BRITs Critics’ Choice finalist Mahalia has spoken to Music Week about her journey through the music business so far.
Now 20, the Leicester singer and songwriter signed to Atlantic imprint Asylum aged 13. Speaking to Music Week in an interview for On The Radar last year, the singer said inking the deal was “one of the best decisions I’ve made”.
Mahalia has worked with Amy Wadge, and won an early fan in Ed Sheeran, who she described as a “mentor”.
“The label has always believed in me, and that’s the most important thing when you’re on a label is to feel people believe in you,” Mahalia told Music Week.
However, the singer admitted that she “didn’t know what I was getting into” in those early days
“I didn’t take it seriously enough. I was 13 and if anybody dangles a shiny new toy in front of a kid they’re going to want it, “ she said. “I have come to a point where I can say that I took it for granted for the first year, it’s hard not to, you’re at an age where you don’t know how to take things like that seriously. It took three or four years to understand what position I was in and what I had to do.”
Mahalia revealed that lessons learned so far include, “You have to sacrifice slightly to gain”.
“When I was a kid I didn’t want to do that, now I’m older, if you listen to yourself it all becomes easier,” she added. “You don’t have other voices swaying you, the second I learnt how to do that I was winning. I feel like I’m winning. Once you have clarity, you can do anything.”
Mahalia’s biggest-selling release to date is Sober, which has 59,045 sales, according to the Official Charts Company. This summer’s I Wish I Missed My Ex has 35,530.
Managed by Big Bear Management and represented by CAA, the singer has 1.6 million monthly listeners on Spotify, with over 12m plays for Sober. Her latest EP, Seasons, is out now.
Read Mahalia’s original Music Week interview here.