Described as a modern day renaissance woman, Malina Moye is a quadruple threat, carving out her own lane in today’s music scene as one of the few artists in history able to straddle both rock and soul genres. Moye’s musical narrative boasts an impressive resume that includes making history as the first African-American woman to play the National Anthem on guitar at a professional sporting event, all the way to performing at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame tribute concert for music pioneer Chuck Berry. She’s opened for acts ranging from current superstar Robin Thicke to iconic rock band Journey. Most recently, Malina was praised by Jet Magazine as “the highlight of the evening” after she headlined the largest peace concert on the west coast with Chaka Khan honoring the legendary humanitarian Stevie Wonder.
Malina is scheduled to release an album called Rock ‘n Roll Baby in the early part of 2014. The first single, “K-Yotic,” features Hall of Fame bassist William “Bootsy” Collins and is available now. In the midst of touring Europe, Malina decided to send us a note with her Desert Island Discs. She thought of so many great pieces of music that she couldn’t whittle down, so instead of the usual five, here’s six…well, five and a single. We’ll let Malina take it from here.
My five favorite albums all seem to have something in common—good old fashion songwriting and truth…with a groove. I have been influenced by so many of these great artists for different reasons, but here are the albums I’d take with me on a deserted island.
Michael Jackson Thriller
As a songwriter, singer, and an overall entertainer, Michael really stretches on the album musically, creatively and commercially—from the bass line in Billie Jean, to the heartfelt Human Nature. He has a way to make you feel like you are sitting in the room with him recording the music and singing to you at that very moment. So many groundbreaking elements that I can’t list them all. One of the greatest entertainers and records to ever grace the planet. Period.
Prince Purple Rain
I love this album. Again the marriage of Rock guitars, subliminal lyrics equals a record that changes the music industry. He puts the musicianship out front again, while showcasing vocal characteristics that have him on par and exceeding the expectations of the best of singers. And of course using live instrumentation and grooves in way that hasn’t been able to top on the radio since.
John Mayer Room for Squares
I thought the songwriting in this album was brilliant. He managed to tell interesting stories in the simplest ways, showcasing strong hooks but not deviating from its original core of a man and his guitar. The evolution of blues, which is rock, is a brilliant journey that he still maintains.
Stevie Wonder Songs in the Key of Life
The musicianship is on a whole other level. Songwriting, delivery, everything. With Mr. Steve you can sense the way the world was at that time. You can feel the words leap from his voice and every note leads the story.
Robin Thicke “Dreamworld”
Heck of a songwriter, singer, musician. I love the album because it reminded me of good soul, real feelings and emotions. I love the chord progressions he uses—again subliminal. They take you on a sneaky journey, but you don’t realize it ‘til the end. Dreamworld is one of my favorite songs as well. I think he has scored the perfect formula for mixing musical elements in a beautiful radio box, now all the label as to do is catch up with him.
The Eagles Hotel California
I love the vocal harmonies, chord progressions and the storytelling of their songs. Mix that with Joe Walsh and Don Felder on guitars—magic. It’s the very essence of the Eagles. The album has a sense of perfection on every track.