Ugandan-Danish singer Melissa Inya drops single “Diamonds & Chains”
by Dan Dodds
At just three years old, Ugandan-born Melissa Inya moved with her family to Denmark. A bluesy soul siren living in Scandinavia, she first made a name for herself coming of age with good-time R&B band Ms. Melissa & Her Soul Knights before appearing weekly as one of a hundred sat amongst the century of judges and professional performers on Danish TV Show All Together Now. A format where contestants take the stage to sing renditions of pop standards such as “This Is Me” or “Purple Rain,” while Melissa and the other 99 judges are encouraged to dance and join in, en masse; all of whom, as relatively unknown pros themselves, might have benefitted from a little of the spotlight glare lavished solely on the amateurs.
Which makes the direction of the music on Inya’s solo debut single all the more audacious. Produced by Abdullah S, “Diamonds & Chains” is a world away from the pop, glitz ,and glamor of primetime TV. An ominous blue-funk lament, Melissa sounds like a torchlight soul-sister from another planet. Think Hi-Records Ann Peebles if produced by D’Angelo with P-Funk’s Woo-Master Bernie Worrell sprinkling a spell on keys. “They don’t see me,” sings Melissa on the hook, perhaps addressing the masses. A situation that surely cannot continue.
Available now from We Are Lit Records, with a full-length debut album set to be announced.
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