Mahalia Merges her Neo-Soul Roots with a 90's R&B Feel for Square 1
Evan Dale // Aug 21, 2019
There is no more influential and important neo-soul name in the making than Mahalia. The UK soulstress of love and impossibly unique vocal delivery has continued her unfathomable pace dating back to her breakout single, Sober in 2017. By the time we had named her Artist of the Year at the end of 2018, she had released seven shimmering singles, a short project, Seasons, and innumerable features that displayed not only her personal range, but the range of the greater youthful Neo-Soul scene flooding the world by way of the UK.
2019 has been more of the same. A steady stream of singles exploring her range and experimenting with new sounds in combination with exponential popularity on a global scale have gifted us four new singles, two of which, Do Not Disturb & Simmer brought her further out of her signature lane and subsequently resulted in a handful of remixes each. Her latest, however, Square 1, is a Neo-Soul hit that would make fans from 90’s R&B à la TLC and Destiny’s Child find middle ground with the Mahalia-led school of experimental Neo-Soul and R&B’s outer instrumental grey areas of the modern day. It’s an upbeat sound floating overtop and emotionally-relatable bit of writing on thematic discourse signature t Mahalia’s greater collection: struggles with love and relationships. But where something like Square 1 might come across cheesy or forced by the hands of many artists today, her unique sound and genuine delivery make it another hit from which to explore our own emotional expanse and the sounds of Neo-Soul.