Music Features

Interview: Melii Is Just Trying To Shine

The singer opens up about her new album, and her journey to self-empowerment

Alex Loucas

In an interview last January, Melii sat down with Ebro Darden for a candid discussion on her rise to fame.

Moments into the interview, Melii broke into sobs as she was asked to explain her experiences with past management. A buzzing new talent out of Harlem, her early-day managers had been misogynistic men who often sexualized or threatened her, an experience far from unusual for Black female artists in the rap game. Her wounds were still visibly raw, and for the rest of the interview, Melii didn't talk about her music but instead used the opportunity to dissect the experience of Black women in the music industry.

A few months later, Melii released PhAses, a magnetic and versatile R&B record that showcased the artist's budding talent as both a rapper and a bilingual singer. But the release became overshadowed by gossip. On the eve of PhAses' release, Tory Lanez congratulated Melii and welcomed her to his label One Umbrella. Meek Mill, who had served as a guiding light for Melii over the last few months, called the situation "corny." Speculation and criticism were abundant.

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