Singer/songwriter and actress Melvis Santa comes from a family with no precedent in musical education. However, she grew up next to the legendary theater Federico Garcia Lorca, in a vivid and eclectic neighborhood of La Habana, Cuba, surrounded by multi-cultural influences. At the age of 14 she launched her professional career as part of the all-girl collective vocal group Sexto Sentido, a project that Cuban jazz great Chucho Valdés defined as “the best Cuban vocal quartet of the past 30 years” in 2007. The ensemble had previously earned the prestigious Jo Jazz award in 2001 as winner of the annual Cuban youth Jazz competition.
Twelve years after recording, performing, releasing albums and touring with the quartet in Cuba and abroad, Melvis Santa spread wings and began touring solo in the spring of 2011 as one of the lead vocalists of Interactivo, a seminal Cuban fusion band. From this period on she composed and recorded a collection of songs, officially releasing her debut solo album in 2012 entitled Santa Habana, a project that led to more performances and collaborations with other artists, both national and international, such as the London DJ and record label owner Gilles Peterson for his Havana Cultura Band.
Melvis studied classical piano in the Manuel Saumell Music School since the age of 7 and also completed a music degree as Music teacher at the University of Arts (I.S.A.) in her hometown. Nevertheless, her repertoire can be described best as Latin Soul, where influences from across the globe can be heard with strong authentic rhythms and soulful melodic attributes. Her music wavers between the intimate and urgent with a wide range of variety and timbre, while her smooth and soulful voice incorporates warm Blues inflections with elements of traditional Cuban sounds. As a result, she brings an original color to each song, delivering a rich palette of Latin sounds.
After years of studio recording, live performing experiences and travelling around the world as a singer and performer, she has also managed to find time to pursue her dream of becoming an actress, securing principal roles in the Italian short film Maria, directed by the young and talented Serena Corvaglia in 2010.