A DREAM-INDIE POP WITH INFUSES OF FOLK WE WANT TO INTRODUCE SINGER-SONGWRITER ‘MALENKA’. WE CHAT ALL ABOUT WHO SHE IS AS AN ARTIST, NEW MUSIC OUT NOW AND WHAT ELSE IS TO COME. READ OUR CHAT BELOW.

Photo By: Nick Seaton

What is your name?
Malenka

What is your genre of music?
It’s usually described as dream/indie pop with folk influences.

Give us a little bio about you.
I grew up in Poland, but both my parents come from a small town in the Polish mountains. When I was little, my parents split, so for most of my childhood I lived in one of Warsaw’s many tower blocks with my mum, brother and our really fat cat. Our apartment was really small, but my mum worked very hard to ensure we never wanted for anything. Life was normal, school and church choir. My father is a musician, so when we visited him on the weekends, we would often play music together or hang out with his artist friends. When I was 16, I moved to London. It’s been a lot of dodgy flat shares, tesco meal deals, running around London bars and making friends along the way.

What made you go into music?
Always wanted to sing, ever since I was a little girl. My dad is a musician too, which probably had an impact on me. He bought me my first, child-sized guitar when I was 9. I think I still have it, sitting in my mum’s basement with half its pegs broken. I always made up little songs, but I started writing more seriously between the ages of 10 and 12 and completely fell in love with it.

Who are your influences?
My influences are quite broad. I love anything from Led Zeppelin, through ABBA or Ella Fitzgerald, to Tori Amos. But the music I resonate with the most as a songwriter came from poet-singer from the 60s and 70s, people like Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen or Patti Smith.

Are you a signed?
I’m indie right now, but have a great little management company Daffodil Machete who are helping me release my debut single and EP. 

You released your new single ‘Pain Makes You Present’, tell us more about the single and the
meaning behind the song.
I wrote the song when I was horribly heartbroken and felt like nothing in my life was going right. I wasn’t very happy in life in general, and I wasn’t making very good decisions – I wasn’t focusing on music enough, I was partying too much, and I wasn’t dating the right people. But as long as things weren’t dire, there wasn’t anything pushing me to make a change. The pain of heartbreak forced me to revaluate how life was going. I was suddenly so unhappy, I had to pay very close attention to everything I was doing. It felt like if I made one more wrong move, and I will shatter into pieces. Needless to say, sometimes pain like that is needed as a catalyst for change. I’m much happier now, focusing on music and choosing the people I surround myself with more carefully.

Describe the track in two words.
Pain and clarity.

What was the writing and recording process like?
I wrote the song very quickly – I usually take a long time to write songs, I like to think of it as an ‘incubation process’. Something happens in my life, I get inspired to write, the idea is born. I work on it a little and then leave it to ‘grow’ and work on it little by little over a few months. I think it’s because, when I start writing, it’s usually right in the middle of an emotionally charged situation. Taking my time to write the song means I also have time to digest any situation I am in. But ‘Pain Makes You Present’ was more or less done within three or four writing sessions. I was in so much emotional pain, I needed to get these feelings out. I recorded the song with Matt Keightley at Goldsmiths Studios. It was the first song we recorded for the ‘Creature of Devotion’ EP and we co-produced it together. Matt was also the sound engineer and the mixing engineer, so he was indispensable in the whole process!

Who did you work with on the single?
It was mostly just me and Matt sitting in the studio, having fun with different instruments and playing around with the arrangement. Then it was mastered by Randy Merril from Sterling Sound.

Will we see a music video for ‘Pain Makes You Present’ and if so what can we expect from the
creative process?
The video for ‘Pain Makes You Present’ is out now – you can check it out here!

The video, filmed with Little Windmill, tells the story of young woman who obsessively tries to win a mystery prize in a nation-wide contest organised by a cereal company. There’s lots of cornflakes, bowls, and spoons, plus lots of silliness.

Will we see an EP or Album and if so, what can we expect from it?
‘Pain Makes You Present’ is only the first single from my debut ‘Creature of Devotion’ EP, which will be out in 2023. It is a collection of 4 songs, that talk of heartbreak, love, loneliness and hope. They’re all what we termed ‘enhanced acoustic’, formed around my guitar and voice, but enhanced by other instruments and sounds. ‘Pain Makes You Present’ was written right in the middle of heartbreak, and I like to think the EP grows in hope with every song.

What else can we expect in 2022 and early 2023?
I will be releasing a new single early in 2023. There will be more music videos, and we hope to make them all quite light hearted. The songs are all very emotional, so we try to add some levity through the videos. Expect a lot of fun makeup and silly storylines.

Where do you see yourself now in 5 Years?
The ideal situation would be a thriving career, two full albums under my belt and maybe another one coming!

What quote or saying do you always stick by?
If there is no sour cream, it’s probably not a dumpling.
Also I may have just made that up 🙂 

When you are at a gig, what are 5 things you cannot forget?
Guitar, tuner, water, jumper, throat lozenges. You want to make sure you’re feeling warm and comfy, you’re hydrated (it has to be still water, you don’t want to be burping mid-note!) and that if you’re not feeling your best or are a little under the weather, there’s a lemony throat lozenge to rescue you. A tuned guitar doesn’t hurt either.

Do you have social media accounts so your fans can follow you?
Yes! You can find me on Instagram, tiktok, youtube and spotify.

 

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