Less than a month ago, the exceptional talent nonother than Mali-Koa Hood, released her debut album ‘Hunger’. Since then, we got the chance to talk to her about everything regarding the record, her inspirations, and more!
Who/what were the main inspirations for your debut album ‘Hunger’?
I’ve always turned to songs and music as some sort of hopeful escape. My Mum would always say to me as a kid “put your headphones on and go to your room”, I realized the power of music there and then. I wrote a lot of ‘Hunger’ as an ode to that young person, the journey to womanhood, and the opportunity to release an album at all.
What is your creative process like?
When it comes from an authentic place of vulnerability, I find people connect most with the music. When I’m writing I just try to think about the things that matter to me and how I can flip even the darkest of topics on their head. I try to tap into what feels most real in every songwriting room and try to make it timeless.
Who/what inspired you to become a musician?
I did always sing songs, I was in choirs and plays. I was free-spirited and never get caught up on the thought of long term career prospects really until at some point all my music friends started to drop off after many frivolous years of fun to try other “more serious” career paths.
I’ve done that too. It’s tough surviving creatively and it always has been – I think everyone knows that. You don’t have all that many choices though when what you’re best at is singing and writing songs, all I know is I would make a terrible accountant or swimming instructor – I can tell you that for free.
What is the first thing you would want your future/newer fans to know about you after discovering this album?
Don’t try to play the album back 2 back at any after parties, cos it’s been tested and almost guaranteed to make everyone far too introspective or cry by the time we hit Some Things. Best played loud on headphones on dimly lit, quiet backroads or walking down high streets at dusk.
Which lyric out of all your songs do you resonate with most?
“I don’t see the world as it is, I see it as I am” – ‘Get It Wrong’
What were some of the challenges you faced putting together this album? And how did you overcome them?
It’s not every year you predict the 2020 we’ve had. Releasing a record through a pandemic is not advisable but I’m really proud of my team and I for making the best of a difficult situation. It’s all about positive mental attitude, compromise, pushing through personal barriers to achieve. I filmed videos on my iPhone, I learned to cut and record vox from home, I shot editorials in my flat – it was just about doing and not complaining about it (too much). It’s actually made the payoff for me on this record more rewarding than I could’ve imagined having been so involved in making it work.
What is the most important takeaway you want listeners to get out of the album?
Someone told me it takes a lifetime to write your first record and a second to give it all away. The album is for the people who are living, celebrating, or mourning. People who are happy, scared, sad, in love, heartbroken. It was mine, but I wrote it for everyone and everyone is welcome.
What’s one song you wish you wrote?
“I Can’t Make You Love Me” by Bonnie Raitt or “Make You Feel My Love” by Bob Dylan.