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Exclusive Interview: Melanie Fiona


We at are always supportive of up and coming artist. When we heard of this girl, Melanie Fiona, an R&B/soul artist signed to ROC Nation she immediately captured our attention.  We got the chance to attend her NYC showcase, and absolutely fell in love with her artistry. Ian Jarrell recently got to sit down and chat it up with her about her upcoming album The Bridge, the Rihanna comparison, and much more. You can check out the exclusive interview after the jump...


We at are always supportive of up and coming artist. When we heard of this girl, Melanie Fiona, an R&B/soul artist signed to ROC Nation she immediately captured our attention.  We got the chance to attend her NYC showcase, and absolutely fell in love with her artistry. Ian Jarrell recently got to sit down and chat it up with her about her upcoming album The Bridge, the Rihanna comparison, and much more. You can check out the exclusive interview after the jump...

ATF: How are you doing?

Melanie Fiona: Good, Good. And yourself?

ATF- I am doing great, just happy to finally get to sit down with you.

MF – Awww, thank you.


ATF - No problem, so tell us a little bit about yourself. Where are you from? What’s your background?

MF - Well I was born and raised in Toronto, Canada. I am Guyanese!

ATF- Oh wow, I didn’t see that. Yeah because I attended your showcase here at the Canal Room, and everyone including myself was trying to figure out what your race is.

MF - That is hilarious. Yeah I am mixed with Black, Indian, and Portuguese. But my family is Guyanese.

ATF-Oh okay cool, so what made your family migrate all the way to Canada?

MF - Well you know Guyana is a third world country. They just wanted a better life for themselves. Canada was just the land of opportunities at that time.

ATF - That was a good little back story, so now I did my research and found out about Miss. Syren Hall.


MF - Wow (laughs)

ATF- Yeah so what made you leave her behind? Or is she still somewhere down in you like an alter-ego?

MF -Well Syren was just a nickname that was giving to me. I was doing music that was kind of reflective of my culture, it was like R&B and reggae influenced. So people just started calling me Syren after hearing me. It really caught on once the DJ’s started using it. My song Somebody Come Get Me was actually on Reggae Gold, so Syren just stuck. It also just stuck because my name Melanie Fiona wasn’t fully developed yet. But yeah it’s all me, it’s all my music. But once I got my deal, I wanted to start pushing my real name.

ATF - Yeah because when I heard about the name Syren Hall, I was very interested in why you would change it.

MF - Oh yeah but that was just play stuff. But once things started getting really serious, I wanted to use my name, Melanie Fiona. I just wanted to keep it real ya know.

ATF - Okay that’s what’s up. With the whole island feel that you came out with originally, you are now starting to get compared to Rihanna. Even though your sounds are so different, it’s kind of the same story about how you emerged into the industry. How do you feel about that comparison?


MF - I feel it’s cool, hey we both are island people. It’s always cool to show love to home first. Well if it’s any indication she is doing well, she has evolved into something else.

ATF- Cool, yeah she has grown a lot over the years. The second half of that question is related to Jay-Z. Rihanna has worked with Jay-Z to in the past. How did you get linked up with his camp?

MF - Well G Brown who is connection with ROC Nation. After I signed my production deal, they took me to NYC to meet Jay-Z and his team, and they were really feeling my work. After they heard it they wanted to be on board, and that’s how I managed my ROC Nation deal.

ATF- Was the music that you have right now already set, before you got signed? Like the song Give It To Me Right for instance.

MF - Well yeah basically, but the song Give It To Me Right was one of the first songs I recorded after I got my deal. But yeah I had a few songs before that, which will also appear on the album. Somebody Come Get Me is one of them, and the tracks It Kills Me and Sad Songs.

ATF– So, your album is called The Bridge right?

MF - Yes correct.

ATF- So describe The Bridge in 3 Fab words.

MF - Okay that shouldn’t be that hard, well Classic, Timeless, and Real.

ATF- Okay I like that, so now tell me how does a studio session go with Melanie Fiona? What are you like in the studio?

MF - Well I am pretty easy going. Anything that involves creativity with me I try to keep it very light. I don’t like to make it so serious ya know. I feel it takes away from the fun you can have making the records. I also never record during the day, I always record tracks at night. I like it to be a very relaxed environment; it also can not be a lot of people in the studio during the sessions. I like to keep it very chill.

ATF-How long did it take to make this album?

