Interview by Carina Parke & Katharina Schneider
With her individual spin on modern R&B, singer-songwriter Alex Mali is making waves in the music industry. If you want to know more about the inspiring singer-songwriter from Brooklyn, check out her interview with GASH here.
Do you know this feeling when you’re digging one’s music so much that you so desperately want to know more about the person behind it? Well, we‘re here to serve you. Alex Mali is one of those people, who catch you – with her take on R&B, her powerful vocals, her positive vibes and her authentic way to present herself. While she gains more and more attention in the music industry, we take a closer look at the singer-songwriter from Brooklyn, who keeps on rising. In the interview with GASH Alex shares her thoughts on career, creativity and self-expression.
Alex, you are born in Brooklyn and have Caribbean roots – how much of both sides can we find in your music?
I would say I’m always Brooklyn with it, haha, but you can spot my Caribbean flavor 80% of the time in some shape or form.
Which artists influenced you and who do you look up to?
That’s difficult to pinpoint since I’ve grown up listening to so many genres and the artists that crown them. More than honorable mentions would be Rihanna, Beyonce, Pharrell, Daft Punk, the Marley’s. I could really go on forever.
When you look back, how did you find your identity in music and how did the process shape you as a private person?
Creating constantly. I was also unintentionally locked off from a lot of music when I started writing because I didn’t have major streaming platforms on my phone. Which at the time was trash, because all I was listening to was my Dropbox folders full of my own music like a narcissist haha. But looking back it was a blessing because it helped pull my sound forward without getting muddy with what was already out there.
I just like to be comfortable. My style is usually a reflection of my mood and the same used to go for my hair color.Alex Mali
What your fans and we like about you is how authentic you are. How hard or easy was it for you being yourself and staying true to yourself in the music industry?
Ah, thank you! I just figure people will judge me regardless, so I might as well be comfortable.
Who are the people who supported you along the way the most?
Anyone who devoted their time and energy to me. That goes from close friends (you know who you are) to those who have taken a chance on me, to complete and total strangers – including my little #MaliMafia, who I’ve never even met once in my life, but impacts me in such a powerful way.
Can you describe the feeling when you dropped „Sweet & Sour“?
Relief. I was very ready to let it go. It wasn’t mine anymore, it was for the world.
Were you very picky with the songs since it was your debut EP? What do you remember most from the process of creating this album?
Actually, I didn’t set out to create this EP. The project was a collection of music I had just been sitting on for about 1-2.5 years and happened to fit together. The most recent of them all was track 6 “Obviously”, which I had created earlier that year.
Have you always thought about being a professional singer-songwriter and which way brought you there?
I knew that I enjoyed singing at a young age. Watching plays like CATS on TV with my mom and of course what solidified the movement was Rodgers & Hammerstein Cinderella. I was obsessed. To this day I know every musical score in that thing. I didn’t begin creating my own music until years later, but I truly believe my love only grew from there.
We read that you’re into arts since you’re a kid – how do you still live out your creativity besides music?
I draw from time to time. Direct. I do graphics. The majority of everything you’ve seen from me has been done by me. Cover art, flyers. And yes, that 100% includes the cover art for Sweet & Sour.
I just figure people will judge me regardless, so I might as well be comfortable.Alex Mali
How we style ourselves is often a form of self-expression. What do your fashion and hairstyle represent in your opinion? How do they make you feel?
I just like to be comfortable. My style is usually a reflection of my mood and the same used to go for my hair color. But once I went green it felt right and I haven’t switched it up for like 4 years now.
We love the green btw! Any plans for changing the color anytime soon?
I don’t want to ruin the anticipation. We’ll all just have to wait and see.
While your styling is more “loud“, your music is in comparison very chill and smooth. Does that represent two different sides of you?
That’s so funny to me that you say loud haha. I wear a lot of black and I’ve recently begun dipping my finger in the pallet of color to add to my wardrobe. I flip flop though. It really might just be a representation of me, because I can be an introvert or an extrovert depending on the day.
Who is Alex Mali besides being a creative, a wonderful artist and aspiring star? What defines you, what do you stand for and what do you fight for?
My experiences shape me into who I am, but I wouldn’t say it defines me, so hmm … I’ll have to ponder on that one, haha. But I stand for diversity, individuality, love and peace.
What are your next steps and what can fans expect from you this year?
Next steps are to release new music, perform at some Festivals and go on a mf tour because I’m ready to turn up!
We know it’s cheesy but any wishes for the future?
Grammys and other accolades of course. I would like to have begun building my philanthropic arm and developing other personal business ventures. Ready for legendary shit.
We’re ready to watch! Thanks for the interview.