EXCLUSIVE: Interview With Malaika

Malaika is a singer/songwriter originally from Zimbabwe who is now based in the UK. The rising star has recently released her debut single ‘Falling For You’, the track was produced by Zimbabwean born, UK number 1 producer RYMEZ who worked on Wiley’s massive single ‘Heatwave’.

The official video for the ‘Falling For You‘ also features another Zimbabwean superstar, Tytan.

Here we speak exclusively to Malaika about her musical icons, future plans, new single, and lots more;

Growing up who inspired your love for music?

It’s hard for me to say who and what inspired my love for music. Michael Jackson has always been the man. Also I used to write a lot of stories and poetry that I always wanted to share with people. I would then turn these poems into songs to try and spread my message. I then discovered that through music, I could spread a message. This discovery inspired me to love music. From a tender age of between 3 and 4, I was already in the choir. When you are a young child you don’t know much but when you learn that you can spread a message through music, your love for it grows. I know so much has changed since then and so has the type of music, but my love for music remains the same.  

Did you always know you wanted to pursue music as a career?

Growing up is a process and I remember in Africa, in the early years of primary school, we were always asked by our teachers and parents what we wanted to be when we grew up. My answer was always to be a doctor, maybe because those careers were what was expected of us. From as long as I can remember, maybe the age of 3-4, I have always been in the choir. Nursery choir, primary school choir, high school choir, family choir and even church choir so I guess all the signs were there. It just never really registered that I was heading towards that direction until a few years ago. So I guess my heart knew exactly what it wanted, while my brain wanted to try a few things first.

Who are your musical icons?

I know this may sound weird and make me a bit boring but Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston are the two that I can confidently say are my music icons. The boring factor is that the only music I have on my iPhone is from these two late legends. 

If you could collaborate with any artist who would you choose?

Growing up, I listened to a lot of dancehall music and Sean Paul has always been my favourite. I know he is in demand at the moment but a collaboration with him would be a dream come true.

What is the main inspiration behind your new music?

I am a woman. I believe women should be bold and have a voice in society. I have come across women, both friends and strangers who have shared some intimate stories with me and I’ve learned that far too many women are unfulfilled and unhappy in relationships because they don’t feel they can express themselves sexually or communicate their desires without running the risk of being labelled “wild” or accused of cheating. This discovery was my inspiration to my new music.

You’re currently making Afro-beats inspired music, do you plan to experiment with any other genres?

Of course! Life is all about experimenting with new things. Music is a journey and although my new music is Afro- beat and dancehall inspired, there is plenty of room to experiment with other genres. 

Can fans expect an album from you soon?

‘Falling For You’ is my first ever release but prior to that, I had been and I’m still working on other material. The plan is to release an EP and if things go according to plan, that should be soon, fingers crossed. 

Do you have any tour plans lined up?

Being a new kid on the block, I’m still in the process of establishing myself and making my presence known in the music industry. Of course I would want to tour, it’s always been a dream of mind but at the moment, I’m taking one step at a time, learning new things and growing as a musician and performer.

What do you hope to achieve over the next ten years?

10 years is a long time, but time flies. 2 years ago, who knew that I would be here in your studio talking about my music and my journey? God has been good to me and he continues doing great things in my life. When dreams start coming true that’s when you realise there is no way back, the only way is up for me. Being an international superstar has always been my dream and now I’m just going for it. There are so many things I would want to achieve, and God willing, I hope I do achieve them. To get a chance to feature in the charts would also be a dream come true for me. The main thing is to have a stable establishment in the music industry and branch from there. Besides music, I run my own business and I run an organisation called the Angels Across Africa Organisation which I founded together with my sister and so far are fully registered and have offices in three countries including the UK. To change the lives of orphans and disadvantaged children would be my biggest achievement and through music I hope and pray that this will be achievable. 

Make sure you follow Malaika on Twitter @MalaikahMusic to keep up to date with all her latest music, tour, and charity news!

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Written by Laura Klonowski

Qualified music journalist! Writing single/album/live reviews, feature articles, interviews, and news pieces.
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