Mélissa Yansané is a Congolese musician and songwriter born in Aix-en-Provence in the south of France; she grew up between Conakry and Kinshasa. She has had a passion for music from an early age through her singer mother, whom she followed on many stages. It was on the school benches that she started in music before joining a Gospel group. After releasing “Run 4 your life,” her first track in 2017, her career took off in 2019 when she released “You Got It.” However, it was after the release of “Limbisa,” “Na Lembi,” and “Bâton Magique” that her notoriety was confirmed.
Hi Mélissa Yansané! Let’s start with how did you get your artist name?
Mélissa Yansané is actually my real name. I just kept it, without adding anything to it.
What city are you from and where are you based now?
I was born in the South of France, in Aix en Provence. But, I have several origins: Congolese, Italian, French, and Guinean. Currently, we can say that I live between two countries, the DRC (Democratic Republic of the Congo) and France. Four months ago before signing with my new label, I lived in the DRC for professional reasons, and it was for this same reason that I took the decision to be more often in France than in the DRC.
At what point in your life did you decide to pursue a career in music? How did you get started?
Since I was young, I have been singing. Singing has always been my passion, but I really wanted to make it a career in 2015 after winning a talent competition in Kinshasa, DRC.
Has your upbringing played a role in shaping who you are and defining your sound today? If so, how?
Yes, exactly. My education played a lot on that because my mother is a singer, and I always attended her performances wherever she went.
How would you describe your sound to readers who may not be familiar with you?
My music is a cocktail of several cultures, especially since I lived in America, Europe, and Africa, and here it is…so, yeah, I mix RnB, Afrobeat, Soul, Hip-Hop, Urban, and many others.
Do you have any hobbies outside of music? What do you do to stay creative?
Of course, I have like everyone else haha. Apart from my music, I like to live the lifestyle, travel, shopping, etc…but I only do it with my family or my very close friends. They are my source of inspiration, so I prefer to keep them near me haha. My family contributes enormously to my creative side, and the stories I am told, my moods (joy or sad), in short, everything that surrounds me.
Besides music, is there any other job you would like to do or plan to do?
If the opportunity arises, yes, of course. I would very much like to work in fashion, cosmetics, and cinema as an actress.
Who are some of your main musical influences?
My mother first. There are other artists like: Baby Face, Boyz II Men, Alihyah, Akon, Summer Walker, Damso, Niska, Rihanna, Jhene Aiko, Fally Ipupa and I like Fally, especially his evolution and the mix he makes between the Rumba and current urban music is very inspiring.
Since your mother is also an artist, what do you think of a featuring with her?
A featuring with my mother? It is possible, yes. But, just one haha.
What are some of your future music career goals?
Spread all over the world. To be known to all. I would like everyone to discover my music, which is already multicultural, and the person I am. To be listened to everywhere and at all times whether it is joy, sadness, loneliness, anger, etc. because myself and my songs are made according to my mood and like any human, I do not live only the joy. I have my hard times, and it’s not easy.
Now onto your release, “You Got It.” What inspired this song?
In short, a friend of mine inspired this song. She was in love. Moreover, she told me her story, and here I made a song of it haha…I find it very exciting to communicate the emotions felt by another person.
What is “You Got It” about in your own words?
In this song, I explain how we let ourselves get blinded by love at the beginning of a relationship. You know, at first you only see the positive side. Everything is pink in color, and especially more when you have lived a little more in the dark, alone or when you have had hard moments…you just feel like you have found an angel. However, sometimes, that is not always the case. Nevertheless, after that, that is life, we just keep hope.
What is your favorite lyric in “You Got It” and why?
“I’ll go anywhere if you’re by my side.” This part expresses a feeling that one feels at the very beginning of a relationship. You know, these late night calls with very long duration, the desire to discover each other, etc. You just need the person to stay like that forever.
What message do you hope fans take away from your music and from “You Got It?”
They need to know that they are not alone in their situations. I transmit the emotions, and I sing the stories in which people can see themselves – in joy, in sadness, in laughter, in crying. They have to live; they have to know that in joy or sadness, you have to live. I would like people to feel loved, and not to give up after a badly turned story, etc.
What’s one of your proudest moments of your music career so far?
Opening act for French rapper Ninho during his first concert in Kinshasa in October 2020. People’s reaction was beyond my expectations. In addition, it gave me self-confidence.
What would you say are the greatest lessons you have learned so far?
Haha, I can say hum: Trust. It is something you do not give to just anyone. Always believe in you and never underestimate yourself.
What’s next for you? Are you working on any upcoming projects that we should be on the lookout for?
We plan to release a new single in 2 months in May, precisely. In addition, every 2 or 3 months, we plan to releases another song until the end of the year. Followed by an EP at the beginning of next year, then in the middle of next year, two singles including one in June and another one in December 2023. The album planned for 2024.
Where can we follow you on social media?
Snapchat: Melissa Yansane