Melanie Fiona in concert at Claflin on Nov. 14. (Panther photo by Kemet Alston)
By JERILYN GAMBLE
and TARYN HARGROVE
Claflin University’s Homecoming 2013 concert featured two-time Grammy-award-winning artist Melanie Fiona on Nov. 14.
Fiona, who is famous for her hit singles “It Kills Me” and “Wrong Side of a Love Song”, developed a passion for music at a young age.
“It’s instinct for me because both of my parents love music,” Fiona said. “My dad is a musician, not professionally but out of love and my mom was always singing and playing records. As a baby, I would go to sleep listening to Whitney Houston blaring at my crib.”
Fiona, who is an India Arie fan, remembers being inspired by Arie, which led to her purpose of feeling connected to music.
“I was in high school and I went to see India Arie and that was the moment that I fell in love with having the idea of becoming an artist for my life. Her music told a story and connected with the audience and I knew that was how I wanted to be perceived,” Fiona said.
“My best work comes from living in a moment, feeling something in a moment, getting it out as I feel it and being free. I just write from the heart and not from the mind.”
The “4AM” singer has been recognized for her soulful and passionate music. Her voice has been referred to as “sassy” and “controlled.”
“As I progressed as a singer and writer, I learned the art and the science of music,” Fiona said. “In an industry where you are considered a product and a business, you have to stay true to yourself and do what allows you to be yourself.”
Fiona hopes that her music can inspire those who want a career in the music industry and also to remain true to who they are.
“If someone is thinking of pursuing music, I would say be yourself because people are looking to see the lack of authenticity, Fiona said. “Do what makes you happy and don’t try to live up to the standards that someone else has for you. Set your standards, live comfortably and happily because success is honestly defined by happiness.”