MF - Well honestly The Bridge was being made my whole life. Writing and recording this project has been a long process. It’s been a little over two years now. Now we are just tightening things up as of now, just trying to choose the songs that will appear on the album.

ATF - Do you guys have a release date set yet? Or are you all still just saying Spring 09?

MF - I’m hearing May.

ATF - Okay May, that’s right around the corner. I am excited.

MF - I am excited too; it’s been a long time coming.

ATF- So what are your four favorite songs off The Bridge? And you have to pick four.

MF – Well, Give It To Me Right, which is the single out of iTunes right now. Ayyo is one of them also. And lastly I am going to go with It Kills Me & Sad Songs. Those are my favorites off this album.

ATF - Okay that’s dope, not many people can ever pick their favorites. I remember you performing It Kills Me at your showcase, and it seriously blew me away. How was the feeling while you were doing the showcase? It was basically your New York City debut, in front of all the industry tastemakers.

MF - I ain’t even going to sit here and lie, it was a bit nerve racking. I kind of freaked out before I went on the stage. I just was thinking “oh my god all these people are here to see me, judge me, criticize me” and then I thought “on the other hand, they are all hear to show me love and support”. I love what I do, so at the end of the day I was just honored. It felt good to showcase my music, to people that I admire in the industry.

ATF- Yeah I saw Jay-Z was in the building. I was just amazed that you stayed on point and was shaken up by this huge megastar, which is Jay-Z, there to see you.


MF - Well Jay is cool. That is the ROC Nation family right there. I was really honored that he came out to show support, he is really cool. He has always supported my career. ?uestLove came through too, DJ Enuff, the president of my label was there. It just really felt good, which made me just want to go up there and have a good time. I just wanted everyone to have a good time, and I wanted people see how much I love what I do.

ATF- Yeah because you did a really good job. I just heard so much about you, that I made it my duty to go check you out. I wanted to hear you in person, before I checked you out on YouTube like everyone else did. I was just really interested in seeing what you were going to bring to the industry.

MF - Right! And that’s exactly what showcases are for. It’s a very traditional way for people to see a new artist, and see what they can bring to the table.

ATF- So to lighten up the mood a little bit, what do you like to do when in New York City?

MF - I love to shop, I like to eat. I even love to ride the subway. I also like taking advantage of the Broadway shows, because I never got the chance to do that.

ATF- Now how I came up with this next question was pretty funny. During the show everyone was talking about the shoes you were rocking during the performance. Everyone wanted to know how much they cost, where are they from, and who made them.  And even in my write up about the showcase, people were still talking about the damn shoes. They were on the shoes heavy. So the question is, what is the most fabulous thing in Melanie Fiona’s closet?

MF - I am going to go with my Christian Louboutins . I have these red ruby slippers by him. I have wore them during plenty of my performances. They are actually one of the most fab things I own. I just like to call them my ruby slippers.

ATF- Yeah you can’t go wrong with Christian Louboutin heels. So our site is very big twitter fans, and you and I are following each other on there. What made you get involved in twitter? What made you want people to know what you do 24/7?

MF - I think the way the industry is evolving, it’s very nessecarary to become more personal with your fans. Artist just have to be much more viral. I think people actually just like to know the artist professionally and personally. I just believe it’s a really good way to connect with people.


ATF- That is a good answer. I think a lot of artist need to get up on twitter. So my last question, to get a little more personal. What artist are you listening to right now in your iPod? I have read what is in someone’s IPod says a lot about the person.

MF - Well I don’t really listen to new artist, I am more following my favorite artist who are still making good music. Like I love Musiq Soulchild, Amy Winehouse, Lily Allen, and of course India Arie and Lauryn Hill. I am also a fan of old soul, like Sam Cooke, & Sade.  I do listen to a lot of hip-hop too. I love Kanye West and Common.  I love the new Q-Tip album, The Renaissance. That is a kind of what has been going on a lot in my Ipod lately.

ATF - I just want to thank you so much for sitting down and chatting with us. We are big fans and supporters of you. You are truly something new and fresh for this industry.

MF - Thank you so much for actually taking a interest in me.

ATF- Yeah I was determined to get this interview after seeing that showcase.

MF - Awww thanks!

ATF- No Thank you Melanie…

Check out coverage of Melanie Fiona's Showcase HERE

Melanie Fiona - It Kills Me

Melanie Fiona Myspace Page

Photos courtsey of Brad Walsh & WireImage

Interview conducted by Ian Jarrell