photo by Adrien Berthet
Melissa Weikart is a French/American vocalist, pianist, and composer originally from Boston, US, currently based in Strasbourg, FR. Her musical approach is shaped by her passion for experimental vocal harmony and formative training as a classical pianist. Melissa’s solo songwriting project emerged as a desire to confront her distinct experiences by providing a space for intimate dialogue between voice and piano. The result is playful and pensive, inviting listeners into a rich, raw world of twisted melodies and exposed dissonance. After releasing her EP Coffee and live album Testing All My Memories, she has signed with Northern Spy Records in Brooklyn, NY who will release her album Here, There in 2022.
Melissa enjoys collaborating with artists across many disciplines. She has performed with Carla Kihlstedt for her multimedia song cycle/theatre piece Black Inscription, and composed for San Francisco-based contemporary dance company Kickbal. Having recently received a grant from FACT/Fieldwork San Francisco, she and Kickbal co-director Emma Lanier are working on a performance art piece inspired by the Dancing Plague of 1518 in Strasbourg. Upon her arrival in Strasbourg, she formed Beatrice Melissa with DJ and Sound Artist Beatrice Masters, a current Master's student at HEAR Strasbourg. In Strasbourg, Melissa has started DJing, and is part of Tu mixes bien...pour une fille, a feminist collective combating sexism in the French electronic music scene.
While pursuing her Master’s in Contemporary Improvisation at New England Conservatory (NEC) in Boston (M.M. ’18), Melissa was awarded an Entrepreneurial Musicianship grant for “Wouldn’t It Be Nice: Pet Sounds Reimagined,” her recomposition of The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds performed by an all-female vocal choir and rock band. In June 2019, the ensemble presented a performance-lecture at the joint International Alliance for Women in Music & Feminist Theory and Music conference hosted by Berklee College of Music. At NEC, Melissa studied with Carla Kihlstedt, Anthony Coleman, Dominique Eade, Ran Blake, and Hankus Netsky, and co-founded Students Advocating for Gender Equity. She has been featured in INPUT/OUTPUT, a magazine dedicated to promoting women and non-binary musicians.