We talk a lot about some very busy people here at Born, but MALKA may just have them all beat. Making music and doing all the promotion and general works that go along with that, all with a four-year-old and six-month-old in tow. Impressive right? It’s certainly not affected her music either as ‘Breakout’ (listen below) released a few weeks ago is massive! We basically had no choice but to grab her for a chat, don’t you agree?
Firstly, congrats on ‘Breakout’, it’s such a great track! Can you tell us a bit about the backstory to the track?
Thank you! this is the first track from my forthcoming album which will be out later this year. The track is about overcoming adversity – whether personally or as an entire nation. I always like my songs to mean something to the listener and for it to have a different meaning to me. I was imagining a family of refugees finding a safe place to live and feeling elated at being free. I have struggled to sit back and watch the state of the current political climate (Brexit, Trump, The Jungle, The NHS) and to not be moved to write about it – even if it is hidden beneath a 3-minute uplifting pop song.
Secondly, we love, love, love how cute your 6-month-old is, we also feel for you over how difficult it must be doing all of this recording/press, would you say it’s been easier or harder than you expected?
Thank you. Oh, this has been really hard work. This is my second child, I have a 4-year-old too – so I should really know better! but somehow I find that I thrive when setting my own deadlines and it has been a challenge but also totally enjoyable. I recorded ‘Breakout’ when my son was only 6 weeks old… my Mum was in town visiting and joined me in the studio with the baby. I managed to record it all between feeds and nappy changes. I have come up with most of my melodies for this album while stomping the streets pushing the buggy, so you can tell I walk quite quickly with a jaunt to my step.
We hear that your first festival for the Summer has been confirmed? Can you tell us anything about that?
Not yet! but soon I hope. I think my kids will be pretty pleased about coming along to it.
Do you hope to play many festivals this Summer, if so, are there any in particular that you’d love to play?
Yes, that is my perfect way to spend the summer, I have been booked for one on the top of my list. I am also really hoping for Green Man too. I played that with my previous band 6 Day Riot and that was a blast. But to be honest they are all great fun to play, so anyone reading this that needs to fill a slot, get in touch.
You’ve just played a Sofar Sounds in London, how was that?
I love playing Sofar Sounds, I think that was my 5th time. The audience sits there in complete silence just willing you to play well. They are so warm and the entire night is great. In many ways, it can be more daunting than a massive show as people REALLY listen. We tested out the live version of ‘Breakout’ pre-launch gig and it went down pretty well I think.
The artwork for ‘Breakout’ was by Tomoko, can you tell us a bit more about this?
Tomoko is a really good friend of mine, I saw the image on her website (www.tomoko-t.com) and asked her if I could use it for the single as it really worked with the idea I had in mind for the song. I usually create all artwork myself, but it has been nice to bring someone else into the equation this time. In fact, I think I have convinced her to do the album artwork for me too.
The video for ‘Breakout’ has been recorded by a friend is this right? What was the creative process like for this? Did you have much input?
I have a bunch of friends (and my husband) who have worked on all of my MALKA videos now. The process tends to be pretty collaborative. With this particular video, I came up with the styling and dance routine (with two friends, Vicky and Jo) and then the director Lee had the idea of using prism effects for the shoot. The DOP, Steve always adds his own distinctive style to the shots, and my poor husband gets begged to edit the videos between other jobs. They are all successful within the industry and I am lucky that they invest their time in my videos and that they look quite as amazing as they always do.
Scotland is a pretty great place musically, would you say it’s influenced your music in any way?
Yes, I guess it has, you grow up listening to bands and going to gigs and inevitably it has some influence on your music. My previous band (6 Day Riot) was very folky, with world music but definitely some Celtic twangs too.