Interview: Getting to Know Mahalia


Teenage singer/songwriter Mahalia has already supported the likes of Ed Sheeran, Emeli Sande, Leon Bridges and Lianne La Havas, and has sung on Rudimental’s ‘We The Generation’. Big things lie ahead. We asked her to tell us more about herself:

I am… a curly-haired, seventeen year old gal from Leicester, UK. I’ve been writing songs, singing and playing the guitar since I was about 12.

My new single, Back Up Plan is….. a tune I started writing as a joke when I was younger. I remember standing in my friend’s kitchen, playing about with melodies. I wrote the song about reality TV and celebrity culture. As a kid, I always wanted to sing, but it was never about wanting to be famous. I guess what I really wanted to get across in “Back Up Plan” is as much as I believe in following your dreams, there is always a price to pay.

Working with Rudimental was… siiiiiiiiick. They’re proper good guys. They’re like my big brothers and I love their music so, having a title track on their second album was kind of the best.

Home is… kind of wherever I lay my hat at the minute. I feel like recently I’ve been living out of a suitcase. I’m not complaining though – I love moving around! And I’ve been running to music festivals since I was a bab so, running up and down the country is kinda my thing.

I spend too much time… watching films :(((((( Though I get a LOT of my inspiration from the telly, I need to get off Netflix and get on with something more productive!

I’m currently listening to… “WUUUUUURK” by Rihanna. I can’t get enough of that tune!!! I’ve been addicted to the whole album since it came out recently. WORK WORK WORK WORK WORK WORK… I love music though, I really do. Really into Jack Garrett at the minute – he’s sick.

It might surprise people to learn that… ermmmm, surprised? I guess that depends… I’ve been studying Acting and Dance at a performing Arts College in Birmingham for the past four years. When I was a kid, I always thought I’d be a scientist. My favourite colour is Sky Blue and my best friend is my eight year-old brother, Jude. I have two older brothers who have been my bodyguards since forever and I have about 500 cousins.

This year, I’m going to… turn 18, finish school and hopefully learn how to drive!!!! Those three things alone are a proper weird one for me. I’m definitely moving into the next chapter of my life. And I can’t wait. I have so much new music that I’m so excited for people to hear.

Keep up to date with Mahalia on Facebook. You can catch her at the following UK venues, including a turn at The Great Escape…

18 May Main support w/ Frances – KOKO
21 May The Great Escape – Spiegel Tent
1 July Barn on the Farm Festival
3 July Love Supreme Jazz Festival
22 July Deer Shed Festival

Bobby Townsend


Interview by Bobby Townsend