Q&A: Melanie Fiona Discusses New Video 'Cold Piece', Working With Pepsi And Upcoming Album

With Melanie Fiona's new visual "Cold Piece" (above) chilling on the Internets courtesy of Pepsi and Complex today, VIBE sat with the Toronto-bred songstress about the cold-hearted fella that inspired the piece, the concept behind the video and the new album she has in the works.—Megan Saad

VIBE: Was "Cold Piece" inspired by a real-life relationship?
Melanie Fiona: Well absolutely! Everything is inspired by cold-hearted guys! It’s not really an official single, just a song I did with producer Alan English from the U.K. We just caught a vibe and I had some things I needed to say. I definitely was reflecting on past relationships and what it was that I really wanted to get off my chest. I feel like "Cold Piece" is the representation of loving and learning and being like 'Okay I get it, I can understand what happened and I can look back on it and I’m fine.'

From the looks of the behind-the-scenes, you take a more light-hearted approach for the song's visual. Where did the concept come from?
The concept came from my life really, just where I’m at. I reside in Brooklyn right now. I love New York, I love summer and I love that record. I wanted to do something that was fun. I think that people have seen videos of me where they’ve been very dramatic and emotional but also very real. I wanted people to still get the real me. It’s not this different version of Melanie Fiona; it’s just the 2013 version. It’s true to who I am, it’s true to what I’m living, listening to and loving, and what my life looks like, minus the ice cream truck. I don’t really own an ice cream truck, although I wish I did. It’s about having a good time with people and vibing. They are my real friends in the video, like artists Mateo, Ro James and Luke James. These are my people that I called on and I was like ‘Hey, can you come through?' I wanted it to be authentic and to be real. It wasn’t like shooting a music video at all.

How did you partner with Pepsi?
Honestly it was at a party! I’ve done things with Pepsi prior; I did the Billboard Michael Jackson Tribute at Gotham Hall here in New York. I have known a couple of people from Pepsi. Then of course Complex was familiar with me from doing interviews. I was at a day party that was going on and all the reps were there. We all saw each other again and they were like ‘We love what you’re doing. Let’s get on a call and have a meeting and talk about what we can do together.’ I think the beautiful thing about this song and this record is there’s no pressure. Everything happened so organically that that’s just what I want people to feel from it.

You worked with Drake on your last project. What are your thoughts on Nothing Was The Same?
I’m a bad Canadian I haven’t listened to it yet but I did download it. I have to ease my way into new music because I get so engulfed in certain projects and I can’t move off of them. When everybody was on Jay Z's Magna Carta, I was still on the J. Cole and when everyone was on the J Cole, I was still on the Kendrick Lamar. I’m still behind a cycle. The only thing I love to listen to everyday is the Justin Timberlake 20/20 Experience Volume 1.

Is a new album in the works? What can we expect?
Absolutely. I’m definitely working on album number three and it’s a blast to be able to do it. I’m going to definitely release that next year. I’m just getting myself together. This year I’ve just taken to being creative, experimenting, traveling and being inspired. I feel like you need inspiration when you’re working on a new project. I’ve been doing placements and writing with other people. Solange and I did a song on her project Lovers In The Parking Lot. It’s fun to be able to be creative right now and prepare what I want to do for the next project. In the meantime ‘Cold Piece’ is out and I’m going to be putting out some more music for the fans in between then the album next year. I feel like it’s going to most definitely be my best work yet because I feel like I’m my best self now.

Photo Credit: Getty

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Man Caught With $34,000 Worth Of Cocaine Under His Toupee

A Colombian man thought outside of the box when he taped $34,000 worth of cocaine to his head and hid it under his wig. The man, who authorities have not yet identified, almost pulled a fast one until authorities at Barcelona Internation Airport noticed something...off.

Dubbed "Operation Toupee." officers reportedly found "a perfectly sealed package taped to his head” because the hairpiece was "disproportionate size.”

"There is no limit to the inventiveness of drug traffickers trying to mock controls,” police said in a statement.

While attempting to smuggle cocaine under a wig may be a first, men and women acting on behalf of a larger drug trafficking ring is as old as time. According to The New York Post, cops in Barcelona stopped a man who had cocaine taped to his stomach, and it was then he confessed to swallowing 35 condoms filled with the drug.

Other bizarre drug smuggling hideaways have included a woman's breast implants, a hollowed-out pineapple, a wheelchair cushion and a plaster cast on a man’s leg.

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Pharrell Comments On Rihanna's Upcoming Album

Rihanna is an expert at trolling. Recently, the mogul teased fans with a video of Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta’s Karlie Redd having a meltdown, which serves as a metaphor for how the #Navy would react to Rih releasing an album this year. For a period of time, fans have been waiting for Ms. Fenty to release a full-length project since 2016’s stellar Anti.  

