COSIGN Interview: Malia
Interview by: K.G. Graham | @COSIGNKG
Photos By: Adam Stanzak
Location: Los Angeles
Favorite Quote: “Do more of what makes you happy.”
The power of a #COSIGN is real. I was randomly introduced to Malia from Brittany B., who’s music taste I truly respect, so when she told me about this talented singer named Malia, I was eager to check her out. I was instantly a fan and had to know her story, so instead of reading about it, I went directly to the source.
Originally from Washington, Malia is a Los Angeles based singer-songwriter who claims, “I’m still figuring it out,” when asked, “Who is Malia?” She then went on to say, “On the surface, I’m an artist and musician who really enjoys the simple things in life.”
We about her love of the guitar, considering herself a late bloomer, her proudest moment as an artist, and the experiences she gained from going on tour with Syd Tha Kyd of the soul band The Internet.
When did you know that you wanted to become a musician and from that moment on what did you do to pursue your dreams?
I think deep down I always knew that music was my favorite thing to do, and that I loved to sing, but I didn’t have any confidence and didn’t learn lessons of self love until I had finished school and was working full-time jobs I hated. I finally hit a rock bottom place in my life and had to pick myself up from there and start being honest with myself and with others. I was 26 years old, and through a series of ups and downs and experiences of heartbreak, I finally learned to love myself and believe in my abilities, and that is when I seriously picked up the guitar and started practicing and sharing my voice with people.
You recently released your debut album “Late Bloomer,” what was the concept behind the project and why the title?
The title is “Late Bloomer” because I always felt like I was a late bloomer in life, and I thought it was very fitting. Right before “Late Bloomer” was created, I had just moved back into my mom’s house because I couldn’t afford rent anymore where I was living in Portland. I decided to spend my last on a ticket to come to LA to create with a couple friends of mine and see what we could accomplish in a short time. I was sleeping on couches and working long hours and late nights, but it all came together.
What has been your proudest moment as an artist thus far?
Honestly, I’m just proud overall that I took the leap of faith to initially share my music with the world because that was a huge step for me. My mindset literally did a 180 and I was finally operating from a place of positivity, so that moment was pivotal for me.
What has been your darkest moment and how did you overcome it?
I cut off the tip of my index finger about a year and a half ago in a kitchen accident and unfortunately it was the main fret finger I use for guitar. So I had to go through that healing process and it was tough for sure, I still don’t have feeling in my finger and it affects my playing, so I’ve had to learn to adjust and use other fingers to bend. It was a good learning lesson, and it could have been worse. It’s taught me to be even more grateful for my limbs, and different ways to play guitar.
What are you most afraid of and why?
I’m actively working on living from a place that is not based in fear. At the moment, I can’t think of something I’m really afraid of. I used to be terrified to do anything in front of people, let alone share my heart and soul and be vulnerable on a stage, so now that I’ve done that, it feels like I’m not scared of much else. Maybe being a parent or raising a child. I’ve never wanted to be a mom, but the thought of being responsible for another living being for the rest of my life is kinda scary.
What do you love most about playing the guitar and how did you learn?
What I love the most about guitar is that it has become another form of mediation for me. I learned from watching other people and seeking others who are more skilled than me to learn from. I’ve also watched a lot of YouTube lessons and I put in a lot of hours of practice. Like I said, I’m a homebody, so I spent a lot of time just dedicated to my craft and getting better at it. I met my best friend at a studio in Hollywood in 2014 and we’ve been jamming together since; which has taught me a lot too.
What are a few simple things in life you enjoy and what did you want your fans to take away from this single?
I love nature, sky, clouds, the moon and stars, delicious wholesome nutrients and food, laughing endlessly, et cetera. I wanted to share some of my simple things and give people some music that felt good to jam to.
Going on tour with Syd Tha Kyd from the Internet is a great accomplishment and #COSIGN for your career. How did you connect with Syd and what did you learn from being on tour?
I connected with Syd a few years ago when I wandered into her studio, and I was super inspired by her and the rest of the band. It was just great vibes and I’ve just kinda stuck around ever since. The tour was super fun and amazing. I learned a lot about the ropes of how it goes being on tour and a lot about myself, as I was getting more and more comfortable with each performance. I got sick towards the end though, so another lesson was to make sure I stay hydrated and get enough sleep!
A #COSIGN is a stamp of approval of a support system. What other artists/musicians do you #COSIGN in LA?