Blessed with a passionate, powerful, straight from the heart voice, and lauded world-wide as the female personification of genuine contemporary R&B, scintillating Soul Princess MELI'SA ("Do Me Baby") MORGAN returns to the music industry forefront with I REMEMBER, her brilliant new Orpheus Music album, slated for release in August 2005.
The solid, much anticipated set is spearheaded by a remarkable, chart climbing, lead single remake of the 1979 Roberta Flack / Donny Hathaway smash "Back Together Again."
Throughout Meli'sa dynamically duets with her Orpheus Music label-mate Freddie ("Rock Me Tonight") Jackson, a/k/a the Sultan of sensual soul; who, like Meli'sa, recently signed a new recording contract with Orpheus Music (originally known as Hush Productions), the innovative record label, management and distribution company that launched both of their celebrated careers in the mid-1980s. "After nearly two decades in the entertainment industry these legendary performers continue to be among the most respected and talented vocalists in the business," said Orpheus President Beau Huggins, who, with Orpheus CEO and founder Charles Huggins, and its Vice-President, Charli Huggins, forecast major success for Meli'sa's hot new album. "We are so pleased that she and Freddie are back with us," adds Beau." We're ready and committed to take them to the top of the charts again."
Well on their way of doing so, personified by slick, first-class production, the powerhouse pair's consummate voices and raw emotional runs take "Back Together Again" to unbelievable new heights. With all due respect to Roberta and Donny, Meli'sa and Freddie make the timeless classic their own. "Once I decided I wanted to record 'Back Together Againi," advised Morgan, who was inspired to record the song after hearing the original on her car radio, "I knew I had to do it with Freddie; who is a close and enormously talented friend. We always wanted to record together, and judging by the awesome response the song is getting from fans, the press and radio, it clearly was the perfect choice."
Radio's number #2 most added single the week of its official release, "Back Together Again" is just another example of Meli'sa's uncanny ability to make perfect song choices. Check the record. Her critically acclaimed list of #1 hits include the Prince penned "Do Me Baby" (which made her a star), the fearless funk of "Fool's Paradise," the sizzling sensuality of "Do You Still Love Me," and "Love Changes," her electrifying collaboration with super '80s producer Kashif.
The I REMEMBER title track is ready to add another chart-topping slow jam to Morgan's stellar list of hits. Co-written and produced by Meli'sa and long time collaborator Lesette Wilson (who contributed six songs to her CD), "I Remember" is the album's sensational debut solo single. Breaking new emotional and vocal ground, Morgan delivers a pulsating, sensuous performance. Indeed, not since the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin stunned the world with the haunting "Ain't No Way" back in the '60s, has a new contemporary R&B ballad delivered such lyrical power, poignancy and pleasure. "This song is one everybody who has ever loved somebody, lost somebody or found that somebody again can relate to," says the deep thinking, ever-beautiful Meli'sa Morgan. "It's one of the best and most sincere songs I've ever recorded."
Influenced by great R&B divas like Chaka Khan, Patti LaBelle and Aretha Franklin, Meli'sa's impressive album also features her new stylized version of the aforementioned "Ain't No Way." Giving it her own spine tingling spin, she takes the Ashford & Simpson produced track to a rarely reached soul inspired plateau. "It's a song close to my heart, and working on it with my friends Nick and Valerie gave me the extra incentive to push the envelope. I wasn't trying to do it better than Aretha, no one could. I just wanted to do it my way, hoping to touch people with it the way the original version always touches me."
Keeping in touch with her younger, cross-generational fan base, the booming beats and shear hip-hop/soul influence of "Will You," another I REMEMBER hit-bound highlight, has the potential to widen the parameters of today's urban music landscape, and allow Meli'sa to reach inquisitive, open-minded teens seeking more substantive contemporary R&B. "I love young impressionable people," says Meli'sa, whose Meli'sa Morgan Foundation works on behalf of teen girls, encouraging their education ambitions and positive growth initiatives. "Musically and educationally speaking, I believe if you give kids good alternative choices, they are not only eager to listen, but willing to learn. Once they discover their positive roots, musical or otherwise, there's no turning back."
Turning back the hands of time to when Meli'sa first discovered her God given gift of song, she was only four years old when she started singing for people. "My mother was my driving force," she recalls. "She saw something in me and would sing with my sister and me, and have us put on shows for her friends in our Queens, New York living room. I love her for her encouragement because I have always loved to sing!"
By 8 Meli'sa was singing in the church choir. But it was her success in a high school talent show, wherein she basked in the glow of audience applause, that Meli'sa says she, "knew I wanted to be a singer. Nothing would ever be able to fill my heart and soul that way, and that is what I have devoted my life to.... singing. I have never needed drugs or anything like that. As long as I can sing.... that's the only high I will ever need."
After high school Morgan toured with bands, sang in clubs and attended Julliard's prestigious School of Music, studying music theory and chord structure. Next came backup singing and touring with major artists, including Chaka Khan, now one of her dearest friends, and still, informs Meli'sa, "one of my idols." The Khan connection introduced her to Lesette Wilson, then Chaka's musical director. "Lessette was inspirational for me during my first and second albums with Capitol Records," praised Morgan, whose reigned as one of Capital's premiere stars during her tenure at the label. "Not only did Lessette and I become close friends," adds Meli'sa, "together we wrote and produced "Fool's Paradise", "Do You Still Love Me?", "Good Love" and many other songs. That's why it was a wonderful decision on Orpheus and our parts to reunite and write and produce for my new CD."
Having experienced the highs, lows and in-betweens of the ever changing music business over the last two decades, Meli'sa, an accomplished songwriter, producer and actress, who studied at the Lee Strasburg Institute, understands that in addition to talent and tenacity, timing is everything. "I think the music industry is now more receptive to strong, gutsy and stylistic R&B singers, and this is a blessing for me in this day and time," says the distinctive vocalist, versatile singer whose ability to move an audience is legendary. "The universe," she concludes, "works in cycles. Everybody has his or her time. I believe it's my time again and I'm back in the game."
Back in the game and "Back Together Again" with her global legions of devoted fans, sexy soul Princess Meli'sa Morgan, along with Freddie Jackson (whose brand new album comes out later this year), and trailblazing Orpheus Music are at the forefront of a revolutionary new contemporary soul/R&B movement that kicks off with the Meli'sa's melodic masterpiece, I REMEMBER, a future classic album, that's impossible to forget.