Malea McGuinness is an extremely talented singer and performer, currently based in Santa Monica, California, and is our latest Sonicbids competition winner. Despite Malea’s hectic schedule, working with some of the greatest songwriters and producers, we were delighted when she agreed to complete a feature interview with Song Revelation. Read the full interview below where Malea discusses, amongst other things, what she’s been working on over the last 12 months, her current career highlights and what songs she listens to when relaxing.
Q: If you could use a tagline of less than 20 words to describe your music and who you are what would it be?
I think this is the toughest question. I’m an artist always trying to stay true to myself.
Q: What is your musical background?
Started out as an opera singer went to Manhattan School of Music. Sang opera in NYC and Europe before I sang on Broadway in The King and I. It was a long and winding road to get to where I am now.
Q: How have the last 12 months been for you?
Super busy. Wrote with same great writers including Gary Burr in Nashville. Was on three tours. Did a new record with the legendary producer Jim Scott.
Q: Who inspires you musically?
I always go back to the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, The Eagles, Joni Mitchell, Bonnie Raitt I just never get tired of these artists-they are so inspiring to me….
Q: Which modern day artists do you look up to?
I saw Ray LaMontagne two years ago on my birthday. He was at the Orpheum downtown and he just did his show with an acoustic guitar-just he and his guitar and he blew me away. He didn’t speak the whole show except for one or two sentences….
I think Sia has the most incredible lyrics-I’ve been listening to her a lot lately- she’s not like anybody else out there. I think Adele has an incredible voice and a style all her own. I love Pat Monahan from Train I think he’s a super talented singer, writer.
Q: Is there anyone you would like to collaborate or gig with?
All of the above!
Q: What songs are on your iPod at the moment?
Well a lot of songs but lately have been listening to Sia, The Black Keys, Elbow, and The Pistol Annies.
Q: What is your creative process for creating a track?
Well I’m always scratching down ideas, phrases, and melodies into a recorder. Then one day I’ll be just ready to write the song-something will stand out that seems strong enough to me to want to write about.
Q: What’s more important, melody or lyrics?
I guess it depends on whom you’re writing for and what you want to say. There are so many different kinds of songs… storytelling songs; dance songs that have a hook that you just want to hear over and over…one thing we all know is when it works.
Q: Where are you based?
Q: What’s it like being where you’re from?
Before I moved to California I had never been hiking. Now I can hike, walk to the beach, go to the Farmer’s Market…all in the same day! I love it. I feel much more in touch with nature than when I lived in NYC.
Q: What are you currently working on?
New music, new things to do.
Q: What’s been the highlight of your career to date?
Singing on Broadway, touring with some legendary artists, making a record with Jim Scott.
Q: What are you hoping to achieve in over the next 12 months?
New songs, touring/collaborating with great artists and producers, who knows what great things are around the corner!
Q: Do you have any gigs or shows that you’d like to tell us about?
I just finished a tour and currently shooting a 3-D video.
Q: What do you do to relax?
I love walking my dog Jonah, cooking, knitting, reading, watching movies…I am a real homebody…
Q: Where would your favourite holiday (vacation) be and why?
Hmmmm I love to travel I guess I have some places at the top of my list I want to see: Egypt, Italy, Turkey and Morocco.
Q: If you could give a little piece of advice for new or aspiring musicians what would it be?
Well I feel like I am still a new and aspiring musician…. guess something that I’m working on is staying in the present. Trying not to worry about the future or thinking about mistakes I’ve made in the past just focused on right now and doing my best.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to let our readers know about?
If you have a love of animals your local rescues always need volunteers. It is so rewarding and it will open up a whole new world to you. It changed my life. Just volunteering anywhere even a few hours a week will change you. You don’t need money to contribute to society.
Editor’s Note: Malea oozes style, talent and commercial appeal, effortlessly combining catchy melodies with profound lyrics.
If you’d like to learn more about or contact Malea McGuinness, just follow the links below:
twitter link: www.twitter.com/maleamcguinness
facebook link www.facebook.com/maleamusic
web page link: www.maleamusic.com
Anything else: I’m on iTunes and Spotify