Interviewed and written by Hector De La Rosa, twitter: @11journ_lis
The masses assume that the life of an artist is pure glamour without taking
into account the restlessness that goes with the pop life. “It is not always the
case,” explains soulstress Syleena Johnson’s background singer and Chicago
native soul crooner Malone who overcame adversity from fallen record deals,
life’s ups and downs, to falling in and out of music groups before music reached
in the hands of the masses as product. Hector De La Rosa, of
Consciousness Magazine, gets inside the mind of fellow
Scorpio, respected industry peer, and creator of a unique music niche entitled
‘edgy soul’ for an in-depth discussion regarding more than just music, but of
Hector De La Rosa: What does music mean to
Malone? Malone: Music means
everything. It is the soundtrack of life. There is no place in the world you
will not be able to listen to music unless in a library. Music can be heard in
the elevators, arenas, stadiums, basketball games, to the dentist office. Music
provides us not only escapism but an outlet to express ourselves both as an
artist and listener. If you do not know how to express your love to a certain
someone you turn the dial of a station to hear a love song. If I were to give up
sight or sound as two of my senses, I would rather lose my sight than sound.
HD: What are the misconceptions of Malone as an
artist? Malone: [The masses] think
that I am rich. They assume I have more than I have. They do not understand the
struggle of becoming relevant and staying relevant in a very dark and shady
music industry. People are not aware it is more business than it is music. They
adopt the notion that because I am with celebrities I am supposed to live a
certain lifestyle. In the end of the day, it is all about the grind. It is a
job. People need to understand that I have to work this hard to survive whether
I am writing and singing music or hosting events. I am my own boss at the end of
HD: Describe the musical niche you created yourself in R&B
titled ‘edgy soul.’ Malone: I would
describe it vocally and visually as gospel infused meshed with a colorful tone.
One would hear the sounds of Bob Marley, Kim Burrell with the soul and tone of
Dave Hollister, Carl Thomas, and Stevie Wonder. Visually, it is real funky and
cutting edge. An artist whose artistry falls in the ‘edgy soul’ category would
be Erykah Badu.
HD: How is Malone unique from other
musicians? Malone: I can honestly say
many artists like to conform to super stardom. I am the typical male next door.
I do not put on a façade so what you see is what you get. I am passionate about
music. I am trying to pave a way for future artists to walk on while they are
busy trying to conform and not create their own lane. Therefore, I am not trying
to conform to standards. I am staying true to myself and my form of music.
Perhaps, others are in competition with one another. I am in competition with no
one either than myself. I always felt I was special and different from others
musically. I am walking my path to greatness!
HD: What are the founding principles of life Malone lives
by? Malone: To give you a brief
history of me, I was not always a positive being. I was quick to let things get
the best of me. I always stress and worry more than solving and coming up with
creative solutions to problems. A great friend told me in life we are all
humans. We all have the same needs of wanting love and be treated with respect.
As far as my principles, I have to treat people the way I want to be treated. I
view myself as a mirror. I feed off of people’s energy. The energy that you
receive from Malone is the energy I receive from you. I also like to encourage
and inspire people. You never know how a smile can change someone’s entire day.
Also, I live by being respectful to others and help as many as I can. Foremost,
I want to keep my life 100 percent positive.
HD: What quote or scripture does Malone live
by? Malone: ‘Everything happens for a
reason. GOD does not make any mistakes. People in your life are for a season.
Trouble does not last longer.’ This applies perfectly because we are living in
the times where it is opaque and emotionless. However, it is up to each of us as
individuals to be that change in the world. I wake up every day with that mind
frame to live like my last day and how now is the time to go out and make the
best out of life without regrets. It’s important to leave a legacy!
HD: How does Malone manage to balance personal life with the
entertainment/business? Malone: I
have no problems detaching myself and getting away for a minute to clear my
head. Every day is work. When I am off the clock, I can come home and be Malone.
With my music and artistry, I am still me personally.
HD: How does Malone deal with friends turned to enemies, fanatics
turned stalkers, business relationships turned sour?
