Melissa Farrior: Rising country singer visits Imperial Valley

Country musician Melissa Farrior performs in the studio as she records several of her original songs. Farrior and her band recently performed as the opening act for the Time Hurley Band at the Naval Air Facility in El Centro. Courtesy photo.

EL CENTRO – Rising country music artist Melissa Farrior recently visited Imperial Valley as one of her concert stops in a tour across the west coast. Performing as the opening act for the Time Hurley Band at the Naval Air Facility, El Centro concert, Farrior sang several cover songs of other artists, and even a few of her own creations.

Farrior said she has happily performed since the age of ten when she joined show choirs and participated in several competitions.

“My mom got me into pretty much anything that I could sing or dance. When I was 12, I realized that I enjoyed singing more,” said Farrior.

Although she attended college with the intent to become a first grade teacher, Farrior soon realized she had other dreams. While in college, she joined a band and performed as a backup singer, but that brought new challenges into her life as she often lost her voice because of the effort to sing louder than the instruments for several hours at a time.

Farrior explained, “I wasn’t used to it. I was just a choir girl. After one performance, I would lose my voice. Now, we play about five shows a week.”

Eventually, she started her own band called the Melissa Farrior Band, and the group consists now of two guitar players, one bass player, drums, and Farrior as lead vocals and on rhythm guitar.

Being the leader of the band was harder than it seemed, Farrior claimed as she talked about the difficulties of acting as a mediator for the sometimes bickering band members.

“Sometimes it’s hard to know when you have to take sides, when someone is right or wrong, or when someone is just being a diva,” said Farrior.

From learning how to sing correctly, to dealing with last minute cancellations, Farrior expressed that all of her hard work was worth it.

“The last three years have made me realize that I’m meant to do this,” she said. “Seeing people’s reactions and the appreciation they have for what I do, and knowing that I’m helping people through rough times, made me realize that maybe this dream isn’t just for myself.”

Farrior’s songwriting process begins with finding chords and chord progressions that sound just right, she explained. Then she freestyles singing until she finds the right sound and the right message as she works with her lead guitarist to create the band’s music.

“I find one phrase that I really like, and then I build around it,” she said.

But sometimes she struggles to find inspiration, she admitted, as she pulls from her own experiences to create her music. She explained that lately, she has been using the emotions from major events to write her music — including the shootings in Las Vegas and Texas which evoked strong emotions in her and pushed her to write songs.

While the Melissa Farrior Band has performed along the west coast to get the exposure and the band’s name out there, the hope is to eventually make it to Nashville with a solid fan base and plenty of gigs, they said.