adidas Originals x Girls Are Awesome Role Models – Melissa Inya

Girls Are Awesome and adidas Originals have partnered around a top to toe product collection and to increase the representation of women+.

In an ongoing series we will excitedly be featuring the role models who helped us shoot the campaign for our new collaborative collection with adidas Originals.

The definition of a role model is flexible in energetic size and has a constant shifting quality and meaning to people. The same diverse qualities can be attributed to the role models involved with this shoot. Every single one of them carries a strength and drive for what they do that automatically draws others to them in a magnetic fashion.

We’re proud to present to you a group of people who have helped, inspired, supported and upheld a strong sense of community in each of their respective fields and who have all helped us to diversify our understanding of the word role model. 

Melissa Inya has a laughter that penetrates the room. With a strong sensitivity, caring energy and a deep connection to her East African roots she maneuvers her life and music with an awareness of all that is soulful. She is one of the people who have unlocked the art of being honest and vulnerable, both in communication with others but equally through her blues, soul and jazz sound.

Can you think of a moment where a role model showed or told you something about yourself that you didn’t previously know?

Towards the end of my pregnancy, I was so scared of being alone with a child at the early age of 23. Scared that I couldn’t achieve my dreams anymore. My mum then told me our story, about how she carried me for 9 months in her 18-year-old body and had to think of a way to sustain us both. She baked and sold Mandazis in order for us to have a good life. She told me that she never gave up on hope for us and that her faith in God and the life she carried in her womb got her through it all. That moment changed my life – and I’ve since been aspiring to my dreams and music more than ever! 

What is the best advice you ever got from a role model?

“Guard your heart with all the music you hear” and “nobody can ever take your voice and music away from you”.

What is the best advice you’ve ever given?

It’s actually a piece of advice I’ve given myself as well as to others, which is “say it through your art, your talent is your biggest weapon”.

adidas originals x girls are awesome | musician | role model

When do you feel the most creatively inspired? 

When I’m feeling something very intensely. Emotions like hate, love, anger, joy and so on inspire me.

When did you first realize that you were “different”?

I’ve always known I was/I am different. But I only recently learned to accept it. I think I only really accepted it when I became a mother.

Thanks to Melissa for her vibrant energy. The products you see are dropping April 22 on our shop and all decent retailers worldwide.


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