In our latest instalment of ‘Sounds that Shaped’, we welcome Mancunian soul singer Mali Hayes ahead of her Four Letter Word Weekend Festival appearance next month.
Having featured on Gilles Peterson's future bubblers 2016/17 as well as catching the attention of Jamie Cullum with her effortless laid back vocals, there's little doubt that Mali will continue her exciting upward trajectory in the music industry this year.
1) Erykah Badu - Orange Moon
No matter where I am or what time of day it is, this song, for me, sets the absolute correct mood. I adore the background noise of the outdoors and the minimal instrumentation throughout. The way the song flows is not far off perfect in my eyes - the rise of the song during the last couple of choruses and then the way it flies back down to minimalism just ticks the Badu box.
2) Hiatus Kaiyote - Breathing Underwater
Nai is just mesmerising. Put her with the boys = messy, screw facing, beautifulness. They’re my favourite band and have been since discovering them 5 years ago. It’s hard to pick one favourite song, but this is the one I repeat the most. The way Nai presents her vocals, almost as an instrument itself never fails to hit me somewhere in my soul. And the genius they come out with is just… well I don’t know how to describe it but I love it!
3) Jill Scott - The Way
I grew up listening to this album. If I ever couldn’t sleep I’d ask my mum to put it on for me. Again, it’s hard to choose a favourite, especially from this album, but this is definitely an underrated song. I love the strings at the end (if there are strings in a song, it’s got my vote!) Jill just seems like a mum or a favourite auntie, I have a lot of love for her and her craft.
4) D’angelo - Send It On
Funnily enough, even though I grew up on D’angelo, I only discovered this song a few years back. I’m not sure how I missed this one because I absolutely fell in love once I heard it! Old school RnB type Neo Soul is my absolute dream so this song has been absolutely rinsed! (Bring back the old school RnB I say!)
5) H.E.R - Lights On
I thought I’d share a more recently released track, even though there’s nothing at all wrong with the above tracks as that’s what I’ve loved over the years, but since discovering H.E.R I became quickly obsessed. I love that she plays a range of instruments - any female (and young females at that) that produces and writes their own music AND plays instruments are so inspirational to me (even if it does make me slightly jealous that she’s like 20). The melodies in this track stick in my head all day, its’s so well written and I love the old RnB vibes in there too!
You'll be able to catch Mali Hayes performing at the Four Letter Word weekend on Sunday 18th February alongside the likes of James Chatburn, Yazz Ahmed and many more. Grab your tickets here.