After two Grammy wins and a Juno nomination, Melanie Fiona still doesn’t know what to wear on a red carpet
Melanie Fiona is no stranger to awards shows. With two Grammy wins and a previous Juno nomination under her belt, she’s thoroughly enjoying the ride her musical success is taking her on.
Fiona’s been hard at work promoting her new album, “The MF Life” that she almost didn’t know she was nominated for another Juno this year.
“It kind of just slipped my mind that that was the day nominations were coming out. And then it just popped up on my Twitter,” she says. “And I was like, ‘Oh man, I’m nominated? That’s pretty cool,’ and it came just right after two Grammy noms, so it was great news – it was like icing on the cake.”
Fiona’s nominated for Best R&B/Soul Recording of the Year for her new album’s debut single, “Gone and Never Coming Back”. She won two Grammy awards earlier this year for her collaboration with Cee-Lo Green on the song “Fool for You”, taking home the trophies for Best Traditional R&B Performance and Best R&B Song.
Despite all the media attention surrounding her on both sides of the border, the 28-year-old is not letting any of the hoopla of the awards season get her flustered, especially when it comes to finding the perfect look for the red carpets.
“All I think about is, “Aw s**t, I’ve got to get a dress,” she says. “I never like to plan too far in advance. Something inspires me, I get a theme, and then I just go out and make it or find someone that can make it or just go out and buy it.”
Fiona says she would rather spend her time working on her music. “The MF Life”, her follow-up to her 2009 debut album “The Bridge”, is an ode to living a “magnificent, fantastic life”, whatever that life may put you through. She describes the album as a mentality on life, and says the songs visit a range of emotions on love that anyone can relate to from various moments of their lives.
“The album is about the highs and lows of love, and all the different phases you go through,” says the Toronto native. “From friendship, crushing, infatuation, in love, out of love, heartbreak - that’s what’s really on this album.”
Fiona also used a range of musical styles on the album, fusing together a couple of different genres – rock, hip hop, soul, a little bit of reggae and a little bit of the blues – to create the emotions for different tracks.
Fiona says she believes it’s important for her to include reggae music in some form in her work. Although she was born and raised in Toronto, she comes from a Caribbean background, and she originally performed reggae songs under a different name before breaking out as Melanie Fiona.
“I was doing music underground with a lot of reggae DJs and I had a nickname, Syren (Hall),” she explains. “I was performing (reggae songs) and DJs were spinning it under the name Syren. When it came out (on the reggae compilation album “Reggae Gold 2008”), we didn’t want to change any of the familiarity of what people associated the song with.”
Even though she records reggae music with her given name, she still hasn’t completely abandoned the Syren persona.
“It kind of is my little reggae side. It sort of is like how Beyonce has her Sasha Fierce, I guess I have my Syren.”
The 2012 Juno Awards air Sunday, April 1, 2012 at 8pm ET/PT on CTV.