This soulful songstress spent last year on tour with AlicIa Keys and collecting a PLethora of awards. With a life any little girl would dream of, there’s no wondering why we want to get to know her.
With two Grammys and a new album, The MF Life, Melanie Fiona is looking forward to a busy year. After realeasing her album in March, Melanie is on a whirlwind press tour. Excited to be hitting the road again to share new music with her fans, the Canadian singer caught up with us to talk fashion, beauty, men, and, of course, life.
2012 began on a high note for you: two Grammys for your collaboration with Cee Lo Green, “Fool for you.” did you expect to win?
On Grammy day, my focus shifted from winning an award to winning respect. I was really affected by the death of Whitney Houston; I woke up with her still on my mind. When I was getting ready, I sang Whitney’s “All At Once” and I just felt rejuvenated. When I got to the awards, I was with my family and I had been texting with Cee Lo and Jack Splash so I felt relaxed because they all wished me luck. I felt good, positive regardless of a win that day. Then they called my name!
Speaking of Cee Lo, would you be open to appearing on the voice?
Absolutely! The Voice is a great spin on past reality talent shows. I think that The Voice is the first show to truly show people’s organic talent for what it is and I am happy to see Cee Lo garner great success from the show. It is really a perfect fit for him because he always is open to working with quality musicians regardless of who they are. This is pretty clear if you look at his long career.
You grew up listening to Whitney Houston. how did she influence you?
The first song I ever sang was Whitney Houston’s “Greatest Love of All.” My dad played the guitar and I sang it when I was only two-and-a-half-years old. To me, Whitney represents my childhood and the voice that first taught me to sing. Although I never met her, I feel so close to her.
I was on tour in Atlanta with Alicia Keys and I had heard that Whitney was in the crowd after the show. When my team told me, I was already on the bus and I burst into tears because I didn’t get the opportunity to meet and thank her. Everyone kept telling me I would have the opportunity to meet her down the line, but I never did. I never got to tell her how much she influenced me and inspired me to be a singer.
What’s your all-time favorite R&B album?
Lauryn Hill’s The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. This album was flawless. It really inspired me to break barriers with my own music. Triple threat.
How Does THE MF Life differ from The Bridge?
Ever since the release of my debut album, The Bridge, I’ve been looking for and taking in experiences that would help inspire my next work. I started working on The MF Life in the most organic form I know, taking from my own personal ups and downs. Luckily, I was able to work with some of my favorite producers, writers, and artists to help me bring these experiences to life.
The MF Life can be interpreted in many ways: The Melanie Fiona Life, The Magnificent Fantastic Life, The Mutha F***in Life. Whatever listeners want to interpret it as. I just want people to listen, take it in, and grow with me.
What was being in a group with rapper Drake like?
[Laughs.] I have been friends with Drake for a long, long time and I must say he is definitely one of my favorites. We always have a great respect for each other because we know where and what we both came from. We were in a group called The Renaissance back in the day. We met when he was only 17-years-old and I definitely saw the superstar in him right from the beginning.
How would you describe your personal style?
I like to think my style reflects my mood so it is always changing and evolving. But I take fashion seriously. I like true fashion that the everyday woman can wear, not a costume. I love colors and lines like Diane von Furstenberg, Alexander McQueen, and Yigal Azrouel. And, of course, I LOVE shoes. I must own over 300 pairs!
Your Favorite look for spring?
I’m loving this season. I am excited for the tribal prints, the pastel colors, and the pleated skirts and tops! I love mixing different prints and textures. Spring should be fun.
Personal beauty tips?
For my face, I’ve been using Clinique. For hair, I’m dedicated to Aveda and Kérastase. Their deep-conditioning hair mask is amazing!
You have Guyana roots. have you been?
Yes! But it’s been quite some time. When I get a break, I would love to go back to Guyana. Knowing more about my roots and culture is something I’m always striving to do, and something I’m absolutely proud of.
You’ve traveled the world touring. has there been a place that’s surprised you?
I just traveled to Cancun for a performance and I must say it was spectacular. I hope things can return to normal in Mexico because it is a beautiful country.
FIRST TIME IN TORONTO, WHERE To?
St. Lawrence Market! It’s this amazing fresh food market where you can find whatever your heart desires.