Mélissa Laveaux talks luthiers, representation and her "Pretty Woman moment" with Sister Rosetta Tharpe’s guitar

Melissa Laveaux
(Image credit: Getty Images)

When Mélissa Laveaux joins our call, she’s still buzzing from a bout of skipping, grasping for something to doodle on during her post-workout come down. It’s the golden hour in Paris, a city the Ottawa-born artist admits she moved to more through convenience than romance, without a drivers’ license and everything within walking distance.

Laveaux returns to our loudspeakers this month with her first new music since 2018’s Radyo Siwèl, a rich reworking of Haitian folk songs inspired by the singers and sounds that rang out from her Haitian parents’ record player growing up: actress and Vodou vocalist Toto Bissainthe and activist and composer Martha Jean-Claude. 

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Cheri Amour

Cheri Amour is a writer, editor and broadcaster intent on amplifying the voices of women and non-binary artists in print, online and on air. During her twenties, she played lead guitar in a touring two-piece, sharing the stage with The Slits and John Peel-approved punks The Nightingales. Formerly Deputy Editor at TGA Magazine, Cheri headed up its Tech section pouring over pedals with everyone to indie icon Debbie Smith (Echobelly/Curve) to multi-instrumentalist Katie Harkin (Sleater Kinney/Waxahatchee/Wye Oak). She's currently working on an upcoming 33 1/3 book on the unassuming influence of South Bronx sister troupe ESG, out in Spring 2023.