Canadian born singer Melanie Fiona is on a roll. After quietly toiling away in the business for years, Fiona is finally getting some much-needed shine. The Guyanese singer recently nabbed two Grammys–Best Traditional R&B performance and Best R&B Song for Cee-Lo collab “Fool For You”–and she’s gearing up for the release of her second album, but its her rocky relationship that been both heartbreaking and inspiring for the young songstress.
Fiona snagged the latest cover of Vibe Vixen and talks candidly about her stormy relationship, her music, and what we can expect from the new album.
Check out an excerpt from the interview:
VIBE VIXEN: Tell me what should fans expect from The MF Life outside of the love and heartbreak.
MELANIE: Fans should expect and can expect a really, really strong, really well produced album. You know, I really really do think I worked with the best of the best personally. I think that every producer and artist I got featured on this album really brings something special to this album that I don’t think anyone else has on their album, and it’s a power, it’s a strength, it’s an energy; it’s a very strong body of work I believe. I believe that the songs people have heard and the things that have been released, when they get the album, they’ll be pleasantly surprised. That’s not necessarily the bread and butter of the album. There’s really great hidden gems on this album, and I just think that it’s a really strong album that gives appeal to both men and women, which I think is a tough thing to do. I’m a girl’s girl, but I also appreciate music that speaks to men. I listen to a lot of hip-hop ‘cause of my brother, so it just kinda comes out of me.
After your first record, during that low period, what were your thoughts and doubts?
It got pretty low for me. I started to have a lot of emotional turmoil with my mental state of mind and my body ’cause I was exhausted. People don’t really understand what an artist really has to go through. It’s such an intense schedule; one day I’m in L.A., the next day I’m in Switzerland, the next day I’m in Italy and the next day I’m back in L.A. Mind you, I’m performing in that time in between, I’m meeting people, I’m talking and, you know, I’m on a different schedule. I came back off of the Alicia Keys tour, and I just hit the wall. Like, straight-up, I hit the wall. I crashed; I said to my team, ‘I’m no good to anyone right now. I need to recover,’ and it really affected my confidence level in my approach to my job, my mind when it came to everything around me. I started to victimize myself in a way and it’s because when your body is not healthy, it really does produce negative emotions and energy.
What’s interesting is that while you’ve been collecting Grammys, your heart has been breaking. Will your heart ever fully heal?
You know, my heart has broken and healed and mended for the last 10 years of my life. I feel like there’s nothing that heals a broken heart except for time really. And your heart breaks all the time. People tend to only associate hearts breaking with someone but things happen all the time. Disappointment can break your heart all the time–disappointment in yourself, your friends or family and like things around you all the time. I definitely think there’s a point when it shifts your energy, and for me, I just know that even when I’m in love, I still write about heartbreak and that’s an emotion that I draw on and I know people need to hear about that. I think that there’s strength in owning that [hurt] and sharing that and saying like, Yeah this is who I am and this is where I’m at. And I think that why people love the music. I will always do my best to keep that truth in my music, whether it’s the happy things people are going through, the sad things people need to hear about, the sexy things people need to hear about.
As far as your current heartbreak, are you in a place where you’re swearing off men for awhile?
I’m on a Melcation [Laughs]. I am like all about me right now. What am I going to do with my life, and what are the things that are gonna make me happy and fulfilled? There are some guys that can be around that, and be like, ‘Yo, I totally love you and I support you’ and then there are other guys who are like, ‘Ugh, you want too much! You’re too independent.’ And it’s like no, no, no, that’s definitely not it. It’s just the right guy who’s gonna fit perfectly into what it is that I’m doing; it’s just a balance. But no, I’m not swearing off men. I just don’t want men around for the sake of having men around. Too often, we make that mistake of keeping men around for the comfort, you know, just that dependency. I think is where the problem lies. And when you get away from that and just really be like, I’m cool, you can get a man in your life on a random Thursday or a random Saturday and it just adds something to your week rather than being dependent on it.
Today, in this very moment, where are you? Physically, emotionally, mentally… where is Melanie Fiona?
I am in a place of excitement and optimism and really being an open vessel to experience everything that life is throwing at me – good, bad, happy, sad, everything. I tattooed this thing on my hand called and it says “Live On Purpose,” and I’m really doing my best to live on that. Do everything with purpose, make decisions, own them, own who I am and be proud of that. I just feel like I’m getting stronger everyday. I’m just ready for whatever life is gonna throw at me, just bring it on.
Check out the entire interview on the Vibe Vixen site.