When an artist like Melanie Fiona appears on the scene her vocal delivery causes your ears to perk up and pay attention. With a diverse background it is no wonder that her debut album is called ‘The Bridge’, as it is filled with a cross section of sounds and samples that take you on a journey of listening bliss.The combination of Guyanese parents and living in multi-cultural Canada, illustrate Melanie Fiona’s sound and the various cultural influences that make her the artist she is today. The regularly rotated ‘Give It To Me Right’ and a hidden track exclusive to this region called ‘Island Boy’, reflect why Melanie Fiona was hand picked by Kayne West himself to open for him on his Glow in the Dark tour. Flavour caught up with the rising starlet for a quick chat.
How are you finding London?
I absolutely love it! It reminds me of my home Toronto.
So how did you get into singing?
It’s been a natural thing to me my whole life. When I was a teenager I realised music is what I love more than anything.
What helped you to develop your sound?
It took a lot of discovery and development as I had to really figure out what it was that was going to separate me from other people. People challenging me and telling me who I should be helped me to decide what type of sound I wanted to create.
How would you describe your album?
I really wanted to make an album that bridged the gap and blurred the lines between what people think music is meant to be. It’s definitely an album that encompasses many different genres of music. I want to know that I’ve made my mark in music and that people will appreciate it for years to come.
What’s your favourite track on the album?
It’s a hidden secret track called ‘You Stop My Heart’
Is that one you wrote yourself?
I worked with Andrea Martin on it. The original sample is from Frankie Avalon’s ‘Venus’ and I have such fond memories of my parents dancing to this and playing dominoes on a Saturday night.
What was it like opening for Kayne?
Incredible. He gave me the opportunity to perform on such a huge scale which is unreal. It was one of the best learning experiences and I think one of the best accomplishments for my career, so far.
Which artists inspire you?
For me the top of my music food chain Sam Cooke. His music gives me goosebumps and he was before his time. A lot of people forget about him, he inspired so many soul artists – the Stevie’s and the Marvin’s.
If you could duet with anyone who would you pick?
Lauryn Hill. I would totally let her lead the whole song; I would just throw in some backgrounds!
What would you say inspires you to write?
I’d say life does because I love travelling and by meeting different people you hear what they’ve been through and that makes them who they are. By really acknowledging the way you feel about things and the way things make you feel is the way to be inspired by anything.
What could you not live without?
The support of my family means the most to me. It’s just the best feeling to know that you have people in your corner who love and support you and who’ll help you do anything to help you your dream become a reality.
Where do you see yourself being in ten years?
Hopefully still making music, definitely happy and healthy, my family taken care of and to have visited every country in the world.
Her debut album The Bridge is out July 20 on SRC/ Motown Universal Records.
Words by Natalie Vincent