THE wonderful MALKA…
has been telling me about her latest track, Don’t Leave Me, and what comes next for her. She reveals the music she was raised on and the albums most important; how she balances music with motherhood and running a record label – I ask whether we can see her on the road before next year.
MALKA talks about the importance of being on stage and how she transitioned from life in a band (6 Day Riot) to working solo; whether she has any advice for artists coming through; which emerging artist we need to keep our eyes out for – she ends the interview by choosing a great new track.
Hi, MALKA. How are you? How has your week been?
I'm fine, thanks. My week has been busy. I run my record label myself so release dates are always a bit manic.
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourself, please?
I have been making music for years; initially with my band, 6 Day Riot which was in the Folk-Pop genre. I was the lead singer and songwriter. After three albums, I decided to go solo and started my project MALKA which is Alternative-Pop. I write a lot of music for T.V. and film too.
Don’t Leave Me is your new single. Is there a story behind the song?
There is. A friend of mine was going through very hard time and I wrote this song for them.
How do you think you have grown as an artist since the start? Do you find yourself adding new elements to your work?
Yes. I have definitely developed as an artist. I think you gain confidence the longer you have been making music. You strive to create something new: you don't follow you try to lead. And, so, I am no longer afraid of not conforming: in fact, I find it is my goal not to.
Might we see more material next year?
Yes, indeed. I have written the album! I just need to find some time to head into the studio and record it all. I am really excited about it. It is a big step forward sonically.
Can you tell me what sort of music you grew up around? Which artists struck your ear?
I used to listen to The Beatles and The Carpenters with my mum as a kid. But, in terms of my own favourite artists, Kylie has to be up there. She has always been a favourite of mine.
What do you hope to achieve by the end of 2018?
As ever, for more people to hear my music and to gain enough exposure to keep doing what I am doing.
Have you got a favourite memory from your time in music so far – the one that sticks in the mind?
Probably playing at Glastonbury with my band, 6 Day Riot. We had no real expectations but rocked up to a full tent and it was the best feeling.
Which three albums mean the most to you would you say (and why)?
OK Computer - Radiohead; Graceland - Paul Simon and Rumours - Fleetwood Mac.
If you could support any musician alive today, and choose your own rider, what would that entail?
David Bowie. That would have been amazing wouldn't it!
And, rider-wise; nothing crazy like a bowl of brown M&Ms or anything like that. But, maybe an Espresso Martini. That would jump-start the show nicely.
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
Don't get frustrated when you think things are not getting traction immediately - the best things come to those that keep on doing and don't give up.
Do you have tour dates coming up? Where can we catch you play?
I have a few dates booked in for November:
13th Nov: Servant Jazz Quarters, London
23rd Nov: Sneaky Pete's, Edinburgh
24th Nov: The Hug and Pint, Glasgow
I will head out on tour to promote the new album next year.
How important is it being on stage and performing? Do you love playing your music to the crowds?
It is absolutely one of my favourite things. I love performing. I love connecting with the audience and finding out their favourite songs and it just makes me feel so alive to be on stage.
IN THIS PHOTO: Seaker/PHOTO CREDIT: Buzz
Are there any new artists you recommend we check out?
Yes, have a listen to Seaker - a solo artist/producer from London.
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
I don't get any! I have two kids…I write and produce the music; I run the record label and I lecture in Music Business too. I am lucky if I get any sleep. But, I wouldn't have it any other way. If I get a spare minute, I love doing Pilates. And I love just hanging out with my little family.
Finally, and for being a good sport; you can choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
How about the new Seaker song Fireworks, then?
I can help to promote someone else while we are here. Thanks (smiles).