Melodie Nicole laying down vocals from DFW to ATL

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Dallas-Fort Worth songstress Melodie Nicole will make her Atlanta debut in “Jazz & Soul For the Cure,” Friday, Aug. 30 at Center Stage Theater. The “tribute to legends” concert will raise money and awareness for Susan G. Komen Greater Atlanta. The show will honor great music legends Luther Vandross, Phyllis Hyman and Whitney Houston and include a special birthday tribute to the King of Pop, Michael Jackson. The cast of artists include jazz and soul sensation Toni Redd, recording artist Marc Staggers, global sax man Art Sherrod Jr.

Rolling out sat down for a Q-and-A with Melodie Nicole. Here’s what she had to say:

You are preparing to perform a few Whitney Houston classics at Atlanta’s upcoming “Jazz & Soul For The Cure” concert, emotionally, how do you prepare for this?
I love how the richness of Whitney’s career has had a profound affect on me as an artist. Like Whitney, I began singing in church and I began to develop as a singer at a very young age. The emotional connection I feel when singing her music is from deep within. I take it very seriously because it’s a precious gift I’m able to share.

What made you realize you had this very special gift?
As a young girl I discovered this amazing feeling I’d get whenever I would sing in front of an audiences, whether at church or during other performances. Also people would often tell me how moved they were by my voice. So I think I realized it with the combination of those two things.

How would you describe your sound?
I would say my sound is classic soul but with a contemporary feel.

Along with Whitney Houston, what artists have been your biggest musical influences?
There are too many to name, but first and foremost my parents. My mom and dad, Milton and Shirley Pace are gospel singers. Also, my dad is pastor of a church in Fort Worth. Next to them other strong influences have included Anita Baker, Chaka Khan and the late Phyllis Hyman. I’m also a trained classical singer and I absolutely love Kathleen Battle.

You are a wife and mom of four children. You’re also a business owner. How do you find time to work on new music and perform?
I have an amazingly supportive husband, Pharoah Davis. Together we accomplish a great balancing act. We manage family time, the kids’ schedules and the responsibilities of our business, a child care and children’s performing arts studio. My husband is also a musician and singer himself so he holds me accountable, helps me with vocal drills and encourages me to sing whenever possible.

What seems to surprise people the most when they hear you sing?
I’d say people are surprised when they realize how diverse my vocal toolbox is. I sing classical, R&B, pop, gospel and I even enjoy singing country music!

What are your hobbies outside of music?
I love interior design and fashion. I love to start with little or nothing and work until I’ve created something unique and beautiful. I’m pretty eclectic and that speaks a great deal for my entire lifestyle. I’m also in love with fitness and I’m hooked on working out.

You have solid fan support in the Dallas Fort Worth area. You’ve also performed frequently in the New York area where your husband is from. What can Atlantans expect from Melodie Nicole?
First I’m so thrilled to be a part of this amazing lineup of artists performing tributes to our unforgettable music legends! I want give Atlantans and everyone who comes out to the show an exciting “real music” experience! Singing is spiritual to me. It’s an expression that transcends a passion from within me. I use what I’ve absorbed from great music legends who came before me and I blend it together with what’s inside of me, the result is true to heart, beautiful music.

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