Malea began her career in opera, graduating from Manhattan School of Music. She understudied and played the role of Tuptim in the Broadway revival of “The King and I” at the Neil Simon Theatre, NYC. In 2007, she moved to Los Angeles, where she has focused on songwriting, recording and performing music.
She has recorded four albums and toured extensively throughout the United States. She is known for her 2014 single “Give”, which reached the Billboard Top 20 Dance Club Songs chart in 2014. In 2015, her song “One Hot Mess” went to number one on the Billboard Dance Club charts.
She has also been active in philanthropy, performing to raise money for animal charities and other causes.
“Spaceships Fly”, her latest on 418 Music, was produced by Grammy winner Dave Aude, and with remixes by Grammy-nominated producer Stonebridge, Damien Hall, and dangerous multi-genre Dutch talent Oliver Twizt.
1.) What made you want to get into the music business in the first place? Did anyone influence you to do music? If so, who? Influences? Role Models?
I can thank my high school music teacher for being persistent and even calling my house to get me to sing in the school play. From then on I never stopped singing. I think writing and performing my music at small venues just started me in the “music business.”
2.) Unfortunately the music industry is full of talented individuals who just don’t get any recognition for their talent and/or hard work. What do you plan to do to make sure you stand out and get noticed?
I think if you want to really get noticed quickly you’ll go out for a show like “the Voice” or “America’s got Talent.” That’s not my thing so I think just trying to write great songs, putting out new music as much as I can, and working with other creative souls is fulfilling for me as an artist. I think it depends on what your end goals are; they’re different for every artist.
3.) Would you rather be on a major label or would you rather stay independent? Why or why not?
I think there are pros and cons to each. A major label can really promote you and get you in front of the public quickly. But you have less control over what you may want to do from one day to the next. I was just watching this great documentary about George Michael and his whole battle with his label because he wanted to do something different than had been the formula for his success. Being seen as a person with something to say rather than just a product.
4.) Do you think that the traditional music industry model as we know it is dead? Why or why not?
Pretty much. I think this is definitely the age of the independent artist. You can put up your own music, videos, ect. Get heard by a large audience on Spotify and social media. At the same time the major labels still have a lot of power and money to get you visibility. As well as they can fund your recoding and touring which is harder to do when you’re independent.
5.) What is the most difficult thing you’ve had to endure in life and has that had any effect on your path to becoming a musician?
Probably early life being taken away from my Mother and the subsequent home environment I grew up in, being bullied in school, watching my best friend die of AIDS, etc. It’s true that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
6.) Artists who try to make music for the general public and make more money are usually seen as “sell-outs.” Do you see it that way and if so, what do you plan to do to make sure you make music that is true to your brand and make a good living at the same time without having to “sell out”?
I think it’s easy for people to sit and judge but what would they do in the same situation? Can’t know unless you’ve been in those person’s shoes. Being an artist doesn’t bring a whole lot of security so I think some artists try to cash in and make some money while they have the power to. Usually they are unique and talented enough to have gotten to that point anyway.
Making money as an artist is not a bad thing. We need to be able to pay our bills too!
7.) When you record music, what would you like your listeners to get out of your music?
Comfort. Happiness. Affect them in some way.