It’s an absolute pleasure to have alt-R&B singer and songwriter Malia as the first interviewee of 2022.
Her new EP What’s After ‘I Love You?’ is a gorgeous collection of tracks surrounding heartbreak and quite probably one of the best R&B releases we´re gonna experience this year.
Hope you both enjoy the interview and Malia´s EP What’s After ‘I Love You?’:
Malia, thank you so much for answering our questions and congratulations on your brilliant new EP What’s After ‘I Love You?’ (March 4th, 2022). Could you please describe yourself for all the people discovering you through this interview?
Thank you so much! I would say I’m a sensitive loving female who likes to create, treat my body well, animals and spending time in nature.
Your new EP What’s After ‘I Love You?’ is a conceptual work surrounding heartbreak. Where you afraid of embracing the vulnerability of a broken heart to create this record? Or it was something that needed to be done?
No I wasn’t afraid to create, in fact I feel like in a lot of ways it really helped me handle what I was going through. Almost like the music found me. I was more nervous to put the work out just because it is so personal and it’s a lot to talk about at times.
In this record, you showcased an outstanding ability as a songwriter and as a vocalist with incredible velvety vocals. How do you usually approach your creativity and feelings when it comes to writing songs and recording them?
I wrote all these songs with Jess Best, a singer-songwriter who I’ve been working with for the last couple projects. I’m so grateful she was willing to unpack this one with me. My notebook was overflowing with thoughts and so much raw emotion when I reached out to her. The way we wrote was just so real and seamless. I’m always writing and a lot of that becomes lyrics or concepts or heavily shapes what gets turned into songs. I prefer to record vocals on my own but I recorded these records with Jess in my bedroom and I’m really happy with how they turned out. Vocal recording is a very vulnerable space for me so I only get the performance I want when I’m very comfortable.
Over the years, you have slowly created a buzz around your persona while opening for The Internet’s Syd on her West Coast tour, the releases of your EPs Late Bloomer and Ripe, being the only artist asked by Alicia Keys to cover a song for the 20th anniversary of Songs In A Minor, and the release of your previous project, Unpolished. What did you learn and enjoy the most about these incredible milestones in your career?
To enjoy the journey and each little victory and step along the way. And to appreciate the times when you feel like you failed because there’s always something to learn.
“Only One” was the enchanting and seductive first single from What’s After ‘I Love You?’. Could you please tell us more about the experience of creating this superb track? Any favourites from the EP for the second single?
I had been toying with the guitar chords for a bit and wanting to write to them and when I’m at that stage of the music I like to concentrate on what the progression makes me feel. I remember telling Jess that I just felt like career success and working at accomplishing my goals just didn’t feel as great anymore because I learned what my soul really wants is love and to share that connection with someone. And at the end of the day, coming home from tour or a show to an empty big house feels like something is missing. So that’s how Only One was born… ‘Lately my dreams aren’t so sweet…’
What are your expectations with the release of What’s After ‘I Love You?’ and the future to come?
I have not one expectation for this project. I truly made it for myself and decided to share it as a means of being vulnerable and my most authentic self.
My expectation for the future is simply to live from a place of love over fear in all areas of my life.
If could you highlight a lyric from any of the tracks included on What’s After ‘I Love You?’, which one would it be? Which one of the songs was the most difficult to write?
I suppose ‘but it takes more than love to love me baby’ because I feel like loving someone or being in love even is just the start and it takes work and effort and for both parties to want to grow together and choose each other to love and support. The songs were not hard to write, the flow was just right.
One dream collaboration? And one song that you would have loved to write?
I don’t have a dream collaboration, I just want all that I’m involved in to feel good. I also have never had the thought of, ‘I wish I wrote that song.’
If you could only listen to one album for the rest of your life, which one would it be?
I can’t imagine choosing just one album lol, I can’t answer this haha
And the last question. What’s the most important thing you’d like to tell people about yourself and your music?
I’m here learning my lessons and doing my best in each moment to show up for myself and others. My music is a representation of me conquering my biggest fears and I’m actually quite proud of the human I am today ☺ I’ve come such a long way on my musical journey and just in my growth as a person and I truly so happy for the lessons learned and where I am today.
Please don’t forget to support Malia´s music below: