United Women of Color brings Grammy award-winner Melanie Fiona to LSC Theater

Sierra Cymes

Two-time Grammy award-winner Melanie Fiona was met with an enthusiastic audience Sunday night at the Lory Student Center.

“I’m impressed. I think you guys have broken the comfort barrier,” Fiona laughed after the audience did its best to do one of her signature trills into the outstretched microphone.

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The concert, sponsored by United Women of Color, lasted about an hour. In her set list Fiona was able to sing many hit songs songs from her two albums “The MF Life” and “The Bridge”.

Melanie Fiona performs at the Lory Student Center Theatre Sunday night (Photo credit: Sierra Cymes)
Melanie Fiona performs at the Lory Student Center Theatre Sunday night (Photo credit: Sierra Cymes)

“Her music is definitely something that everyone can relate to,” said Mckael Grayson, a senior communications studies major. “Everyone’s been through heartbreaks and they just need a way to get over them. I think her music is very creative in a lyrical way that can really help someone overcome those breakups.”

Every part of relationships is touched on in her songs, and with a strong reaction from the audience is the main connection Fiona uses with her audience.

“Love is the foundation for everything I do,” Fiona said. “So we’re gonna go on a little love journey tonight.”

Fiona started her concert singing about the blush of falling in love, with songs “Running” and a remixed version of “Fool For You” (without the original feature of pop artist Cee Lo Green) which landed her a Grammy award for Best R&B Song. Fiona’s other Grammy award was for Best Traditional R&B Performance, and her classic style came through Sunday, from her movements on stage to her soulful soprano voice and choreographed movements of her backup singers.

The second half of Fiona’s set spoke more about the harder parts of relationships: the breakups, the loneliness in between and the unrequited feelings.

“You love somebody, you love them so much that sometimes you turn a blind eye to the things that they do, the way that they make you feel, and you sacrifice yourself sometimes,” Fiona said.  “And after you welcome this person into your life and they don’t acknowledge how you feel you have to have a conversation with yourself. And it isn’t an easy conversation to have.”

United Women of Color has worked to get grants for Fiona’s travel arrangements, and worked with her since May, getting contracts written up and sent out.

United Women of Color President and senior business marketing major Lauren Stadeker says the main reason UWC wanted the singer to campus was because of her community involvement.

“Our core values are diversity, engagement, community service, respect and she has all of that,” Stadeker said.

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For Vice President and sophomore journalism and technical communications major Matahji Ameen, the hard work of getting Fiona to the stage at CSU was a success after seeing her perform.

“I would say her interacting with the crowd,” Ameen commented on her favorite part of the night. “It made a connection, and even though we had technical difficulties she still improvised and I think that was the best part of it.”

Collegian A&E Writer Sierra Cymes can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @sierra_cymes.