13 year old Mahalia has a very bright future ahead of her. The Leicester born singer/songwriter is already creating a lot of hype and the only thing holding her back is her age. Yes, for once it seems that being too young is the problem, rather than the usual problem of past-it rock stars who have reached their sell by date.
It is pretty clear that Mahalia is going to have a successful career, but there is little point in her signing a deal with a major now. It wouldn’t be worthwhile for her to leave school this early, and she probably wouldn’t release an album until she was 15 anyway (following in the foot steps of amazing 15 year old Birdy), and so why not let Mahalia develop on her own for 2 years? Out of the limelight, without any pressure and unwanted, unneeded hype, she could carry on writing great songs, playing small shows (although for how long they’ll be small we’ll have to see) and doing what she does best, and being allowed to grow up like a normal teenager. If she gets signed to a major now, she won’t have a normal life, will put out a rushed album because the label somehow thinks that the younger she is the more impressive it is that she’s writing these songs, but they could be even better if they let her develop for a year.
I know that probably won’t happen – she’ll probably get signed in 2012. Hopefully she will be given the time to develop on her own, but labels are so scared of missing out on the next great thing that they tend to act first and ask questions second.
As an A&R scout I’m sure it’s better to scout 1 amazing artist and 9 flops than to just scout 10 OK artists. The record industry is about stars, we need stars, and I think that Mahalia will be a star.
Here’s her beautiful cover of Mardy Bum by Arctic Monkeys:
From this cover you can see that she’s got a pretty special voice, even more so when you find out she’s only 13 years old! And it gets even better when you realise not only can she sing but she plays piano, guitar and writes her own songs. Here’s an acoustic version of Let The World See The Light:
Watch out for Mahalia, she’s going to be huge! Maybe not in 2012, hopefully not even in 2013, but she’s definitely one for the future.