Now, clues hint at a possible collaboration with Pharrell on the forthcoming album. Per Billboard, the producer commented on Rih’s latest post with a globe emoji, adding, “They ain’t ready.”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Nobody: Me: Album coming in 2019 Navy in July:

A post shared by badgalriri (@badgalriri) on Jul 11, 2019 at 11:22am PDT

After 3 years of silence, Fenty boss #Rihanna is about to release a new album, and looks like she'll be working with Pharrell.

Who's excited? 😍 pic.twitter.com/8Y5YpSYTYZ

— Calitunes (@CalitunesMedia) July 13, 2019

In 2017, the N.E.R.D producer and Rihanna collaborated on "Lemon," which did relatively well on the Billboard charts (No. 36 on the Hot 100). In a recent interview with T Magazine, the "Diamonds" singer joked that the album would be titled R9. “I’m about to call it that probably, ’cause they have haunted me with this ‘R9, R9, when is R9 coming out?'” she said. “How will I accept another name after that’s been burned into my skull?”

She also mentioned that the album would be a sonic representation of reggae and dancehall. However, some members of her coveted fanbase have been skeptical about the alleged collaboration with Pharrell.

we don't want Sweetener 2.0

— Kristine (@__kristine_h) July 12, 2019

If the song is not iconic bop don't ever get your ass close to Rihanna. We might whoop your ass otherwise @Pharrell Williams pic.twitter.com/28mEdZl1Se

— FEN☕ (@RihannaNepal) July 13, 2019

Wait a minute. Is Pharrell working on Rihanna's album??????????? pic.twitter.com/i1s6BUDvQR

— pettylilbuyer (@PettylilBuyer) July 13, 2019

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Jharrel Jerome attends the Netflix FYSEE Scene Stealer Panel at Raleigh Studios on May 30, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.
Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Netflix

Jharrel Jerome Earns First Emmy Nomination For "When They See Us"

Jharrel Jerome's powerful performance in When They See Us has earned the actor an Emmy nomination.

Announced Tuesday (July 16), the nominations were announced by comedians Ken Jeong (Dr. Ken) and D’Arcy Carden (The Good Place) at the Saban Media Center in Los Angeles. Some of the biggest nods were given to HBO's Game of Thrones and FX's critical darling, Pose. Billy Porter landed a Lead Actor in a Drama Series nomination while Viola Davis snagged yet another Lead Actress in a Drama Series Emmy nod for her role on How To Get Away With Murder. 

But the streaming world also reigned supreme. Jerome earned his first nomination portraying Korey Wise of the Exonerated Five, also known as the Central Park Five for the Netflix film When They See Us. Directed by Ava DuVernay, Wise's performance was a true standout as he highlighted the importance of mental health and Wise's harrowing time in prison for a crime he was falsely accused of. He was also the only character to portray Wise as a youth and adult.

Co-star Niecy Nash also earned her first Emmy nomination for Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie.

The 21-year-old knows a thing or two about critical acclaim. He previously starred in the Oscar-winning film Moonlight which also took home an Austin Film Critics Association Special Honorary Award, an Ensemble Performance Independent Spirit Robert Altman Award and an MTV Movie Award for Best Kiss.

Check out the full list of nominees below.

Drama Series

“Better Call Saul” (AMC) “Bodyguard” (Netflix) “Game of Thrones” (HBO) “Killing Eve” (AMC/BBC America) “Ozark” (Netflix) “Pose” (FX) “Succession” (HBO) “This Is Us” (NBC)

Comedy Series

“Barry” (HBO) “Fleabag” (Amazon Prime) “The Good Place” (NBC) “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (Amazon Prime) “Russian Doll” (Netflix) “Schitt’s Creek” “Veep”

Limited Series

“Chernobyl” (HBO) “Escape at Dannemora” (Showtime) “Fosse/Verdon” (FX) “Sharp Objects” (HBO) “When They See Us” (Netflix)

Television Movie

“Black Mirror” “Bandersnatch” “Brexit” “Deadwood” “KingLear” “MyDinnerWithHerve”

Lead Actor in a Drama Series

Jason Bateman (“Ozark”) Sterling K. Brown (“This Is Us”) Kit Harington (“Game of Thrones”) Bob Odenkirk (“Better Call Saul”) Billy Porter (“Pose”) Milo Ventimiglia (“This Is Us”)

Lead Actress in a Drama Series

Emilia Clarke (“Game of Thrones”) Jodie Comer (“Killing Eve”) Viola Davis (“How to Get Away With Murder”) Laura Linney (“Ozark”) Mandy Moore (“This Is Us”) Sandra Oh (“Killing Eve”) Robin Wright (“House of Cards”)

Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

Anthony Anderson (“Black-ish”) Don Cheadle (“Black Monday”) Ted Danson (“The Good Place”) Michael Douglas (“The Kominsky Method”) Bill Hader (“Barry”) Eugene Levy (“Schitt’s Creek”)

Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

Christina Applegate (“Dead to Me”) Rachel Brosnahan (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”) Julia Louis-Dreyfus (“Veep”) Natasha Lyonne (“Russian Doll”) Catherine O’Hara (“Schitt’s Creek”) Phoebe Waller-Bridge (“Fleabag”)

Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie

Mahershala Ali (“True Detective”) Benicio Del Toro (“Escape at Dannemora”) Hugh Grant (“A Very English Scandal”) Jared Harris (“Chernobyl”) Jharrel Jerome (“When They See Us”) Sam Rockwell (“Fosse/Verdon”)

Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie

Amy Adams (“Sharp Objects”) Patricia Arquette (“Escape at Dannemora”) Aunjanue Ellis (“When They See Us”) Joey King (“The Act”) Niecy Nash (“When They See Us”)

Reality Competition

Variety Talk Show

The Daily Show with Trevor Noah (Comedy Central) Full Frontal with Samantha Bee (TBS) Jimmy Kimmel Live (ABC) Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO) Late Late Show with James Corden (CBS) Late Show with Stephen Colbert (CBS)

Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

Gwendoline Christie (“Game of Thrones”) Julia Garner (“Ozark”) Lena Headey (“Game of Thrones”) Fiona Shaw (“Killing Eve”) Sophie Turner (“Game of Thrones”) Maisie Williams (“Game of Thrones”)

Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

Alfie Allen (“Game of Thrones”) Jonathan Banks (“Better Call Saul”) Nikolaj Coster-Waldeau (“Game of Thrones”) Peter Dinklage (“Game of Thrones”) Giancarlo Esposito (“Better Call Saul”) Michael Kelly (“House of Cards”) Chris Sullivan (“This Is Us”)

Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

Alex Borstein (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”) Anna Chlumsky (“Veep”) Sian Clifford (“Fleabag”) Olivia Colman (“Fleabag”) Betty Gilpin (“GLOW”) Sarah Goldberg (“Barry”) Marin Hinkle (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”) Kate McKinnon (“Saturday Night Live”)

Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

Alan Arkin (“The Kominsky Method”) Anthony Carrigan (“Barry”) Tony Hale (“Veep”) Stephen Root (“Barry”) Tony Shalhoub (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”) Henry Winkler (“Barry”)

Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie

Patricia Arquette (“The Act”) Marsha Stephanie Blake (“When They See Us”) Patricia Clarkson (“Sharp Objects”) Vera Farmiga (“When They See Us”) Margaret Qualley (“Fosse/Verdon”) Emily Watson (“Chernobyl”)

Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie

Asante Blackk (“When They See Us”) Paul Dano (“Escape at Dannemora”) John Leguizamo (“When They See Us”) Stellan Skarsgård (“Chernobyl”) Ben Whishaw (“A Very English Scandal”) Michael K. Williams (“When They See Us”)

Guest Actress in a Drama Series

Laverne Cox (“Orange Is the New Black”) Cherry Jones (“The Handmaid’s Tale”) Jessica Lange (“American Horror Story: Apocalypse”) Phylicia Rashad (“This Is Us”) Cicely Tyson (“How to Get Away With Murder”) Carice van Houten (“Game of Thrones”)

Guest Actor in a Drama Series

Michael Angarano (“This Is Us”) Ron Cephas Jones (“This Is Us”) Michael McKean (“Better Call Saul”) Kumail Nanjiani (“The Twilight Zone”) Glynn Turman (“How to Get Away With Murder”) Bradley Whitford (“The Handmaid’s Tale”)

Guest Actress in a Comedy Series

Jane Lynch (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”) Sandra Oh (“Saturday Night Live”) Maya Rudolph (“The Good Place”) Kristin Scott Thomas (“Fleabag”) Fiona Shaw (“Fleabag”) Emma Thompson (“Saturday Night Live”)

Guest Actor in a Comedy Series

Matt Damon (“Saturday Night Live”) Robert De Niro (“Saturday Night Live”) Luke Kirby (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”) Peter MacNicol (“Veep”) John Mulaney (“Saturday Night Live”) Adam Sandler (“Saturday Night Live”) Rufus Sewell (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”)

Structured Reality Program

“Antiques Roadshow” (PBS) “Diners, Drive-Ins And Dives” (Food Network) “Queer Eye” (Netflix) “Shark Tank” (ABC) “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo” (Netflix) “Who Do You Think You Are?” (TLC)

Unstructured Reality Program

“Born This Way” (A&E) “Deadliest Catch” (Discovery Channel) “Life Below Zero” (National Geographic) “RuPaul’s Drag Race: Untucked” (VH1) “Somebody Feed Phil” (Netflix) “United Shades Of America With W. Kamau Bell” (CNN)

Host for a Reality or Competition Program

James Corden (“The World’s Best”) Ellen DeGeneres (“Ellen’s Game Of Games”) Marie Kondo (“Tidying Up With Marie Kondo”) Amy Poehler & Nick Offerman (“Making It”) RuPaul (“RuPaul’s Drag Race”)

Variety Sketch Series

“At Home With Amy Sedaris” (truTV) “Documentary Now!” (IFC) “Drunk History” (Comedy Central) “I Love You, America With Sarah Silverman” (Hulu) “Saturday Night Live” (NBC) “Who Is America?” (Showtime)

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