Today, GRAMMY-nominated R&B star Mahalia has returned from her hiatus with a brand new single, ‘Jealous’ featuring US rapper, Rico Nasty, “Covid couldn’t stop shit!” – Rico states, “so happy to be a part of this record with Mahalia.”
The head-bop inducing track offers an inversion of the way men and women are stereotypically conditioned to speak about themselves and what they’re told they should and shouldn’t feel. With the strains of a guitar, underlying trap and Mahalia’s signature soulful sound, the listener is taken on a journey – one that challenges them throughout.
“I made “Jealous” on a sunny day at the end of Summer last year. I was sat in the studio with Cadenza and Miraa May getting some stuff off my chest from the past few weeks. “Jealous” was born pretty fast after chatting. It was a weird time… I was dealing with friends being super unsupportive about decisions I was making and I was struggling with navigating that. I’m really proud and excited about what came out in this song and I hope people love it in the same way we did when we wrote it. Rico Nasty is a badass and one of my favourite artists so getting her to feature was a huge moment for me!” – Mahalia says of the collaboration.
Directed by British director, Melody Maker, the accompanying visual also takes references from the 1998 US crime film, ‘Belly’ – “Working with Mahalia to create ‘Jealous’ encompassed so many exciting and rewarding challenges for me. I aimed to visually reference Belly, a film that had always stuck with me from my youth, with strong washes of colour and powerful contrasting production design.” Maker says of the visual. “Bringing my vision to life was so much fun. I loved the lighting elements of the piece throughout. We used this element to grow the intrigue and suspense ultimately reaching a dramatic crescendo that works seamlessly with this incredible song.”
2020 alone has marked a year of achievement for the Leicester-born star. Starting the year with her second BRIT nomination, Mahalia featured on up-and-coming fellow Midlands rapper Pa Salieu’s debut mixtape, ‘Send Them To Coventry’, whilst also gracing the tracklist of Headie One’s #1 album ‘Edna’. Subsequently, Mahalia also received a GRAMMY nomination for ‘All I Need’ – Jacob Collier’s single of which she features on alongside US rapper, Ty Dolla $ign. Shortly after, Mahalia concluded the year with three MOBO nominations for ‘Best Female Act’, ‘Best R&B/Soul Act’ and ‘Album Of The Year’ for her debut album, ‘Love and Compromise’, winning in the first two categories.
Besides the awards and nominations, it’s also been a year of deep personal growth, one that Mahalia describes as a real rollercoaster in her personal and professional life. Reflection has been the thread running through Mahalia’s writing and while the current global situation offers little more than uncertainty, the singer hopes that her music will encourage her listeners to carve out time to also look back and re-evaluate: “We’re all fixated on how we can make ourselves better during and after this period of time but I want people to also reminisce on lovely or painful situations they’ve lived through and how they’ve helped shape the people they are now.”