Melissa Reyes
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Melissa Reyes

Orlando, Florida, United States | SELF

Orlando, Florida, United States | SELF
Band Folk Singer/Songwriter




"The Run-Off Groove #193"

"What helps incredibly on this new OaKs album is the introduction of a female voice, in this case vocalist Melissa Reyes. She handles the harmony and background vocals, but somehow becomes the angelic voice on an album full of hellish voices.... If anything that delicate voice does help give the album a bit of optimism to work on..."
The Run-Off Groove
- The Run-Off Groove

"Intricate - review"

“In Love With the Day stands out from most of the other songs...with a piano background, this song evokes Over the Rhine. Sony’s Song has a bit of a Tori Amos feel to it.”

Brian A. Smith - The Phantom Tollbooth - The Phantom Tollbooth


Intricate - Sydney and Melissa, 2004, Justice Road Productions
Songs for Waiting - The OaKs, 2008, Self-Released
Paper Hearts - in production, to be released 2012, Self-Released



*Winner of 98.9 WMMO's Acoustic Showcase at The Abbey in Orlando, FL, 3/23/2012. As the featured artist her music will be aired on 98.9's Sunday Morning Acoustic Show

Melissa Reyes is a 27 year-old singer/songwriter from Orlando, FL. With soulful vocals, cascading piano rhythms, and gentle acoustic guitar riffs, Melissa Reyes offers an impressive range of original songs that fuse elements of folk, pop and jazz. Her delicate voice both soars and saunters through melodies and lyrics that are both playful and poignant lyrics in her solo album release, entitled “Paper Hearts.”

“I wrote my first song at age 7 on a black upright Yamaha piano in our living room. I’m pretty sure it was terrible but my mom loved it. So as long as my brain has comprehended it was possible to write a song, I’ve been writing."

In 2003 she Sydney Schaef, a fellow singer/songwriter and they began to write and perform together throughout North Florida while at the University of Florida in Gainesville. Together they recorded and released an album “Intricate” through the independent Justice Road Productions label.

After graduating in 2006, she found her back in Orlando and eager for more creative outlets. In the winter of 2006, she joined The OaKs, a local indie band heavily influenced by the likes of Radiohead, The Album Leaf and Sigur Ros. She sang backing vocals, played glockenspiel, keyboard, Wurlitzer and melodica for The OaKs, a six-piece band that featured mandolin, trombone, accordion and trumpet layers. They released an album "Songs for Waiting" in March 2008, which garnered respectable reviews in the blogsphere and Paste Magazine. In addition to regular Orlando gigs, The OaKs performed in showcase sets at the Florida Music Festival in Orlando, SXSW 2008 in Austin, TX and the CMJ festival in New York City, even performing a set on NPR’s Public Radio International airwaves.

It was at that particular SXSW festival in Austin that Melissa attended the Hotel Cafe showcase at the Parish, featuring artists like Sara Bareilles, Joshua Radin, Ingrid Michaelson and Cary Brothers. "I was standing on my feet for 5 straight hours, about 6 feet away from the stage and I loved every minute of it. I was just amazed at artist after artist coming on-stage. Each performance was simple but so incredibly well-crafted and unique and I thought to myself, 'I wanna do that.' I mean, I was in a band at the time but I realized I wanted to do THAT. I was also just impressed by the level of support and love that the Hotel Cafe artists had for each other. It was this great songwriting community of friends. I knew I wanted to be a part of something like that."

After the OaKs broke up amicably in late 2008, Melissa backpacked throughout Australia for a few months before deciding to return home to Orlando, ready to write, record and perform.

"'Paper Hearts' is sort of a blend of all of my experiences, and musical influences over the past few years. There's folk, jazz, and pop influences. I branched out and experimented with different instruments, including the accordion and ukulele. In that time, I traveled to Africa and Australia. I had heartbreak. I saw real poverty for the first time. I found some great friends. For me, "Paper Hearts" is all about being changed and moved by the world and people around you. I really think everyone can find something in it they can enjoy, both musically and emotionally."

"Paper Hearts" will be released in 2012 and will be available on iTunes, and other major digital music retailers.

*Winner of 98.9 WMMO's Acoustic Showcase at The Abbey in Orlando, FL, 3/23/2012. As the featured artist her music will be aired on 98.9's Sunday Morning Acoustic Show