British-Filipina singer wants to unite people through her music

By Don Tagala, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

NEW YORK – With so much negativity around the world today – brought about by nations at war, by disasters or even by violence committed by individuals – British-Filipina singer/songwriter Melisa Le Rue wants to promote peace through music.

“All her songs, not just the lyric but the spirit that the music gives, rhythm, there’s a connection,” her promoter, Jus Rolle of Micheck Entertainment said, “It brings people together through music.”

After a series of successful singles released in London and Dubai, the London-born soul songstress debuted her first album at an EP release show at the Joe’s Pub in New York, Sunday night.

“I am proud to be Filipino, probably more than English, I have to say,” Melisa said, “Because we laugh and we have fun and stay positive throughout massive crises and being poor, that is so inspiring to me.”

Born to a British Quaker father and a Visayan Catholic mom from Leyte in the Philippines, Melisa grew up in an extended family of foster siblings in London.

In addition to her 4 siblings, she grew up with foster siblings adopted from Zimbabwe, Jamaica, Barbados and Afghanistan.

Her exposure to a variety of culture under one roof taught her to see beyond race and the importance of love regardless of color or ethnicity.

Her life experiences influenced Melisa’s music where she envisions a world without borders – singing songs about Love, identity, poverty, hope and freedom.

At the early age of 4, Le Rue started playing the piano, wrote her own songs at the age of 11 and started a funk band at 15.

Her Pinay mom, Lorna Rutherford said, “When she was a baby, she’s always singing everywhere, and you know, she would do everything just for singing.”

Rogel De Asia, a cousin from New York said, “One thing I like about Melissa is the message of her music. It speaks about like love, freedom, world peace.”

Meantime, less than 3 miles away from her show at the Public Theater, hundreds of protesters gathered in Times Square on Sunday to speak out against the escalating violence in the Middle East.

They are demanding the Obama Administration to help stop the violence and the fighting between Israel and Hamas extremists in Gaza.

Melisa says world peace is attainable only if people stop looking at their differences and start celebrating their similarities.

She said, “Music is energy, when you’ve given out something. Music has strong vibrations so I really try to like tell a positive message in my music and add a bit of hope and a bit of light to the situation.”

Melisa recorded her popular single “Unite” with the Grammy Award-winning Soweto Gospel Choir of South Africa.

The song inspired Le Rue’s team to create “I-Unite”, a social media platform that aims to unite people around the world – young and old – through music and education.

“Melisa has been the sort of Ambassador to unite people around the world. Her song inspired I-Unite,” Micheck Entertainment promoter Daimion Peppers said. “Melisa will be traveling, will be coming to the Philippines, will be coming to Dubai or London, around the world to spread the word of Unite.

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