Melanie Fiona Sizzles at Heineken's Red Star Access Roc Nation Tour 2011

Brittany Lawler

Heineken’s Red Star Access Roc Nation tour was held at Alhambra Palace on Monday, August 29. Chicago was one of nine cites hosting the tour, offering audiences a unique music experience. Headlining the event are featured performances by Wale and fellow Roc Nation artist Melanie Fiona, as well as the music from DJ D-Nice.

Fiona opened for Wale, showcasing songs like “It Kills Me,” featured on her first album “The Bridge.” In addition to giving the audience a taste of what’s to come on her second CD, which is to be released in the fall. But the first single off her new album “4am,” will be officially released Sept. 6.

This is the second Heineken tour for artist Fiona—her first was in 2009, which promoted music from “The Bridge.” According to Fiona, her second album maintains the same creative freedom as her first CD, but utilizes a more mature blend of rhythm and sound. Her music mixes rap, hip- hop and reggae with traditions of classic soul, while supporting the authenticity of modern music.

“I’m really excited about the new album, I feel like I’ve grown a lot… I definitely paid respect and homage to the retro- soul that I grew up on, but the new album is definitely more me—who I am as an artist. People will get to see what I’m about,” said Fiona.

Fiona’s second album, allowed for a more cohesive collection of work. The artist wants her fans to become familiar with the sound and a few more singles, before the album is released.

“I had the freedom to work with the people I really want to work with on this album, I’ve been in the studio with Drake, John Legend, No ID, Jack Splash, all these producers and song- writers that I really wanted to work with they really helped to form a sound for me and bring out the best of me,” said Fiona.

Once the crowd was warmed up, the enthusiastic audience welcomed Wale to the stage. Wale preformed a great mix of old and news songs, including his latest single “Bad Girls Club,” which was released last month. Wale would go on to amaze the packed dance house.

After running through a few of his past hits, Wale decided to perform his current radio hit “That Way” with UCB vocalist Tre filling in for Jeremih. Wale wrapped up his performance- set with a crowd- pleaser “Pretty Girls.”

Both performers fed off the crowd’s infectious excitement and overwhelming enthusiasm. While performing Fiona, brought out her camera and started filming the members of the audience and Wale encouraged fans to sing along and through their hands in the air.

“Some people give you the same lines over and over again…they sound like a broken record, you know what I say? It’s time to change the record,” said Fiona between songs.