Indies And The Underground

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Artist Profile: Mel Alston Jr.

Philadelphia-based singer Mel Alston Jr. has made a name for himself in the east coast music scene, performing at dozens of venues in the tri-state area with his brand of soulful, throwback R&B.

Inspired by his mother Renee as well as music greats like Stevie Wonder, Luther Vandross, Michael Jackson, Jodeci and Babyface, Alston learned to play the piano at an early age. Eventually mastering the trombone and trumpet, he played in marching bands from junior high through his days at Howard University.

Alston started writing music while a member of Stage Right ministry of New Covenant Church of God in Philadelphia, acting in several church musicals before striking out on his own. Waking Up Vol. 1, his first solo project, contains plenty of gems like the sultry jams “Sundress,” and “Let’s Get Away” the latter propelled by a slinky guitar riff as Alston goes through a list of exotic locations he and his love can go.

Other cuts like “Come Back To Me” and the duet “Never Be The Same,” featuring Lei Row, mine the complex emotions of confusion, regret and anger that accompany a lost love. Meanwhile “All Grown Up,” featuring rapper Jalima Shani reminisces about care-free childhood days gone by.

Listen to Waking Up Vol. 1 at Alston’s bandcamp page, and watch the video for “Let’s Get Away” below.

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