Melanie Brulée: A Star in the Making
Cornwall Ontario - She left nearly a year ago for the bright lights of the provincial capital, but Melanie Brulée is returning to her hometown to launch her latest project.
Brulée is bringing her five-song EP to Cornwall on Thursday, as well as some Toronto musicians to accompany her for a concert.
“I’m super excited,” she said.
Brulée said she experimented with electric guitar for the album, and gathered a trombonist, a standup bass player and a drummer to work with her. She found a local connection for the recording as well — the engineer was Myles Lacroix, a Cornwall native.
“He did a great job,” said Brulée.
Called Sucré/Salé (Sweet/Salty), Brulée said the project practically has a split personality and features a folksy cabaret sound.
The title comes from her first entirely French song, Niege Au Japon.
Though she's penned choruses or short snippets of songs in her second language before, this time the melody called for only French.
“You can get into different emotions with different languages,” she said.
Though she speaks and thinks in English most of the time, Brulée said she hopes to make better use of her bilingualism in her music.
“I definitely want to write more in French,” she said. “I’m working on a few songs at the moment.”
Though Brulée has lived in Toronto for nearly a year, she said her life is still a balancing act as she writes, performs, works, organizes events and cheers on fellow musicians.
“I’ve been playing heaps in Toronto and around,” she said, adding that she recently helped form a network of female artists in the big city.
“We’re part of this collective called Ladies in Waiting,” she explained.
“It’s in the very early stages of being a label.”
For now, the group is acting as a support system — discovering emerging musicians, running shows and making connections in the industry.
“These are girls that have taught me a lot since I've been in Toronto,” she said.
She’s also learning from a veteran music publicist that has taken her under his wing.
“He's been in the business for 45 years,” she explained. “He's teaching me how to do my own publicity and how to discover good music.”
Brulée is playing and writing with a country bluegrass band as well, and recently performed in a musical that featured one of her original tunes.
“It was super neat,” she said. “It was my first foray into theatre stuff.”
It was the initial step into an avenue that Brulée hopes will eventually take her to cabarets in Europe.
But for now, Brulée is fully immersed in the Toronto music scene while still remembering where she came from.
“I’m still connected to Cornwall,” she said. “That's where my roots are. Cornwall was a big support in my career (when I was) starting out. Everyone was really encouraging.”
She said it’s always a boost to come back every few months and hear from local fans, though she also appreciates the growing experiences available in the larger city.
“I’m so glad I made the move,” she said.
Brulée will bring a few fellow musicians to Cornwall on Thursday, along with a Ladies in Waiting colleague Faye Blais, who will open the show.
The release concert will kick off at 7 p.m. at the Social, formerly called the Church on Sydney.
Tickets are $18 in advance — available at the Grind, Melody Music or Strung Out Guitars — or $20 at the door.
The above article was written by Cheryl Brink of the Standard-Freeholder. You can view more news stories from the Freeholder here:
About Melanie Brulée
After turning 21 Melanie spent seven years between her hometown of Cornwall, Ontario and the rainforests outside of Byron Bay, Australia. There she formed pop-rock trio General Electryk with Australian drummer and producer Angus Donnelly. Melanie and Angus teamed up with Cornwall musicians Jason Ryan (bass), Marc D. Muir (lead guitar) and Morrocan percussionist Noureddine Ismag and opened for Chantal Kreviazuk at Cornwall’s Lift Off Festival in 2010. General Electryk’s debut album Petty Little Things was released in 2010 and produced by Cornwall's Glenn Forrester (Sarah Slean, Barstool Prophets, Enter the Haggis).
Melanie recently made the move to settle down in Toronto.Her debut solo release, Sucré/Salé, is a 5-track EP which includes lyrics in French and in English and has been described as “quirky and inventive…with instrumentation that adds Euro flair.”