Melissa Etheridge has just released her 12th collection of new material This Is M.E. – and for someone who has such a body of work, isn’t as well known in the UK as in her native America.

“I have yet to really break this market. I think you all kind of know me, you’re aware of me, yet maybe you haven’t really listened and caught on. I think this album is an opportunity for me to finally come into Great Britain and find a place here.”

It’s her first independent album and there’s quite a different feel to those that have gone before. She’s teamed up with other writers including Jerrod Bettis (who has worked with Adele and One Republic), Jerry Wonda (Grammy Award-winning producer of the Fugees, and Mary J Blige) as well as Usher and Chris Brown collaborator, Roccstar.

“This is the music that I love. There’s more R&B and soulful feeling on it because that’s always been inside of me and I think rock’n’roll and soul and R&B are brother and sister and those collaborations are probably my favourite.”

Many of Melissa’s lyrics have been described as “confessional” and there’s more of that on This Is M.E.

“That sort of music always seemed to be the path I wanted to take. In the 70s listening to the singer/songwriters like Paul Simon, Joni Mitchell, Bruce Springsteen, these artists that seemed to be writing from their personal experience. That to me was the writers’ way. That was the journey I wanted to take. I wanted to live life and
write about it and be fully in it and that’s always where my songs have come from.”

Melissa’s trademark of a catchy hook is something that continues to be a key part of her music.

“I love writing a melody that you can sing along to. Lyrics are very important that there’s a story, that there’s a meaning to it so all of those are together on this album. I feel it’s representational of where I am right now. Musically I love doing those songs live and they sit right next to my classics that I will always do.”

Etheridge will be back in the UK on the 27th April, for a gig at the Shepherds Bush Empire in London.

You can hear Music News' reporter Colin Besley chat to the singer here: