Mahalia Talks Meeting Ed Sheeran & The Meaning Behind Her Single ‘One Night Only’
“I want to put an album out so I think 2019 is the year that I’m going to do it.”
Introducing one of our 2019 MTV PUSH Ones To Watch, meet the very talented, alt-R&B/soul singer Mahalia.
Growing up in Leicester and raised by a musical family, Mahalia always had the music bug in her blood.
Watch our exclusive MTV PUSH: Ones To Watch 2019 interview with Mahalia here:
Mahalia touches on what it was like growing up with a diverse range of musically talented family members: “My whole life I was surrounded by such a creative family. Both my parents are musical, mum used to dance, my eldest brother's a choreographer, my next brother is an actor/MC/poet... so it’s like the most fun, warm way of growing up, really.”
On her inspirations for writing her own music growing up, Mahalia found solace in writing about her relationships: “I wrote my first proper song when I was 12 about a boy. Sometimes I feel like I owe a lot to him because my feelings to him are kind of the reason why I started writing.”
Mahalia believes she owes a lot of where she is now to Ed Sheeran’s kick start to her career way back in 2012. Ed invited her to open for him on tour, but the meeting of how the two came to know each other was really strange for the singer.
Mahalia revealed to us: “When I was 12, my mum said ‘If I could give you anything right now, what would it be?’ and I just said ‘I want to meet Ed Sheeran’. We go on this adventure and I met a writer in particular called Amy Wadge, this is a year later, and she takes me to an Ed Sheeran concert in Wolverhampton and at the end of the concert she says ‘come upstairs’ and I walk into this room and he’s sat on the sofa. It was just like, this whole year of just joking around, be thrown on this one guy sat on a sofa in a room. He said ‘what’s your name?’ and I said ‘my names Mahalia’ and he said ‘that’s so weird I’ve just got an email about you.
"Ed was the catalyst, really. He tweeted ‘everyone check out this 13-year-old girl’ and then within like, two months I’d signed to Asylum records.”
Ed’s attention sparked a buzz around Mahalia that has only been growing since, and now the singer has worked with the likes of producers from Nineteen85to Supa Dups who’ve worked with Drake and Bruno Mars.
But what makes Mahalia’s sound so unique? Let’s start with her original choice of inspirations. On her latest single, ‘One Night Only’, Mahalia discussed with us why she chose to talk about one night stands: “When I was writing the Seasons EP, I was trying to show people five different versions of me in a relationship. The first season which is ‘One Night Only’ featuring Kojey [Radical], it’s that initial stage when you’re with somebody and you’re like ‘I’m not a one night’ and it was like, I wanted to kind of talk about the awkwardness of one night stands.”
Dissecting deeper into the topic, Mahalia uncovered why it was a special discussion to her: “When I was in school that was such a thing, it was so the culture of where I was growing up and I think we never talked about it, and I wanted to talk about it and get a male perspective on it.”
Set on making 2019 her year, Mahalia unveils her plans to us for the upcoming 12 months: "I want to put an album out so I think 2019 is the year that I’m going to do it.”
To vote for Mahalia as this year's MTV PUSH: One To Watch, like the Instagram post below: