Cara-Mel, whose real name is Dana Lawrence is a female Hip Hop/Rap artist representing the Baltimore/Washington D.C. Metropolitan area known as the DMV. Her style can be best described as a blend of R&B, Hip Hop, Down South, and Dance meets Trap with a Social Justice aspect. Mel likes to sum it up as Conscious Trill. She began her musical journey at the tender age of seven listening to inspirational Oldies But Goodies; where her interest in R&B artists such as Stevie Wonder and Al Green lead to writing full R&B/Soul ballads and playful up-tempo tunes by the age of eleven. Deeply into jazz artists such as Kenny G and Najee, she started playing the saxophone in the sixth grade and was invited during her first year of playing to the All-City Band; where she was ranked third chair overall in her hometown of Chesapeake, Virginia. By the age of fourteen, Cara-Mel became intrigued with Miami Bass, Down South and Hip Hop music with influences such as Luke, Salt-N-Pepa, Tupac, Lauryn Hill, Slick Rick, A Tribe Called Quest, and 69 Boyz; this is where her style of rhythmical writing took off into her own creation during the early part of this artist’s indie career.
However, after years of struggling to get on with a major label she made the mistake of giving up pursuit of her musical dreams and stopped creating and producing music. Once hanging up her microphone, this musical talent spent several years working as a special education teacher and in fitness. In 2008, she started a health and wellness business, which became very successful throughout the Washington D.C. Metropolitan area for five years. However, during the mid-2013 economic slowdown and the federal government’s sequestration; cutbacks forced her to close the family business. The sudden loss of income led to the foreclosure of her home and subsequent bankruptcy.
Attempting to get back on her feet, this young artist was hit with another blow; as she was diagnosed with Ductal Carcinoma in Situ (DCIS), which is considered the earliest form of breast cancer. Once given this devastating news her reflection about life came to the forefront with some regrets. It was during this time she vowed to go back to one of her greatest past loves; which was music. This motivated Cara-Mel to record “Broke,” her first hip hop song in years. The street promo song, “Broke” placed her on the map when it caught the attention of DJ SIDEREAL from Minnesota and landed a spot on the “Stamp of Approval” mixtape song bangers of the year in 2015. This song was written and recorded to reflect the frustrations of living check to check; which everyone can relate to at some point of their lives. Following her return to the music scene, she released “Back To The Grind;” a sneak peek of what was to come from the highly anticipated debut mixtape “Racial Profile,” which was released in September of 2016. Since then, Mel’s music has been placed on several mixtapes such as “Never Falling Off,” hosted by the On By Society Movement and DMV vs EVERYBODY 3, a popular DMV Music Plug local artist’s series. In addition, this beautiful lady has landed magazine spreads from Mr. Dreamz to Poze Magazine, and was the winner in the category for "Best Hip Hop Album Of The Year" at the X-Poze-ing Music Awards in September 2018 for “Racial Profile.”
With 2018 ending on a great note; she was looking forward to collaborations with various artists as her career began expanding into 2019. However, excited about new opportunities ahead and while recording new works; this queen was hit with unexpected news. After a routine exam, Mel discovered she would have to lace up those combat boots once again with the diagnosis of breast cancer (DCIS) in April of 2019. But, with discipline and perseverance this two time pink survivor has worked hard to get back to her music career and living cancer free in just six months.
In addition, not only can Cara-Mel flow; but she is a singer-songwriter and saxophonist on a mission to bring change through song. Having a sound like no other, this quadruple talent is definitely creating her own lane; as she continues to astonish the industry with cross-genre music that demonstrates her versatility. And though this emerging artist strives to empower others globally; her unique style demands attention as she positions herself as a lyrical storyteller of our time.