Melina Malone is one of Irish music’s best kept secrets, but that is all set to change as she builds up to the release of her debut album with new single Ti Ein Afto, which sees the rising talent exploring her Greek heritage and paying tribute to her mother on a breezy, Bossa Nova-inspired track.
“Ti Ein Afto came to be when Steven McCann (who produces and co-writes all of my music with me) showed me a rough version of this track about a year ago with a bangin’ Bossa Nova style drum beat,” explain Malone on the origins of the track.
“It was a sweltering hot day in the middle of summer and we were stuck inside in a dark windowless room, so naturally as a sun lover all I could think about was being outside at the beach. After learning an old Greek folk song of the same name some years back, that’s what almost immediately came to mind when I heard it.”
Ti Ein Afto offered Melina Malone the chance to explore her Greek heritage and also pay tribute to her mother in the process.
“My mom is half Greek, so I learnt the original version as a college performance a few years ago as a tribute to her. My name derives from the Greek word for ‘Honey’ and is actually my mom’s real name. She grew-up raised by her Irish grandmother in Cabra in the ’60s, so they called her by her middle name Lynda instead – I think Melina was far too ‘foreign’ for Catholic Ireland back then.”
“My mom has always been very proud of her Greek heritage, even though she never had a chance to meet her Greek family, teaching me about traditional Greek food and music from when I was a baby.”
Melina is very proud of the resulting track which takes her back to Greece in her mind. “It transports me to the sandy beaches in Greece, listening to the waves and escaping from the world for a while. I thought it’d be the perfect track to share during lockdown as most of us won’t be going away this year, so hopefully you can stick this on and pretend you’re in sunnier climates by the beach!”
Ti Ein Afto was produced and mixed by Steven McCann, and features Paul Kiernan from Booka Brass on trumpet which further adds to the dreamy, summer vibe of the track which Melina can’t wait to preform live.
“We were really hoping to play this at festivals this year but hopefully we can record an al fresco (socially distanced) acoustic version with Paul this summer instead, I think that would be really cool.”