Mahalia’s rise to alternative R&B supremacy comes as no surprise. Atlantic saw the potential in her when she was only 13 and in 2012 she released her first EP, Head Space. Deciding to focus on finishing her studies, she fell off the radar for some time before re-emerging in 2015, featuring on Rudimental’s single ‘We the Generation’. After a plethora of releases spanning across multiple genres, her singles ‘Sober’ and ‘I Wish I Missed My Ex’ led her to top YouTube’s first Ones to Watch in 2018. For her debut album, Mahalia teamed up with multiple producers, Sounwave (St. Vincent), DJ Dahi (Drake), Sam Dew (Taylor Swift), Pop Wansel (Ariana Grande), which explains the album’s gripping diversity. Her debut album is her most ambitious project to date, and it is truly worth the hype.
Album opener ‘Hideout’ begins with an excerpt from an Eartha Kitt quote: “Compromise? What is compromise? Compromising for what? Compromising for what reason?”. She’s talking back to an interviewer who asked her if she would compromise herself for a man.
Mahalia is part of a new wave of iconic female role models, alongside the likes of Jorja Smith and Lizzo, who are proud to stand up for who they are. She’s been an advocate of body positivity and ‘Regular People’ is a song for all of us, starting with “Put your hands up if you love your body, (…) if you love your mommy, (…) if you love your skin”. Highlights include ‘Simmer’, a dancehall banger featuring Burna Boy, ‘What You Did’, a confession featuring Ella Mai and accompanied by a stunning music video directed by KC Locke (Ed Sheeran, IAMDDB) and ‘Do Not Disturb’, a previously released single that offers a welcomed sense of familiarity.
In Love And Compromise, Mahalia delivers an impressive debut album, featuring honest lyrics and timeless hits. We can’t wait to see what’s next!