised in Toronto, Melanie attended the Earl Haig School of the Arts. She trained at the Royal Conservatory of M - By T. Micallef



Home Artists Melanie Durrant




MELANIE DURRANT
It's not merely enough to declare yourself a diva. Indeed, any faux-fox can wiggle and prance while lip-synching insipid lyrics to an already familiar beat, but it takes real artistry to construct a new stylistic vanguard in soul. With the release of her debut disc Where I'm Goin', Canadian chanteuse Melanie Durrant introduces the world to her unique writing, arrangements, vocal production and edgy sound.

The title track and lead single, "Where I'm Goin' from Melanie?s her debut album is a laidback anthem of ambition, Melanie says, "I wanted this song to be about my own journey as I strive for success. I've always been a determined person, but it would have meant anything if it wasn't for the people I've met and the places I've been." The song caught the attention of in-demand video director Little X (Usher, Nelly, Sean Paul, Jay Z, Fabolous) and the unproven Melanie, as well as the song, were featured in a commercial for Chrysler's PT Cruiser commercial.

Full of melodic surprises, heavenly harmonies and bold direction, Where I'm Goin' will definitely contribute to the future of soul music - Melanie embodies the voice, attitude and sound that we have been waiting for.

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Projects 411 Projects Teachers' Resources HIV/AIDS Program Arts Education Millennium Project 4Real The Business of Music Tolerance & Peace Building Past Programs
Artists
Melanie Durrant Dwayne Morgan Equinox199 Rochester AKA Juice Eternia
Get The 411... 411: HIV/AIDS & Young People 411: HIV/AIDS 411: HIV/AIDS in Canada 411: HIV/AIDS in Africa Lyrics Case Study: K'Naan 411: Hunger 411: Refugees 411: Poverty Think Changing the World is Impossible? Wise Up on Equality 411: Armed Conflict 411: Somalia Interview with Jin 411: Arms Trade 411: Child Labour 411: Child Soldiers 411: Education 411: Violence Against Women 411: Early Marriage 411: Landmines
Your Initiative! How To Start A Club In Your School Volunteering Fundraising Ideas Campaigning What You Can Do About HIV/AIDS
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- amnesty



Home Projects Past Programs

Past Programs
"The Barbershop Show" Human Rights Education



Key Messages:
Everyone has "human rights" that no one has the right to take away and everyone has the same rights, regardless of who you are and where you live
Change happens because many concerned people are working and speaking out together
Young Canadians can effect positive change within their communities, domestically and overseas


Activity Overview:
"The Barbershop Show" blurs the lines between concert and hip-hop musical by using comedy, spoken word, music, skits and props to create a truly innovative performance. Throughout the production, skits illustrate the everyday comings and goings in the barbershop to complement the musicians' sets. Musicians slated to appear in the production include: R&B singer Melanie Durrant, hip-hop artist Shohn (Rikoshay) Booth, outspoken poet Equniox 199, and spoken word artist Dwayne Morgan. The production is hosted by Will Strickland' creator/professor of the first ever university-accredited course on hip-hop culture, Edutainment: The Impact of Hip Hop on Amercian Culture, taught at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst in 1998.


Drawing from the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the production, post-show workshops and supplementary curriculum, including in-class activities, examine contemporary examples of the lives of youth in Canada as well as youth around the world that lack human rights or are affected by human rights abuses. The production address critical and relevant issues related to human rights including: violence against women, child labor, refugees' rights, access to education, effects of war on children, poverty etc.


Content Examples:
"Growing up with war" - The lives of children, including our friends and classmates, who have experienced war or other forms of armed conflict.
"Silence is violence" - Challenging abuse and violence against girls/women in our own communities
"Who made my jeans?" - Shining the light of human rights on what we buy, where it comes from, who makes it, and how we can live responsibly in ways that protect the human rights of others often far away.

