Growing within a talented family in Leicester, Mahalia Burkmar was always designed to make her mark on the music world. Signed to Asylum Records at the young age of 13, her gifts were lovingly honed and supported by her parents, both who hail from musical backgrounds.
A certain confidence can be seen in all parts of Mahalia’s musical journey, from when she began releasing acoustic music in her late teens to when she took the plunge to move to London just before she turned 18. This marked a huge turning point for the singer: for about a year, she crashed with friends, sleeping in spare rooms or on their sofas while she tried to manage the culture shock of living and making music in such a fast-paced and expensive metropolis.
Mahalia decided to move back to Leicester in 2017 and during that time, she wrote her breakout single ‘Sober’, the track that turned everything on its head. After a year of feeling like she didn’t know what she was doing, the response to ‘Sober’ quelled any doubts about whether this was the right path for her.
The last few years have seen the singer go viral with 41 million views on a COLOURS session, tour internationally both as a support act and a headline name, collaborate with well-loved artists such as Burna Boy, Ella Mai and Little Simz and release her long-awaited debut album ‘Love and Compromise’. With such an impressive host of achievements under her wing at the age of 21, it’s little wonder that Mahalia found herself nominated for the 2020 BRITs Best Female Solo Artist Award.
For Mahalia, the work never stops and this year, she’s releasing even more music: this time, an EP entitled ‘The Isolation Tapes’. Carrying the singer’s signature blend of soulful lyrics and eclectic sounds, her new project is set to soothe all those finding themselves in COVID-enforced lockdown, while offering a glimpse of some of the music that didn’t make it onto her debut album because she simply hadn’t yet found a way to tell those stories.
The three-track EP is an amalgamation of feelings of love, rejection and searching across three different relationships: songs that the artist had struggled to put words to until now. While the current global situation offers little more than uncertainty and anxiously looking ahead, Mahalia hopes that her EP will encourage her listeners to carve out time to look back and reflect.