Born and raised in the suburbs just outside of Toronto, Malaika Khadijaa is a first-generation Canadian that celebrates her Ugandan, Kenyan, and Antiguan roots.
Incorporating her heritage into everything she does as an artist is an extremely important trait that Malaika Khadijaa carries with her.
Exuding vocal talents that are sultry, delicate, and as smooth as her signature headscarf, her musical creations ooze into pieces of your soul that you didn’t even know existed.
Utilizing her unmatched ability to masterfully blend her culture into modern art, Malaika Khadijaa releases her most recent and heartfelt single, “Tears.” Heavenly harmonies swarm your speakers creating an otherworldly atmosphere light-year away.
Malaika Khadijaa can be heard incorporating her home languages to commence this piece. Malaika Khadijaa possesses melodies so pure and wholesome that you swear you know who she is as an individual separate from her craft.
Cascading her larger than life vocalization over instrumentation composed of opulent guitar chords in a reverberated chamber of delicate timbres, Malaika Khadijaa glistens ever so brightly as she flaunts her unparalleled songwriting capabilities in, “Tears.”
Infusing her Afro-Caribbean roots into the Contemporary R&B she showers us with, our minds are filled with a soothing dreamscape that reflects on the somber moments that happen in the outreach of unity that gets misted in the presence of a person who cares too much.
“Tears,” holds a high rank that immerses us in the full skill-set of the emotional vulnerability Malaika Khadijaa is susceptible to. In her exceeding efforts that stick the landing, her audience far and wide will be singing, “Tears,” until they are subject to the next release from this emerging artist.
Welcome to BuzzMusic, Malaika Khadijaa! Congratulations on the release of, “Tears.” With a record so raw with emotion, what is the meaning behind this single? What are you hoping your listeners take away from this piece?
This song is about protecting those around you who suffer from depression. When the people you love are struggling, you can oftentimes feel their emotions and energy. It's always important to let those people know that you can feel it too and that you are there to support them no matter the circumstance. As an artist, I try to incorporate my Afro-Caribbean culture into everything I do. That being said, in most African communities the topics of depression and suicide are extremely taboo. I decided to mix Swahili and English together to reach Swahili speakers in my community, as well as those around the diaspora to try and normalize the uncomfortable discussions surrounding mental health.
Could you please take us into what the recording session was like when creating, “Tears?"
"Tears" was never meant to be released. This song is so raw, emotional, and personal to me that when I first wrote it I never had the intention of putting it out. After sitting on it for a few months and sharing it with a few friends, I decided that this message was important enough to share."Tears" was recorded in two separate sessions. The first session was a bit uncomfortable for me. I was working with an engineer I had never worked with before, so sharing something so personal was intense. In the end, it was a good session and this song opened space for good conversation and the beginning of a new relationship. The second session I had was just to fluff up the song and add those special touches. This time I was able to work with someone who was also my friend. Although the song is quite sad, we had a lot of fun creating beautiful harmonies and adlibs. After many variations, I'm very happy with the final product.
You happen to be the co-founder of LUMINARY, an organization dedicated to helping emerging artists spread love and light through their art. Quite a wonderful accomplishment! What has been your biggest takeaway from starting LUMINARY that you carry with you into your own art?
I have learned so much from LUMINARY. Through this platform, I am able to learn more about the music industry as a whole and implement that into my own journey. The most important part for me is that I am able to create opportunities for artists that look like me or who are on a similar journey as me. I am so inspired by our team, every artist we have featured, and every collaboration we have been apart of. Every day we are building relationships and growing our community. Since our debut in 2019, we have been able to reach such a large audience and I am grateful for what we have been able to accomplish so far.
Where do you draw your inspiration from in a musical and non-musical setting?
I draw most of my inspiration from personal experience and relationships. I like to think of my songs as diary entries, each one telling the story of me. I love to share my stories and hope others can find inspiration and healing through them. My main musical inspirations are Miriam Makeba, Cleo sol, and Etta James. I also draw a lot of inspiration from my Afro-Caribbean roots, creating an indie-RnB sound with a sprinkle of African melodies.
What has been keeping you inspired throughout the last year, to keep creating music?
Before the pandemic, I never really made time to sit down and write how I was feeling. Often times I felt like I was writing because I had to. When we were in the first major lockdown, I realized that this was the perfect time to sit down and write how I was feeling. Something about that realization made me feel free, I was writing a song every day because I wanted to. That freedom and awareness also pushed me to also collaborate more and experiment with my style. The support from my family and friends has really inspired me to keep going.