By Myki Angeline
International recording artist Malina Moye is set to release her latest album, Bad As I Wanna Be on WCE Records March 23 followed by an international tour.
Maline Moye’s website: www.malinamoye.com
The first time I saw Malina Moye was during NAMM 2014 at the 2nd annual She Rocks Awards. I was only a few years into working in the music industry, and just a year before I started working with the WiMN. It was a breakfast event back then, with a few hundred women seated at elegant round tables, networking with one another over coffee and pastries.
And then came the introduction of Malina Moye. I hear vibrant, rock and soul guitar riffs coming from the back of the room. I turn to see this dynamic, strong, beautiful woman shredding an electric Fender guitar left-handed, rocking out in a metallic sequin jumpsuit. I was blown away and mesmerized by her stage presence, mad talent, and sheer confidence in weilding her instrument. She was a recipient of the ‘Next Generation’ Award that year and rightfully so.
I would interview her over the next couple of years on the red carpet during The She Rocks Awards, learning what a pioneer Moye is for women who play guitar. In 2010, she became the first African-American woman to play the national anthem on electric guitar at a national sports event. It was during a sold out Vikings/Cowboys game in her hometown of Minneapolis, in front of 80,000 spectators. She was also recognized by Fender as one of their first African-American left-handed, upside down female endorsees. Fender worked with Moye to craft a unique guitar with a left-handed body, and right-handed head stock, but strung in reverse.
Her latest album Bad As I Wanna Be is her best work yet. The collection contains 6 powerful songs, each unique in lyrical content and sound that showcase Moye’s distinct fusion of rock, soul, pop, and funk. She teamed up with multi-platinum producer Bjorn ‘Polar Bear’ Soderberg who keeps Moye’s sound relative in today’s market without comprising her roots. From the first track “Something To Say” (a pop/rock edgy song of self-expression and inclusion), to “If 6 Were 9” (a Jimi Hendrix style groove with slick, 60’s guitar riffs about smashing stereotypes), Bad As I Wanna Be is a beautiful, empowering timeline of love, pain, and life lessons. The last track “Enough” is a power ballad that orchestrates gospel-like harmonies, with hints of brass and organ keyboard to remind us all that we are….enough.
Over the years, Moye has experienced first-hand the struggles and hurdles women have faced in the music industry. But she refuses to let that define her, and has kicked down the doors of resistance to female musicians, specifically in genres like rock. She encourages us all to do our part in changing the status quo for women in music. For women, it is taking advantage of the momentum that has begun with national movements like #metoo and #timesup. To be bold, be strong, be authentic, and be YOU because younger women need role models. They need artists they can relate to. For men, it is to take a stand against society’s gender-bias notions that women won’t sell an album, or attract enough of a market.
And adding to her impressive list of accolades, Moye has recently joined forces with indie filmmaker Marc Fusco to create the Drive Hope Foundation – a nonprofit founded for the purpose of opening the minds of youth and others who don’t have access or resources to consider a career outside of their own difficult circumstances. Their motto is: Find the great in you! Learn more at: drivehope.org