In The Woman Era With Mnelia

“Full gas, no breaks,” proclaims Mnelia about her agenda for the upcoming year, which includes taking UK R&B worldwide. Marking her return with a new single, ‘Heaven,’ the London-based trailblazer is ready to embark on her woman era. 

With the release of ‘Heaven,’ Mnelia intends to champion women, embracing feminine energy using her ethereal 90s R&B-infused vocals and sensual movements as a backdrop. On the track, Mnelia also kickstarts her quest to discover what she needs, wants, and who she is. 

Balancing motherhood with her career, Mnelia does not plan to slow down—quite the contrary. She aspires to take over Wembley Stadium and encourage leading with love. 

After the success of her 2020 hit single, ‘Say Yeah,’ Mnelia broke into the scene with her fresh R&B spin. What she refers to as ‘an absolute thrill’ of a journey since Mnelia prides herself on her tireless work ethic, which has brought her to the one-to-watch level. 

For an exclusive chat with Noctis, Mnelia opens up about using self-love as a defense mechanism to protect herself and her art in her come-up.

What era are you starting with your new single ‘Heaven’?

The WOMAN era. Heaven is the first destination on Mnelia’s journey into discovering love and womanhood. This chapter is all for figuring out what I want, what I need but most importantly, WHO I am.

What is the main messaging behind ‘Heaven’?

Heaven isn’t a think piece, she is simply a soundtrack for the flirtatious woman. Something for the girls who feel cheeky.

Last year, you shared the beautiful ‘Closure Tapes,’ could you talk us through the processes you’re uncovering in this project?

Tbh, for the first in my career, I’m looking forward to focusing more on singles. I’ve had so much heat stashed away in a vault and a winter project is coming later on in the year something for the feels, after all, I am a cancer but for the summer: vibes. 

Before putting this personal heartbreak bible together, what were your favourite albums you turned to when going through a breakup?

I’ve always been quite hot and cold with the idea of listening to sad music when I’m sad because I am an INTENSE feeler. My emotions are always either 100 or 0, honestly it’s hilar. Channel Orange is an eternal fave of mine so typically, that’s my go to for every single emotion. We thank heavens for Frank (pun intended).

Hearts get broken every minute of the day, why do you still believe in love?

I am love. I was raised in love. Witnessed love in every single walk of life. I truly believe that love is the answer to every problem and honestly, I wish people did it more. I understand its scary when people encounter unhealthy love, but when it’s in it’s truest form, there is truly nothing like love.

Do you remember how you felt sharing your single ‘Say Yeah’ in 2020? 

I’d already released an EP and single in 2018 and 2019 so by the time Say Yeah dropped, little old me semi understood the reigns of music. However, I didn’t expect THAT. It’s truly been one of my biggest blessings until today and to be able to travel around the world and have people sing it back to me till this day is a feeling so unmatched. I am beyond grateful.

What was it about this song that made you release this career-changing single?

It wasn’t a pick on my behalf. I released the snippet and the internet went absolutely insane for it. For the people, chosen by the people.

Four years later, you’ve become an artist to watch and one for the most exciting names in UK R&B. How would you describe your journey so far?

A thrill. An absolute thrill. Sometimes, I feel like my life is fake. Like, how? I was literally 5 years singing Britney Spears in my front room last week, now I’m an adult and actually living my dreams? Gag.

What were some of the challenges you did not expect when aspiring to be an artist?

The internal ones. I’ve never been a silver spoon kid so working hard and late and tirelessly has always been the default mode of my approach to things that I want, but I don’t think I was prepared for how quickly I had to learn how to love myself as a means of protecting me and my art. I love it, but what a journey that was. Certainly not an easy one at that.

If you could put in words, what type of an artist do you aspire to be?

The artist that you look at and say “if she can do it, I will do it to.” I need every human to feel unstoppable in their quest of love and fulfilment.

What’s on the top of your list of things you would like to achieve?

Sell out Wembley Stadium. Literally ask any and everyone around me, it’s all I talk about. I grew up in Wembley with all the concerts and matches happening on my doorstep. To be able to sing to and connect with a crowd of 60,000 people, talk to them and share a message encouraging love, is everything I want and more.

What goals did you set for yourself this year, personally and professionally?

My biggest personal goal for the past 3 years still stands: learning how to balance music and motherhood. My son and my career feel like both my babies and I like to keep my flowers watered. Professionally, this year I’m setting upon being a spearhead around the world for UK RnB. The UK deserves its shine and my work isn’t done until that happens.

Do you have a go-to mantra?

Let love lead. Not emotion. Sometimes not even logic. Just let love lead.

What can we expect from you this year?

Non-stop heat. I’m not letting up. All 2024, full gas, no breaks.

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Words: Karolina Kramplova