Blessed with a voice influenced by an early Joni Mitchell, and an ability to imbue her vocals with palpable emotion without going over the top, Melanie Peterson, a Saskatoon born, Toronto based, singer-songwriter and actress has quietly become one of the brightest lights on the Toronto music scene.
Peterson was born and raised in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan: her mother of Norwegian heritage, while her father’s family came from Czechoslovakia. Her parents both played guitar and sang together in a band while attending medical school at U of S and Melanie sites growing up listening to her father sing and play Bob Dylan songs as a key formative experience.
Melanie has been referred to as “Mary Poppins with a broken heart” by BBC Radio and has been recognized as having “a beautiful voice” and being a “terrific songwriter” by Joe Warmington of the Toronto Sun. She earned a spot within the independent music scene in Toronto March 2012, when she showcased her original music during CanadianMusic Week, at the Royal York Library Bar. She was invited back to perform two showcases at CMW 2013. She launched her first full-length album UNBREAKABLE April 2013 at The Piston in Toronto. Melanie followed that up with a triumphant NXNE showcase and a successful Southern Ontario tour.
Melanie initially moved to Toronto to pursue a career in acting. Between acting jobs she often picked up the Gibson guitar her father had given her as a curious parting gift and wondered how to play it. She asked guitar playing friends to teach her a few chords. She then began the second leg of her artistic journey: songwriting and performing her songs live. The feedback she got each time she ventured out to play her songs for Toronto audiences was encouraging. She was invited to host and perform her original songs in a monthly female singer-songwriter night at the renowned Cameron House. The show was called Girls Girls Girls and the second Saturday of every month between September 2010 and December 2012. Melanie, along side many of Toronto’s top female singer-songwriters, packed that room. Melanie’s songwriting skills improved rapidly during this period as audiences were hungry for new songs at each show.
Melanie released a five song EP in 2011 called AFTER THE FALL and the reviews were encouraging;
“A melodically enchanting songwriter and musically adept guitarist ” ~ New Moon Magazine
“If you are looking for super live music, check out Melanie Peterson, a terrific singer and songwriter…she sounds just as good live as she does on her album…. She has a beautiful voice and her songwriting is tops, too.” ~ Toronto Sun
Her follow up full length album “UNBREAKABLE” was well received by critics and fans alike. Many of the songs from “UNBREAKABLE” are currently receiving spins on BBC, CBC, various indie and college radio stations and Mediazoic Internet radio. The album is available for purchase on iTunes and Bandcamp .
Melanie followed her release of “UNBREAKABLE”, with a 6 song cover EP titled READ IT ON THE RADIO, which was part of a six week digital download campaign in which Melanie released one new cover song every week from April 28th, 2014 to June 1st, 2014.
Melanie’s song “Lucky Me” was recently chosen, out of hundreds of submissions , to be included in the Music 311 winter 2015-2016 playlist.
Melanie Peterson recently released 11 new songs for her sophomore album Anywhere From Here (March 2016) produced by Mitch Girio and followed that up with summer and fall Canadian tour dates in Ontario, Quebec, Alberta and British Columbia, and a stint on VIA Rail’s national ‘Artists on board’ program.
Melanie also recently received her second FACTOR grant which she used to record an original holiday single, which was released to radio stations across Canada on Dec.5, 2016. The single, titled Santa’s Sleigh, was produced by award winning producer Chris Birkett (Sinead O’Connor and Buffy St. Marie) and is available on iTunes.
Melanie Peterson is on the path to success. Terrific musicianship, songwriting skills, and a top notch live show, combined with a well defined, concrete plan and the motivation to push through adversity to peruse goals that lie before her, Melanie has the potential to develop into one of Canada’s top performing artists.