As the world focuses on the 21st Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, Canada, its a good time to pay homage to one of that country's aspiring R&B singer-songwriters. Melanie Fiona was born Melanie Hallim 26-years ago in Toronto, Canada to immigrant parents from Guyana.
Living in a music filled household, Fiona always knew music was her passion, from the time her guitarist father let her sit on stage and practice with his band. Her mother would also constantly play music around the house, everything from 'The Ronettes' to 'Whitney Houston. It was Houston's hit single "The Greatest Love of All' that became Fiona's childhood anthem, inspiring her to become a singer.
Active in the industry since 2002, Fiona was briefly in the Toronto R&B girl group 'X-Quisite', but left before their first album....although she did earn songwriting credits. In the fall of 2008, 'Kanye West' hand picked her to open his European tour, where she befriended 'Jay-Z', who's 'Roc Nation' group now manages Fiona.
She was also featured on 'Reggae Gold 2008' with the 'Supa Dups'-produced "Somebody Come Get Me". In February 2009 Fiona released her first single "Give it to Me Right", which was writtin by Andrea Martin....who praised Fiona as "finally a voice that is not only soulful, but ear-friendly". The song peaked at #20 on "Billboard's Canadian Hot-100".
Her debut album 'The Bridge' was released last summer, where Fiona worked alongside 'Future Cut', 'Vada Nobles', 'Stereotypes', 'J. Phoenix', 'Peter Wade' and 'Salaam Remi'. It was the album's second single "It Kills Me" that became Fiona's breakout song cracking the Top 50 and hitting #1 on the 'Hot R&B/Hip Hop Songs' chart.
It also earned Fiona a Grammy Award nomination for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance, while 'The Bridge' received a 'NAACP Image Award' nomination for Outstanding New Artist.
When first learning of the Grammy nomination Fiona commented, "It's like the best news I've ever received, oh my gosh....I instantly had flashbacks of singing as a little girl into my hairbrush in front of the bathroom mirror". "Could I have ever imagined that singing around the house or just loving to sing would someday put me into this position now? It's just unbelievable", she exclaimed.
What is believable is that Fiona's best times are still ahead of her, with a distinctive voice, great range, and keen adeptness at expressing vulnerability, strength, and....the right look! Currently, Fiona is set to go on tour with Alicia Keyes
Thanks, and keep listening to Streetwise Radio,