Malone: I have been blessed to not
burn any bridges in this industry. Though, I have encountered things that were
supposed to be one way and did not turned out the way I expected. I witnessed
great ideas gone wrong to great advice becoming insignificant. I feel all these
things served as lessons in life. It helped me to understand the business and
people a slightly better. People sometimes want you when you are hot or think
you are on the verge of something. If it does not come fast for them, they will
leave you within a heartbeat. I am a loner at the end of the day so it is not
heartbreaking when dealing with their absence. It is not the end of the world
for me when friends turned to enemies. Again, it is a blessing. If I do not deal
with them now, why deal with them when the blessing comes. I am fortunate to not
have family members ask me for anything besides my time. However, I will add
that I did have an encounter with a distant relative who felt since I have a
personal relationship with Syleena Johnson assumed he was entitled to pass down
some information to her via him. What he does not understand is that for me to
represent something I would have to believe in it. I do not care who that person
is. If that person is selling a product and does not have his or her materials
together I will not stand by it 100 percent. There are ways to go about doing
certain things. I cannot blame people because they honestly do not know any
better. I was one of those people. There are people who do know but want to do
whatever they want to do [laughs]. The situation serves as an eye opener in
realizing there might be a cousin or two that may pull the same thing on me in
the near future.
HD: What does Malone think is lacking in humanity foremost youth
and relationships? Malone: Love!
Self-love, self-respect, and self-dignity! It all starts with self. People are
too busy worrying about what others are doing taking the focus off on
themselves. Everyone can change their mind set to become a better them than they
were yesterday. I thought we as people [minorities and urban communities] have
overcome by having a first African American President elected into presidency.
With such a feat, I assumed my brothers and sisters would want to do better in
life. I thought that would be motivation enough to say we have lived to see this
day when people have fought and died for their freedom and civil rights.
Malone pauses momentarily as he sheds a tear and
It hurts a lot to see that I was one of those people who did not give a f**k.
Seeing how much I changed in attitude and mindset has helped me so much in life
to be determined and not be stuck in the entrapment of life. Therefore,
self-love and self-respect is everything.
HD: What does Malone want the masses to remember him as a person
foremost in his artistry? Malone: I
want to be known as a person of encouragement, inspiration, and of motivation. I
want my music to speak for itself and for the public to see the growth of a man
and artist. I want for them to see the part of me that tried, the part of me
that conformed, and the part of true self-discovery as I found out who I really
am as an artist and vocalist. I want all this to be demonstrated in my catalogue
of music. I want better not only for me but for all of humanity. I am going to
speak into existence that when I reach a broader platform my voice will be able
to reach and impact [the masses].
HD:What advice does Malone have for
upcoming talent and youth? Malone:
[The masses] heard this a million times…never give up! Whatever
you want in life you will have with work and dedication. There were times where
I wanted to give up. However, there were times when I took a break and was not
enthused about music. I told my personal assistant that I was going back to
school but I was still going to do music. If it is something in your heart…you
sleep, dream, read, think, and live it pursue it with a passion. Perfect your
craft and work ten times harder to separate yourself from the rest.
Gary Hines, music director of Sound of Blackness Remembers Prince Interviewed and written
by Aaron Robinson – Editor
Last fall, 3-time
Grammy Award-winning vocal/instrumental ensemble Sounds of Blackness released the
song “Black Lives Matter” along with the video that has been receiving much
praise on YouTube. About a month ago, the inspirational famed group also released
“Royalty,” a song dedicated to the astounding musician Prince with a special
collaboration with students from HSRA (High School for Recording Arts). The
video can be viewed online at www.soundsofblackness.org. In the future, the group is looking
to release their first live CD featuring ACWC (A Cappella Choir of Wiley College) along with many other projects having many
talents and collaborations.
Gary Hines, music
director of Sounds of Blackness, a man filled with integrity and who has a
great heart and soul, remembers a friend and brother in spirit, the late
international mega star Prince. He speaks of how substantial P…
Inception 2: The Lost Written
by Darnell Jordan
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unveiled his latest collection, Infinite Inception 2: The Lost.
entering, I was greeted by a life-sized cut-out of Edo, which everyone had the
chance to write a brief message on. The room was full of eager art-enthusiasts
with energy that vibrated off the walls.
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represents a different chapter in Edo’s life. He included attributes that pay
homage to the subject of the portraits as well.
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Nikki Giovanni is a living legend. She is a poet, writer,
activist, and educator. At the age of 73, she continues to write and teach
others how to bring out their inner creativity. I had the pleasure of speaking
with her about her latest book and enjoyed the great advice on writing.
Shanessa Fenner: What is your latest
project that you are working on? Nikki Giovanni: I
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things done. You sell the car, rent the house, and just do things you have to
do and you don’t have time to mourn. It dawned on me that a lot of people my
age don’t really know how to mourn. My doctor says we have high blood pressure
because we don’t take care of ourselves.I think we have high blood pressure because we keep a lot of things