Mafalda’s talent was immediate. The minute I heard “Don’t Let Go,” I knew the London-born singer was something special. She only further proves this point with the release of her latest single, “Run.” The track is equally soulful and smoldering, with her emotive vocals again the key feature that ties everything together.
Listen to the song, and read our Q&A with Mafalda, below.
How did you get into music? Give us some info on your background
My parents constantly had the radio on at home. Growing up in London, I also had the opportunity to see some really cool gigs from an early age. I remember going to the Live 8 concert in Hyde Park with my sister and being completely blown away by the performances.
I got into writing a little later by trying to mimic the chords of my favorite songs on the piano. Eventually, I worked my way to my own melodies and lyrics, developing a passion for composing and singing in the process. I moved to the US where I was lucky enough the meet incredibly talented musicians who have helped me develop as an artist. Last summer a friend introduced me to New York-based writer/producer Jack Dine, and after a month of working together non stop in the studio we came out with “Don’t Let Go.”
Something I noticed about your Instagram is that you either always seem to be in the studio or out at shows. You’re constantly surrounded by music. How important is that absorption to your creative process?
I think of my work as a reflection of the emotions and interactions I experience everyday, and I feel that it is important to share what I find most moving and influential. Immersing myself in music and taking inspiration from the work of others has definitely enhanced my creative process and I enjoy giving people a glimpse into that through social media.
On that note, who’s someone you’ve seen or heard recently that’s blown you away? Is there someone you’d really want to work with that you’ve discovered recently?
I had never listened to Lianne La Havas until I got her new album “Blood” as a Christmas present. I found her lyrics to be extremely relatable and I became obsessed with her voice. I also really got into Haux’s music ever since I heard his single “Homegrown.” I’m a big fan of his and would love to work with him.
Your voice has this emotive delicacy, which can be deceptive because the messages of some of your songs is much more powerful. Where do you draw inspiration from for your lyrics?
When I write I like to start with a very simple piano line and the lyrics always come after. I plug in my headphones and with that simple piano line playing in a loop, I see where my mind takes me. I typically like to write in motion: on a bus, a train, a car, or really anywhere I can fully observe my surroundings. For example, I wrote “Don’t Let Go” when I was on the subway and a girl sitting across from me was crying and hugging someone. I’m not quite sure what the situation was, but I immediately created a separate narrative in my head: she left him once but now she’s coming back to try and make it work. I aim to write about experiences that people can relate to; seeing how people interact with each other triggers emotions that help me come up with lyrics.
What’s next for you? Are you working on an EP or LP?
I just released my latest single “Run” as part of my EP and I’m working on a few more songs as well as some collaborations. I’m also putting together some shows that I am really looking forward to!