This program was supported in part by:





faqs | terms of use | privacy policy | contact us

Sign Up LOGIN


About Us Overview Meet Our Staff Meet Our Board Our Partners Corporate Support Newsroom Contact Us
Projects 411 Projects Teachers' Resources HIV/AIDS Program Arts Education Millennium Project 4Real The Business of Music Tolerance & Peace Building Past Programs
Artists Melanie Durrant Dwayne Morgan Equinox199 Rochester AKA Juice Eternia
Get The 411... 411: HIV/AIDS & Young People 411: HIV/AIDS 411: HIV/AIDS in Canada 411: HIV/AIDS in Africa Lyrics Case Study: K'Naan 411: Hunger 411: Refugees 411: Poverty Think Changing the World is Impossible? Wise Up on Equality 411: Armed Conflict 411: Somalia Interview with Jin 411: Arms Trade 411: Child Labour 411: Child Soldiers 411: Education 411: Violence Against Women 411: Early Marriage 411: Landmines
Your Initiative! How To Start A Club In Your School Volunteering Fundraising Ideas Campaigning What You Can Do About HIV/AIDS
Community
Youth Lounge Teachers Lounge General Discussion


- 411 amnesty


Discography

1) Where I'm Going

2) House Work

3) Let Me

4) Bang Bang (Cover)

5) Feel The Same

6) My Way

7) Pop

8) I Try Harpoon Missile ft Dru & Melanie Durrant

9) Natures Phone (remix) Arabesque ft Melanie Durrant

10) These are the Days Choclaire Ft Melanie Durrant

Photos

Bio

It’s not merely enough to declare yourself a diva. Indeed, any fauxfox can wiggle and prance while lip-synching insipid lyrics to an already familiar beat, but it takes real artistry to construct a new stylistic vanguard in soul, With the release of her debut disc Where I’m Goin’. Canadian chanteuse Melanie Durrant introduces the world to her unique, writing, arrangements, vocal production and edgy sound.
Joining the ranks of such rocking sisters as Dionne Farris and Joi, yet not sounding quite like anyone who has come blaring out of your radio before, this Toronto native has had music on her mind since she was a small child. “My mother is also a professional singer, explains Melanie, I can remember when she would bring home sheet music to learn her songs, and I would stand next to her and sing along, Sometimes if it wasn’t in a bar she would take me to the shows, it as the I knew I wanted to be a singer. Years later when her mother performed throughout the U.S. in a Tina Turner tribute review it was her baby girl who provided the gut-bucked backgrounds. “I learned so much about showmanship from my mother, says Melanie. “I had always known I wanted to be a singer, but my mother taught me how to be a professional. In addition to performing with my mother Melanie also stunned the Toronto underground with her style at a regional all-woman showcase known as Honey Jam. Like her friend Jill Scott, the multi-talented artist was also featured performer in the Canadian production of Rent. “My mom called me about the audition, recalls Durrant. I was supposed to perform two songs for the judges but after singing my first song (I’m Your Lady”), I was told I had the gig. Jill and I where in the show together so afterwards we often hung out and went shopping. A year later Melanie decided she had enough. “There is a lot of pressure in the theater, I realized I wanted to get my own stage and be the star of my own show” Citing influences that range from the soulful swoon of Minne Ripperton to the hard-knock of Aerosmith to the “mercy me” melodies of Marvin Gaye, the radiant singer/songwriter has no problems crashing through the wall of sound. Unafraid of being musically adventurous, Melanie Durrant and producer Ramel who constructed the entire album have designed Where I’m Goin to be both meaningful and unpretentious.
Most of the songs on Where I’m Goin” were recorded in a downtown Toronto respected Soundproof Studios, Opening up with a Jazzy upright bass and gritty turntable scratches, the title track and lead single, “Where I’m Goin is the perfect introduction to Durrants talent. A laid back anthem of ambitio for Chrysler’s PT Cruiser commercial,
Full of melodic surprised heavenly harmonies and bold direction, Where I’m Goin’ will definitely contribute to the future of Motown- she embodies the voice attitude and sound that young America has been waiting for

Durrant says, “I wanted this song to be about your own journey as I strive for success. I’ve always been a determined person, but it would have meant anything if it wasn’t for the people I’ve met and the places I’ve been. “the song caught the attention of Motown president and CEO Kedar Massenburg and in demand video director Little X “Nelly, Sean Paul, Jay Z Fabolous and more” and the unproven Durrant as well as the song were featured in a commercial