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  • Writer's pictureShenead Poroosotum

Mellissa On Delivering Afro Sexy Vibes from Ghana To The World

To put it simply, songstress Mellissa emits Ghanian goddess energy. Since making her debut in 2021 with the electrifying single 'Limelight', Mellissa's music journey is a testament to her unrelenting passion for innovation. Seamlessly fusing global sounds from Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa, she pushes soulfulness and empowerment, igniting inner freedom to her listeners. With her sonic voyage connecting her with local audiences, it has also has propelled her in the music scene with millions of streams and features with Boj, Moily and on Amaarae's 2020 album 'THE ANGEL YOU DON'T KNOW'.

Solidifying her rising status in R&B and Afrobeats, her rise to fame has been nothing short of spectacular, and she's not limited to a single region either. With a dedicated following in multiple countries in Africa, Mellissa has now ventured to the United Kingdom, bringing her Afro Sexy vision to new horizons. Her background in film only enhances her artistry, enabling her to create visually compelling music videos that complement her tracks, making her a true multimedia artist.

As we eagerly await what's next, Mellissa leaves us wanting more with her latest single, 'Henny Talk', an enchanting amalgamation of acoustic melodies and infectious grooves, it's a testament to her unwavering commitment to pushing the boundaries of music. With Mellissa, the only certainty is that her sonic evolution promises to be as captivating as her past creations.

Hey Mellissa! How has your time in London been so far?

I’ve been here for two days now, and it’s been really cold and wet! But regardless I love it here, this is where I created my first EP, so I have an attachment here.

So, you’ve been here a few times then?

Yeah, this is my third or fourth time.

What keeps drawing you back?

The energy mostly. The people around are go-getters, and it puts me in the frame of mind to just get to work.

When it comes to your music, it draws inspiration from Africa, the Caribbean, and Latin America. Could you elaborate on how these different cultural influences come together in your work?

I was raised in Ghana and my mum had a restaurant downstairs right beside our house, so I was exposed to so many kinds of music genre wise and we heard the local stuff as well. I feel like that’s been a huge part of my music making process. Then I went to film school in Florida so was exposed to a lot more Hispanic music as well as having lots of Jamaican and Haitian friends and they put me onto their music. So, my playlist was just expanding. When I’m making music, I want to make music that makes me want to move. I listened to a lot of Sean Paul when I was younger, and his songs make me feel what I want to replicate in my own way. Obviously, it’s not going to be the same thing, but my version of that. All these different cultures infused into my flavour of music.

Having mentioned that you went to film school and have a degree, how do you think your background in film influenced your approach to music? Is there any connection between the two art forms?

Definitely. Even when I'm writing music, sometimes I'm seeing some of the things I'm writing about, and it helps my song writing process. So now when it comes to the video, sometimes it's even easier because I already know how it's supposed to go. With the ‘Me & U’ video for instance, I worked with TSE and Tundecutz and they’re amazing directors who helped me bring my vision to life. I know myself and that I’m kind of an introverted extrovert but the times when I’m an introvert, I don’t usually go up and speak to someone, but I reach out to those other parts of myself in my music. I would say that’s one pocket I explored, and I want to empower people in this way, women especially. I feel like the whole essence of what I want to leave in the world is just to be bold and get what you want.

As a singer, songwriter, and producer, how do you balance these roles in your creative process, and what challenges or rewards do they bring?

I would say there are more rewards than challenges, but I do know that sometimes it’s easier to focus on one part at a time and not mix it. Split energy to me isn’t big energy and if you’re really focusing on one part, you’re going to make sure it gets to a certain level that you’re proud of and move on to the next and execute in that kind of way. As an artist you can’t really have that luxury all the time so, even though I’m still rolling out music, I’m still creating the next, you have to be able to do that. Sometimes it can be a lot but that’s what I signed up for.

With ‘Me & U’, you’ve coined the concept “Afro Sexy”. What does that mean to you?

With Afro sexy, I think no-one is going to feel sexy if they're not comfortable. I want to make music that makes people just like you're just walking and feeling good. You know, it's feel-good music. I think that's what I feel Afro Sexy really is.

‘Me & U’ is accompanied by a sensual video shot in Nigeria. What’s the story behind the video and how does it complement the song's message?

I feel like the video was really simple, but in the best way that I felt like it was easy to digest. And it was shot so well, in my humble opinion. The story was quite simple, and I just wanted to show a boy meets girl moment, and I know a lot of people can relate to that one intense moment you have. It was based off my how my mum met my dad. She saw him and told her co-worker “That guy is going to be my husband”. She knew immediately before they even locked eyes, so I just wanted to recreate that visually.

Tell us about your most recent single ‘Henny Talk’. What was the inspiration behind creating this track?

This is how I see it. Hennessey is kind of like my kryptonite. It’s like a truth serum and I realised this from a couple different experiences that I had. Personally, I have my own experience but two days before I wrote the song, what helped all the creative juices start flowing was that I was on my way somewhere with my manager and we started taking shots. I remember the whole day; he was trying to act like he didn’t care about his ex and trying to act like a hard guy. And on the way home, there was an older couple in front of us and he said “wow, love is so sweet” and I was like who is this guy? [laughs] So, just seeing that from an outside perspective, it made it easier to write because even I’ve been through my experiences of when SO many times, I wanted to call him. So, ‘Henny Talk’ is an honest poem to express that feeling of how I really shouldn’t call you, but you really want to.

Where do you see yourself in the next five years?

I think my sound is the future. I feel like I’m going to succeed because that’s what I believe it sounds like. But it might grow into different things. I feel like even the stuff I’m making now is different from what I’m going to be releasing. I think it’s exciting. I don’t know what’s coming but I know it’s crazy because I know myself. I think on the visual side of it, I’m excited to be more involved with directing and maybe directing for other artists. It’ll be amazing to have those kinds of collaborations as well. Just spreading love through music.

Aside from Sean Paul, is there anyone else who you’d love to collaborate with?

I really want to work with Tems, she's amazing and her pen game is crazy. I’d love to work with Black Sherif and Rema as well.

What’s next for Mellissa?

Next year, something big is coming. I’ve put a lot of work into everything I’m releasing, that’s for sure. I think me and my team, we try and get it to a standard that’s undeniably good so I’m excited to see what the response will be like.

Follow Mellissa on Instagram


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