Melanie Fiona & ?uestlove - Ay Yo
Like so many other up-and-comers before her, rising soul star Melanie Fiona is looking to stir up anticipation for her debut full-length with an official prelude mixtape—well, sort of; as the Roots’ ?uestlove, Fiona’s collaborator on the project, explained in a video featured last month, Melanie Fiona Meets the Illadelphonics will be neither a “mix” nor a “tape,” but a collection of live remixes of cuts off her LP. Be that as it may, leaked track Ay Yo sounds much more like a finished track than an off-the-cuff jam session. Singing over ?uest and the Illadelphonics’ lush, bossanova-esque instrumental accompaniment (featuring a reverb-drenched percussion rhythm by ?uest himself), Fiona sounds just as natural as she did over Andrea Martin‘s Zombies-sampling beat on her Booth-acclaimed debut single, Give It to Me Right. Though Ay Yo‘s official album version has yet to be released, it’s hard to imagine this infectious interpretation not doing the song justice; in any case, this high-quality performance is sure to get fans excited about seeing Fiona live, as well as raising anticipation for the impending releases of both the prelude “mixtape” and Fiona’s forthcoming full-length, The Bridge.