Melissa Czarnik
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Melissa Czarnik

New York City, New York, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2008 | SELF

New York City, New York, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2008
Band Hip Hop Indie




"Best Emerging Artist New York City"

Who would've thought: the most badass thing a hip-hop artist can do right now is team up with a French jazz pianist and record at a residency from a 50 year-old Chateau? For Melissa Czarnik, it's just one more notch in her boundary-busting belt. Recorded at Centre d'Art Marnay Art Center near France, 'Non Merci' is 13 tracks of hard-hitting hip-hop set to the cascading piano loops of pianist/composer Eric Mire. It's as surprising a pairing as it is effective on killer tracks like 'I Prefer' and 'Rummy.' Hard-hitting and smooth at once, check out the artist when she plays tonight with Eric Mire, free at Brooklyn Stable. - Mike Levine (@Goldnuggets) - Deli Magazine

"Second Stage: Melissa Czarnik"

With few exceptions, Bob Boilen and I can usually guess what a CD is going to sound like just by looking at the cover art. I guess when you look at several hundred discs a week, you start to see patterns. But you can add Melissa Czarnik's new album, Raspberry Jesus, to the list of ones I got very, very wrong. Here is is:

courtesy of the artist
What would you guess? Angular post-punk? Chamber pop? Speed metal (but ironically)? I figured it was some sort of mopey, introspective, whisper-rock-folk, singer-songwriter fare (not that there's anything wrong with that). It turns out Czarnik is indeed a poet, a gifted writer, with a fantastic voice. But her medium isn't broody folk. It's hip-hop.

Listen to 'Been This Way'
[3 min 29 sec]

Czarnik is a soulful, fluid rapper, backed by the five-piece Eric Mire Band. Together, they've produced a surprising, potent and thoughtful mix of funk, jazz, soul and hip-hop. Czarnik's flow reminds me a lot of Lauryn Hill's, so it wasn't surprising to learn that Czarnik cites Hill as an influence. She's even included a few short skits interspersed throughout Raspberry Jesus, a bit like Hill did on The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.

Raspberry Jesus is Czarnik's sophomore release, coming two years after her debut, Strawberry Cadillac. I had a hard time picking just one cut to feature here, so you'll definitely want to check out the rest of Raspberry Jesus. You can hear and learn more at Czarnik's website. - NPR - All Songs Considered

"Album Review: Melissa Czarnik's Raspberry Jesus"

While listening to Melissa Czarnik's Raspberry Jesus, her second album on Milwaukee based label Hyperdrive Motivator Productions, I found myself repeatedly picking up the CD cover and looking at her picture in amazement. Perhaps this is a controversial statement, but I needed to remind myself that the soulful hip-hop jams I was hearing were indeed coming from this little fresh faced hipster looking girl. Czarnik is a native of Milwaukee and her first album Strawberry Cadillac (so like a girl from the Midwest to look towards a fruit stand for album title inspiration) established her reputation as being a cut off the Lauren Hill block. Raspberry Jesus is a refreshing change of pace from the wide wide ocean of indie rock we've all been toot tooting along in. And the fact that the second song off the album, "Bedtime Stories" boasts having been written about in a magazine that rhymes with Itch Magazine didn't make me like her any less. Nope, not one bit. In fact it gives me great pleasure to provide her with another publication's name that would quite smoothly replace the former in any upcoming live performances. - Bust Magazine

"Despite Being a Minority, Femcees Continue to Put It Down in the Male Dominated World of Hip-Hop"

Hip-hop emcee Melissa Czarnik (aka MC) has been quietly but steadily putting it down from her Milwaukee base on the local hip-hop and spoken word scene. Already with two full length releases to her credit, MC is currently working on a forthcoming third album with her producer and Hyperdrive Motivator Productions label mate, Eric Mire. "I’m making plans to tour the East and West coasts in the summer/fall 2011, and in particular will be performing in NYC and Boston the weekend of May 27," the artist tells the Amoeblog. "I’ve been working with Laid Back Radio out of Brussels, Belgium on a compilation disc featuring artists from around the world. And other than that, I’m always on the grind, steadily promoting my first two albums, Raspberry Jesus (HMP, 2010) and Strawberry Cadillac (HMP, 2008)." For more information, free downloads, videos, pictures and music visit MC's website. Also check out her Facebook and her YouTube channel. - AMOEBLOG - Amoeba Music Blog

"Fem-Cee Melissa Czarnik"

Melissa Czarnik released her first album "Strawberry Cadillac" last year. Her unique style is a powerful mix of singer songwriter Hip Hop combined with jazzy instrumentation by the Eric Mire Band. "Strawberry Cadillac" is really one of my favourites tunes in my car ... So here she comes... from Milwaukee ... "fabulous, phenomenal MC, poet, amazing sister doing her thing - giving up to Melissa Czarnik!" (23-03-2009) - Anattitude Magazine

"One Road Trip, Three CD's"

Melissa Czarnik, Raspberry Jesus: This incredible young rapper from Milwaukee had me under her spell from the first to last moments of her album. Some of the songs are biographical, some are issues-based and many touch on the theme of love in a raw and wise way. Whatever the subject, Czarnik’s tracks are all verbally and musically smart. She has clear diction and there’s a musicality to the way she raps — her speaking is very much like singing. The sonic palette is very broad. I loved the use of a garbled-up Delibes “Flower Duet” in the song “Been this Way” and there are some gorgeous, tripping saxophone solos in “Canned Nutrition.” This girl is going all the way. - Lies Like Truth - Chloe Veltman (New York Times Contributor)


Non Merci (Hyperdrive Motivator Productions, 2012)

Laid Back Radio Compilation (Laid Back Radio, 2011)

Raspberry Jesus (Hyperdrive Motivator Productions, 2010)

Local Live - Melissa Czarnik with Eric Mire Band (Hyperdrive Motivator Productions, 2009)

Strawberry Cadillac (Hyperdrive Motivator Productions, 2008)



Brooklyn based Emcee and singer Melissa Czarnik (zar-nik) defies category with her genre blending approach to hip hop.  Effortlessly fusing styles, her inspirations range from Yasiin Bey (Mos Def), to Lauryn Hill to Hiatus Kaiyote. Labeled as one of the Deli Magazine's Best Emerging Hip Hop Artists in New York City, she is one of the most vital emcees to emerge on the underground scene in recent years.  Her soulful and sexy flow has captivated listeners with intricate lyricis and heartfelt storytelling at venues such as Rockwood Music Hall, The Living Room, The Knitting Factory and The Bowery Electric.  She performs with a live ensemble (bass, drum kit, djembe, piano, trumpet) led by composer and jazz pianist, Eric Joseph Meyer. 

Czarnik has toured the U.S. and Europe fusing elements of soul, classical and emceeing that satisfies both hip hop and jazz lovers alike.  She has been a special guest on WFMU's Women in Hip Hop Special hosted by Billy Jam (NJ/NY), Chloe Veltman's VoiceBox on KQED (San Francisco), and Supafly Radio on FM Brussel, among others. NPR’s All Songs Considered hails her as a “Soulful, fluid rapper that has produced a surprising, potent and thoughtful mix of funk, jazz, soul and hip-hop.”  She is currently working on her forthcoming album, Much Happy Person due out in the Fall 2015. 

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