Melissa Axel studied at Boston's Berklee College of Music and earned a master's in Interdisciplinary Arts from Nova Southeastern University, creating the multimedia stage production The Human Adventure. The song "Fall This Hard" went on to be featured in the award-winning film Who's Afraid of Vagina Wolf?, and Axel has written custom end credits songs for three short films, including Whitney’s Wedding, winner BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM, Focus On Ability Short Film Festival (Australia).
Almost 200 Kickstarter backers helped fund a limited edition vinyl release of Axel's debut album, with string arrangements by award-winning composers Matthew Nicholl and Kailin Yong, featuring both Yong and DeVotchKa’s Tom Hagerman on violin. In the UK, Axel received several WOMAD songwriting workshop scholarships, co-writing the song "Every Place Is Home" with Peter Gabriel collaborator Andy White.
As associate producer of live-to-film concerts such as The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast, as well as A Whole New World of Alan Menken, Axel enjoys working with the legendary composer on his retrospective solo show and bringing to life gala Hollywood Bowl productions of these Disney animated classics with a full orchestra and performances by guest stars such as Sara Bareilles, Taye Diggs, Rebel Wilson, Cheech Marin, Lea Michele, and Harvey Fierstein.
Additional live-to-film concerts include the hit romantic comedy La La Land, conducted by Oscar®-winning composer Justin Hurwitz with a special performance by Arturo Sandoval, Evil Dead In Concert: A Halloween Experience featuring the wild Up chamber orchestra performing original composer Joe LoDuca's re-imagined score of Sam Raimi’s 1981 classic live-to-picture at The Theatre At Ace Hotel with a Greek chorus of singers and musicians from Jazz’s Golden Age that still haunt the historic venue, and the 1971 favorite Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, for which Axel supervised a diverse team creating animations of original artwork by SHAG to be projected on the Bowl proscenium in sync with song performances by guest artists such as Ingrid Michaelson, John Stamos, and "Weird Al" Yankovic.
Together with fellow producers Makena Metz and Angela Parrish, Axel is developing the new shorts project DRIVEN: Modern Musicals About L.A. Artists. Axel co-wrote eleven songs for two of the mini-musicals, Hair Day and Slightly Composed.
In 2020, Axel began producing online variety specials such as Soundtrack of Our Lives, which united the biggest names in film and television music to raise money for the MusiCares® COVID-19 Relief Fund (a charity affiliate of The Recording Academy / GRAMMY®s). For the show, Axel wrote new lyrics for the La La Land parody “Another Day Inside,” and went on to co-write new lyrics for The Greatest Showman’s “This Is Me” for the grand finale of HFPA Philanthropy: Empowering the Next Generation, a virtual grants celebration of which Axel was also a creative producer. Axel loves to collaborate with composers and write custom lyrics for narrative projects of all kinds, as well as develop film projects, especially animation and shows with modern twists on the early Hollywood musical style.