6th November 2023
Leicester-born Mahalia has taken the R&B music scene by storm this past year. Her long-awaited debut album, ‘Love and Compromise’, peaked at 28th on the Official Charts. In my opinion this is an underrated position, but an achievement for a debut album nonetheless!
Mahalia’s success has been further marked by a Brit nomination, and her recent award as Youtube’s ‘One to Watch’. At only thirteen years-old, Mahalia signed to Atlantic Records. She has been gradually making her mark in the music industry ever since.
Straight off the back of touring with Ella Mai, Mahalia set off on her own North America-Europe tour. On 15th November, I was lucky enough to catch her show at The Invisible Wind Factory.
Hamzaa, who features on Mahalia’s song “Regular People”, took to the stage as the support act. Warming up the audience with some of her songs, including the melodic “Sunday Morning”, Hamzaa set a good precedent for the night. Mahalia came out shortly after.
Mahalia’s comfortable stage presence was evident immediately, as she conversed with the audience. Cup of tea in hand, Mahalia explained how she talks a lot at her shows. True to her word, we received a back story for most of her songs, making the gig feel more intimate. A particularly entertaining anecdote came from the context in which Mahalia wrote “Karma” and “He’s Mine”. The soulful singer explained how “Karma” was written whilst she lusted after another girl’s boyfriend. In contrast, she wrote “He’s Mine” from the opposite perspective!
As someone who genuinely appears thrilled to perform, Mahalia was a pleasure to watch. Unfortunately, neither Ella Mai nor Burna Boy made an appearance for their Mahalia duets. However, Mahalia did bring out Hamzaa to sing their song together.
Hamzaa and Mahalia brought their all to the stage. Accompanying their smooth dance moves, the chemistry between the two artists was electric. Mahalia kept up this performance throughout, putting full energy into every song.
After reminding us all to vote, Mahalia ended the gig with her beloved “I wish I missed My Ex”. As one of her most successful songs, there were few in the audience who didn’t know the words. It was a brilliant choice of finale, leaving a buzz among the spectators as they exited the venue.
If you’ve somehow missed Mahalia’s debut album, give it a listen here. Additionally, if you’re able to find any tickets near you, she still has a few shows to go in the UK!
Check out some of our other music reviews and interviews!