Singer/songwriter Melanie Fiona had it going on this past Tuesday. Not only did she join a jam session with the critically acclaimed band The Roots during a special appearance on “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon,” she also dropped her sophomore album, The MF Life.
Most successful debut artists feel pressure to follow up with an equally chart-topping album their next time out. Not Miss Melanie. “I was actually pretty relaxed going into this album,” she said. Although she had some nervousness at the beginning of the recording process, the album preparation, two Grammy wins, and overall support from fans and peers pushed all of that anxiety to the wayside. “My confidence built actually the longer it took me to come out.”
Drawing inspiration from her personal and professional experiences, Melanie said this project is very strong and filled with emotion, lyrical content, and attitude. She had the privelege of working with her dream producers like Salaam Remi (Amy Winehouse), No ID (Kanye West, Jay-Z, Rihanna), and Jack Splash.
“Jack Splash and I really made magic. He became definitely my favorite producer to work with," Melanie told S2S. "I really feel like he brings out the best artist in me.” Being an artist himself, Melanie said Jack loves to create and is really dedicated to his craft and she finds is very natural to work with him.
“We get in there and we talk about life. We talk about experiences and relationships," she explained. "The next thing you know, we’re sharing stories and putting them on paper as he plays music.” Melanie and Jack have worked together before, but you can hear their latest collaboration in their naughty song “Bones.”
Melanie said she did a good bit of writing on The MF Life. Also included in the writing credits are Andrea Martin, who produced the smash hit “It Kills Me,” and superstar rapper Drake, a fellow Canadian. Handling the difficult task of writing from the female perspective, Drake helped pen “I Been That Girl” which was produced by B Minus and Forty, also fellow Canadians. According to Melanie, Drake was able to show vulnerability as well as power and strength.
Check out their finished product here!
Released on Universal Republic Records/Title 9/SRC, The MF Life boasts guest appearances by NAS, J Cole, B.o.B., and John Legend. Melanie is currently on a promotional tour for the new album which is available in a standard version, and deluxe version which includes several additional songs.
Melanie told S2S she sometimes takes a few sips of Red Bull before she performs to pick up her adrenaline and keep blood flowing to her vocal chords. She also preps for the stage by having some alone time. “I like to do my own hair and make-up, it’s really therapeutic for me," Melanie confessed. “I just kind of shut everybody out and put on my music, light some candles and incense.”
There’s something in The MF Life for old and new fans because “we all go through similar experiences,” Melanie explained. “I think there’s something to be gained from it. It’s an emotional ride and I want people to be inspired.”
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