Mahalia, a 19 year old singer-songwriter from Leicester, is just one of the rising female artists emerging from Britain. Writing her first song at only 12 years old and signing to a record label at 13, Mahalia has had plenty of time to discover who she wants to be, and more importantly, who she doesn’t want record companies to turn her into. A girl determined not to be shaped by the industry or put into a pigeonhole, Mahalia has her own concept of the music she wants to create.
She released her first EP ‘Head Space’ in 2012, and since then another EP and her first album ‘Diary of Me’, both mainly vocals over an acoustic guitar Mahalia plays herself. Mixing sultry and Amy Winehouse-esque vocals with reflective lyrics, she now seems to have left her acoustic days behind her, letting instead a catchy R&B style come through that can be heard in her most well-known track ‘Sober’. It’s one of those songs you hear and instantly there’s something about it that you can’t quite put your finger on. Whether it’s the catchy hook, or the old R&B vibes, it’s a song that’s guaranteed to stay in your head for the next couple of days.
Much more than just a singer, Mahalia becomes a story teller in her music. Vulnerability, emotion and honesty fill the beautiful ‘Silly Girl’ from her album ‘Diary of Me’, a powerful song tackling topics such as bullying and suicide, just her voice over a guitar. Her latest track ‘No Pressure’ discusses the truth of the music industry, an honest portrayal for young artists trying to make it into the scene.
Others on the current music scene similar to her are Jorja Smith and Mabel, who both were recently nominated for BRITs Critics’ Choice Award. Mahalia certainly has the potential to follow in the footsteps of these artists, but by making her own path to tread. Catch her on tour next year in Birmingham, at the Castle & Falcon on the 10th of March, or supporting Jorja Smith on tour next year.