22-year-old Mahalia Burkmar is young, soulful, and definitely someone to keep in your R&B back-pocket.
Having blown up in 2017, Mahalia has been steady putting out single after single and even released a 13-song album last year. She was ready to ride the new-album-wave into the 2020 festival season which was halted by the ever-present pandemic. I actually read that the date she dropped Isolation Tapes she was supposed to be playing a marquee, birthday show at Brixton. Even though that’s a huge bummer, we do thank Mahalia for giving us a fantastic reverse birthday gift (is that even a thing?). A true for-the-fans move on her part.
Her 3-song EP is comprised of “BRB,” a song about the growing pains of a long distance relationship, “Plastic Plants,” which conveys the message that love ain’t always like the movies, and “Too Nice,” a track that sounds EXACTLY like early 2000’s Destiny’s Child. Every song is good, but I think my personal favorite is Too Nice…there’s something about it that just feels nostalgic to me.
All 3 tracks were co-written by South London rapper Ebenezer, a good friend of hers. She’s also had the opportunity of working with some other pretty influential artists along her musical journey: Buddy, Ella Mai, Ty Dolla $ign and Kenrick Lamar to name a few (Great story with Junkee about her first interaction with Kenrick).
Something else you notice on all 3 tracks is the production behind the powerful vocals. If you listen to her discography, you’ll notice the wide range of instrumentals she uses; however, one thing stays consistent and that’s how seamless her voice sticks on each one. Something else that probably helps is working with Drake’s producer Nineteen85….you’d only have to assume.
Take a spin through Isolation Tapes during your morning coffee tomorrow and let me know what you think.