Regina artist MELODNA has been releasing music beginning in the summer of 2020. After 'a bumpy start' in 2019, she has solidified her work in making R&B and hip-hop, beginning with her re-debut of her first single "Kryptonite".
In regards to her creative process, MELODNA has relied on a close group of friends, often collaborating with Regina rapper Zweii and the team at Blue Door Recording Studio.
"Usually in the studio I'll have my good friend Zweii in there (actually he's been in there every single session) and he really helps me find the creation I'm trying to get out of myself."
With her identity being something MELODNA feels strongly about, she notes how it can sometimes act as an obstacle, but how it is an area she is comfortable in. MELODNA notes how the public has a certain expectation of what she creates.
"Sometimes I feel like I am restricted to one lane, or that people are expecting me to be in one lane. It's like 'I'm a Black artist so I have to rap or I have to do R&B,' when really that's not true."
When asked about challenges in her work, MELODNA mentions the lack of resources available to Black artists to fit their style. Not many people have the knowledge to produce music in a way that truly encompasses and represents the identity MELODNA aims to uphold.
"Navigating in a province, well, in a music industry that is predominantly not Black, you know, trying to find the resources that fit your artistry gets really difficult. Finding producers that make your kind of music gets really difficult."
MELODNA is happy to be part of the active change currently happening in the province. "You usually get to be the first to do things, and I think that's a great position to be in. I've noticed that in Saskatchewan there really is a real true effort to switch up the music scene, and to be the first to do so many things that other people haven't had the chance to do is a pretty cool experience."
While many musicians in Saskatchewan view other places in Canada as the 'real' music centres, MELODNA emphasizes the need for local artists to come together and to start developing Saskatchewan. There is local talent here and MELODNA hopes that the scene here can begin to grow and diversify.
"Don't hide in your studio. Don't hide in your basement... I know the first thought when you are making music is that you are kind of skipping over Saskatchewan and wanting to go to other provinces."
"If we all make that collective decision to say 'hey we live in Saskatchewan, let's try to make this music scene more fitting to us as well,' I think we will really enjoy the product and I really want to encourage Black artists to put your music out there because there are a lot of supports here in the city, here in the province, that will help you get your music to where you need it to be."
MELODNA is currently in the process of preparing to release new singles this summer and at the end of the year. She will also be doing an Instagram takeover and artist talk with the Dunlop Art Gallery this March.
For more information about MELODNA, visit:
Our Making Art in Saskatchewan interview with MELODNA