Foley started almost as a dare – a challenge between two long time friends to blend their mutual love of pop, funk and dance into a meaningful spin on pop music. Frustrated with the standard model of two-piece acts being pigeonholed into 1 vocalist and 1 producer, Foley made a point to be equal. Songs are crafted together, 50/50; with neither party more important than the other. In a male dominated industry where female vocalists are often commoditized, it’s an important distinction to make.
Both talented writers, producers, and performers, the pair collaborate on everything from lyrics & melody to instrumentation & performance – nothing is one sided and the result is greater than the sum of its parts. The long list of achievements following their debut single ‘Settle’ is proof that going against the grain works.
Released in October 2017, the bass-driven debut immediately launched the pair into local hearts and minds, receiving extensive radio support from one of New Zealand’s largest commercial radio stations ZM and NZ’s largest dance station George FM. ‘Settle’ also received wide support from DSPs, landing on Spotify’s prestigious Fresh Finds: Hiptronix playlist and clocking up over 50K streams since release. And after only one month in the public eye, Foley were invited to play New Zealand’s largest New Years festival, Rhythm & Vines for it’s second consecutive sold-out year.
Waves like this don’t go unnoticed – Foley’s success quickly pricked the ears of the industry, landing the duo features on tastemaker blogs like Coup de Main. The pair also secured government funding and a coveted spot on the NZ On Air’sNewTracks disc – which is presented to top level broadcast media. Behind the scenes, the duo have formed a relationship with some of NZ’s best producers: Josh Fountain (Thomston, LEISURE, MAALA) and Djeisan Suskov (Mitch James, Matthew Young) – trying new sounds and tearing apart old habits.
Providence raised, Dominican R&B/soul singer-songwriter and guitarist Esty has just released her second record as of earlier this month. She is renowned for her soft angelic tone, addictive melodies and timeless vocal. A vocalist with a vibrant, yet soulful sound Esty has been making her mark on the music scene over the past 4 years. Esty strikes a fine balance with her musical sound, finding the perfect equilibrium between R&B and Soul vocal with her catchy signature melodies. She has drawn comparisons to artists such as Sade, Tracey Chapman and The Weeknd as a high quality vocalist and an artist in her own right. She’s co-written and featured songs for Chris Brown, as well as collaborated on various tracks with Tyga. Through her new EP Cathartic, she has taken a new direction and emerged into a sound described as sophisticated, raw, heartfelt and mesmerizing.
How did it all start?
“I started out printing the lyrics of my favorite songs at the time and learning them so I could perform them at family gatherings. All the kids were put in one room while the adults cooked and hung out in the living room/kitchen. My sisters and cousins were my first audience. I signed up for Providence’s All City Orchestra and played violin and drums at age 12. When I was about 13, I was told by my school counselor that there was a Performing Arts Camp in the summer she thought I would be interested in. It was a ten day camp fully backed by Britney Spears at the time and all I had to do was write a letter explaining why I wanted to be a part of her camp. Only 250 kids were to be chosen for this camp and I ended up being one of them for 3 summers. My life was never the same after that. It solidified for me that this was what I was meant to do. At 16, I bought my first acoustic guitar and wrote my first song. During High School I knew I wanted to go to Berklee College of Music, but my grades weren’t up to par so that didn’t happen. After I graduated H.S. I moved to Los Angeles with $400 and slept on my friend’s couch til I could find a job. At 20 I attended The Musician’s Institute in Hollywood for a little and PA’d for an artist signed to Atlantic Records at the time. Originally, I was auditioning for her band (backup vocals) but ended up being her personal assistant and touring America with her so I got to see the work that went on in the background. In 2014, I self-released an EP called Darkroom which featured Tyga and appeared on the Fan of a Fan album with both Chris brown and Tyga. Later in 2016 by then I had written dozens of songs on guitar and learned to compose/produce music on Logic. The year of 2017 was spent writing and recording the songs for my newly released 8-song project called ‘Cathartic’.”
Which artists inspire you?
“The ones who are unapologetically and passionately themselves. I’m inspired by the artists that wreak of authenticity. Tracy Chapman, Billie Holiday, Al Green, Selena Quintanilla, Sade, Miles Davis to name a few, inspire me. Most recently I’ve been inspired by Moses Sumney.”
How would you describe your sound?
“Soul/Pop/R&B Rhythmic, mellow, ethereal, blissful, bold, lush, mesmerizing, heartfelt, and sophisticated.
Pianist. Guitarist. Vocalist.
Melissa has been writing music since she taught herself four chords on a keyboard almost 13 years ago.
As a way of escaping her difficult upbringing, Mel lived and survived through her music and now wants to share and connect with people through those songs.
for all media requests, please contact Molly Boekenheide