This Is Our Culture: Malika

Tanyel Gumushan /
May 26, 2017 / Music

Get ready, we’ve found your new best friend in music.

A London girl through and through, Malika has a heart that shines golden, an attitude to be envied and a passion for life that radiates. Her latest EP, Songs About C, contains stories told with the most gorgeous eloquence and most heartfelt experience.

They can take your hand for comfort in a dark time, or use the hand to lift you up and get you out – to remind you what life is really about. Hip hop rhythms move your hips, whilst big pop choruses move your feet. Every song works in harmony with the others.

A reminder of the absolute pleasure of 90s RnB, Malika’s vocal lathers with sensuality, and is filled with soul. Balancing delicacy with strength, there’s a warped darkness wrapping itself around the tracks as they move with heavy drums that only highlight the angelic qualities of the songstress.

This is her culture.

‘Songs About C’

“The inspiration behind the EP is real life. It’s about an ex of mine, and it basically takes you through the journey of a relationship. The first single I put out last year ‘Put It On Me’ creates the feeling and vibe of when you first meet the person and everything is fresh, new and exciting. Then there are songs on the project like ‘Don’t Give Up On Me’ which explores that feeling when you start doubting yourself and wanting to do anything to make the relationship better. The final stage is just after the break up when you realise the future you were planning and thought you were going to have isn’t going to happen, and you start questioning what you can do next – that was the whole concept behind ‘Run’.”

London

“There is so much to do in London and it never sleeps – you can go to Camden or Dalston at any time of the night and there is guaranteed to be a bar or basement with a cool vibe. London is just a massive pot of culture – perhaps I’m a little biased but there’s something special about being a Londoner, it’s truly a multicultural place to live and grow up in. I’m sure if you really wanted to you can have several different cultural experiences on the same day, like a curry on Brick Lane, some Jamaican food in Brixton and then Chinatown for some authentic Chinese food. Musically, it has had a massive influence on my sound as well. ‘Run’ was influenced by Massive Attack’s ‘Unfinished Sympathy’ – just the energy and feel of it. I wanted to create something that carried the same distinctive soulful British sound.”

Childhood

“My earliest childhood memory is being in the studio with my dad, who was a music producer at the time. We were with a friend of his called Mark and I was laying vocals on a house track. I must have been about 4 or 5 but I still remember the lyrics including ‘get on the floor and whine your body’! Lord knows where that song ended up, I’m sure I have it on a tape somewhere.”

Collaboration

“The best part about collaborating with other artists and musicians is that you get to share your story with someone else, hearing their perspective or interpretation of that situation. Everybody sees, hears and feels things differently and it’s fun to throw all those different experiences in a mixing pot and hear what comes from it.”

Fashion

“Honestly, I’m influenced by so many different people’s styles. But Naomi Campbell has to be one of them – her style and beauty are timeless.

My favourite outfit has to be Lil Kim at the MTV Awards in 1999.”

This Is Our Culture: Malika

UNITED STATES – SEPTEMBER 09: Lil’ Kim arrives for the MTV Video Music Awards at Lincoln Center. (Photo by Richard Corkery/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)

RnB

The soul, the emotion, probably the pain in it – that’s what I’m attracted to about the genre. I’m in love with the romance and the story that a good soulful track can sell to you.”

Perfect day

“My perfect day would be simple. I’d sleep in and have breakfast made by a personal chef. I’d go on a shopping spree in Selfridges, have dinner with my family, and perform a sold out show at Wembley Stadium before ending the night with my girls.”

Words by Tanyel Gumushan

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