Mahalia is back with her second solo single of the year Whenever You’re Ready. It’s another step up for the British artist who just keeps upping the game. She released her debut album LOVE AND COMPROMISE in 2019 but since then she’s done nothing but release tune after tune. In between records, she’s released enough material to form a whole other album, giving us different dimensions each time.
Here’s a look at everything she’s been involved in since the release of that album.
Whenever You’re Ready (2021)
We thought that Jealous was up there as a song of the (Northern Hemisphere) summer but she leveled up on Whenever You’re Ready. It’s a slinky, throwback R&B song that samples the beat of Montell Jordan’s Get On It Tonight. It’s a beat that’s so iconic that it’s difficult to make your own stamp on it but Mahalia has no problem. She lays those silken vocals to the beat and gives an intoxicating, charismatic performance. This is a smash. Get ready to hear a lot of it.
Awake w/ Chiiild (2021)
Mahalia’s latest collaboration is with psychedelic soul artist Chiiild on Awake. He’s been slowly rolling out his debut album Hope For Sale but Awake is one of the key cuts that has come from it. Awake sits back in a bass-heavy beat that Mahalia hypnotises over. It’s warm and sparkly as if your vision is being distorted by sunlight.
Jealous (Feat. Rico Nasty) (2021)
Mahalia kicked off 2021 with one of her strongest singles yet. Continuing her tradition of fire, all-female collaborations, she joined forces with Rico Nasty for Jealous. It’s an effortlessly cool cut with whiffs of early ‘00s R&B. Mahalia slides through the guitar-infused verses while Nasty comes through with one of her most melodic verses yet. The video featured a twisted taunting of an ex complete with neon and leather. Mahalia always knows the vibe.
Energy w/ Pa Salieu (2020)
Pa Salieu’s 2020 record Send Them To The Coventry was an impassioned, important project last year. There were plenty of introspective, autobiographical songs on it but it ended on a sunny note with the assistance of Mahalia. Energy is a warm outpouring of positivity and, of course, Mahalia is the perfect vocalist for that atmosphere. Her verse is infused with elements of soul and gospel which is a goosebump-inducing finale to the album.
No One But You w/ Justin Nozoku (2020)
Justin Nozuka has been making soul music for nearly 15 years now. He’s a seasoned pro with four albums under his belt but he’s never sounded fresher than alongside Mahalia. It’s a slow-moving, elongated track that provides the perfect backdrop for Mahalia to sizzle. It’s an intimate and personal cut that feels like we’re prying into someone’s bedroom.
My Window w/ Lucky Daye (2020)
Lucky Daye is one of the most sought-after soul features right now which is perfect because so is Mahalia. For his collaborative record Table For Two he teamed up with vocalists from Yebba to Ari Lennox. My Window is one of the record’s highlights though - a vocal flex over a rich instrumental that includes harps.
You/Me w/ Headie One (2020)
Headie One’s breakthrough record EDNA was a strong listen but its back-half was buoyed by a perky R&B tune featuring Mahalia on the hook. She has just a handful of rap features to her name but surely there are plenty begging to have her on a track. Here she delivers a dusky, nostalgic hook.
Pretty w/ Coltr3ane (2020)
Honestly, Mahalia can release duet ballads for the rest of her life and we’ll be listening. This one with London artist Col3trane, who has been hailed the next Frank Ocean, is a heartbreaker. Over a flickering piano, the pair offer a melancholic performance that ebbs and flows with every heartbeat. The song’s climax is made from a rich bed of harmonies and it’s *chef’s kiss*.
All I Need w/ Jacob Collier (Feat. Ty Dolla $ign) (2020)
In early 2021, Mahalia added Grammy nominee to her resume thanks to this track. All I Need was nominated for Best R&B Performance on a song that is basically the definition of an R&B performance. It’s a charismatic, colourful track that is basically a playground for playful vocals. Mahalia steps up to the plate with a deeply likable verse.
Isolation Tapes (2020)
While many used lockdown as an opportunity to acquaint themselves with every takeout spot in the local era, Mahalia wrote an EP. Isolation Tapes is an introspective tape that fantasises about lost love and relationships that never quite got there. It doesn’t address the pandemic explicitly but on reflection, it’s exactly influenced by the sort of feelings isolation conjures - nostalgia and fantasy for another time.