Melanie Faye

Melanie Faye

credit: Leon Dupree

Praised for her “divine guitar skills” by Fader, the Tennessee native melds melodic jazz, rhythmic funk, and soulful R&B into an intoxicating and hypnotic blend that belies her young age. While Hendrix comparisons may be an inevitable rite of passage for any brilliant black guitarist, especially one with a stunning look and throwback style like Faye, her music actually shares more in common with Stevie Wonder, commanding your attention through a tender, understated sophistication rather than any virtuosic display of fireworks. She counts Michael Jackson among her biggest inspirations, and it’s not hard to hear hints of Eric Johnson as her fingers glide across the fretboard, but there’s no denying that Faye is a uniquely modern artist: raised a Jehovah’s Witness by chemist parents, she counts R&B star SZA among her earliest fans, and her first exposure to her instrument came through the Guitar Hero video games.



Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.

Genre: R & B
Subgenre: Alternative
From: Nashville, TN