A recurring theme in my life is finding out too late. Well, when it comes to artists I want to see. SZA, Pale Waves and now Malia. Every situation was the same. “OMG, I LOVE THIS.” Then I look for tour dates only to find out they’ll be in town like tomorrow. Thankfully Malia has laid down roots in the LA area and I can keep some tabs on her after she wraps up her tour with Syd this week at The Novo.
With a sound that reminds me of the best of Colbie Caillat and India.Arie, I was instantly drawn and I’m sure you will be too. Just one listen of “Simple Things” and you’ll be hooked. But before you start to listen to that on repeat, read what she had to say about the single, the tour and what’s to come.
Kendra: It’s not uncommon to head down a path you were wary of. You chose education over music for a while. What do you think held you back from music longer, the fear of failing at it or the fear of disappointing others?
Malia: I held back from music because I didn’t believe in myself and I didn’t know what self-love was yet so I had zero confidence and was burdened by self-doubt. I chose what I thought was the only option.
Kendra: Did you feel a weight lifted off your shoulders when you decided that music was the way to go?
Malia: It wasn’t necessarily a weight being lifted, it was rather just shifting my whole mentality and accepting and loving myself. It allowed me to expand my mind and feel a sense of purpose
Kendra: Well, I for one am happy you chose to follow your dream because “Simple Things” is my new jam. To me, it was the most chill song about being with someone. But it’s ironic because you live in LA (as do I) and dating here can be anything but chill. Was the track inspired by what you hoped to find in LA in terms of companionship, or were you lucky enough to find someone drama free and simple?
Malia: I actually didn’t write the track about someone specific, and I’m not into the dating scene, it’s not my flavor lol. This was just an overall concept of being simple and enjoying the simple pleasures. It can be interpreted in a few ways, and it’s almost as if I’m talking to myself because I tend to overanalyze and sometimes make things harder than they need to be.
Kendra: How are things going on the road with Syd? You two were friends before the tour, right?
Malia: Everything has been great, she and I have been friends for a few years now, and I really enjoy her energy, honesty, and vibe. She’s also hilarious and always has me laughing so it’s just an overall pleasure to share her company.
Kendra: Is The Novo show going to feel a little more special for you than the others?
Malia: I’ll have a few friends there supporting so that will be special, and it will be the end of tour so it will reflect a moment of pushing boundaries and growth with this tour overall.
Kendra: We’ve got to talk about your influences really quick. Lauryn Hill, Usher, and Justin Bieber are artists you’ve noted. Say you could tour with one, duet with another, and simply cover the last one. Which would you pick for each?
Malia: Well those are all artists who I’ve listened to and felt inspired by a song or their voice etc. at one time or another. I’ve covered them all, and listening to Lauryn’s voice in Sister Act II was actually a big reason why I didn’t pursue music for a long time because I was stuck in the mindset of “this person is better than me and already doing it so why should I try?” But I guess to answer your question I would tour with Lauryn because I feel her audience could relate to my sound/music, duet with Usher and cover Bieber.
Kendra: After the tour with Syd, what’s up with you? More dates? Recording new music?
Malia: I’m not sure exactly what the future holds but hopefully more dates and new music as well. It would be great to open up for more artists so I can continue to grow my fanbase and eventually tour on my own
Kendra: You seem to be a fan of Converse. So say you were going to be the new face (…feet?) of the brand and had to do a photoshoot. What five songs would you play during that to get you hyped?
Malia: I really enjoy all of those women’s voices and Gary Clark is inspiring because he plays the blues and sings.