Taking Risks and Making A Difference: An Interview with Malynda Hale

"Artists have an opportunity to use a medium that everybody listens to: music. We all have an opportunity to get people to think and get people to have conversations through music. I love seeing people taking more risks and not caring so much but knowing that their art is going to make a difference."
It took a long time for Malynda Hale to be comfortable with speaking up about topics that are still considered ‘sensitive’.

When she started her music career, she was definitely afraid to speak out because she believed it would alienate potential fans or put her in a specific box that would prevent her from reaching a wider audience.

“I eventually learned that even though music is a universal language and it is for everybody, your music may not be for everybody,” she said.

She didn’t have a problem being outspoken on social media, nor did she have a problem being vulnerable with her music, so she eventually understood that combining these two parts of her personality would be beneficial in the long run.

Her latest EP, The One, is where she really opened up about topics such as social justice and created empowering anthems that are still pop radio friendly. Since its release, the feedback she’s received is the exact opposite of the alienation she was afraid of.

Hale is not afraid of starting a conversation, and that’s where a lot of her song ideas come from. She also makes sure that the topics of conversation are ones she’s educated on.

“I think obviously in order to talk about it and be a leading voice in those conversations, you have to be up to date,” she said. “You have to be educated on it because I am not the type of person that wants to be in a conversation with somebody and I can't back anything that I say up.”

It’s these types of conversations that also give her the chance to see the argument from the other side. Hale said she’s extremely interested in understanding how people think the way that they do and why they think that way. It gives her the chance to find a happy medium between two people or even convince them to change their opinion for the better.

“I try to treat them like a human and talk to them and try to find out what's going on,” she said. “I've noticed that approaching things with more kindness and passion will get you to the bottom of what an actual issue is. A lot of people are angry about things that they might not know anything about, so when you're willing to have a conversation with them they take a step back and realize what they’re misunderstanding.”

Her current topic of conversation is homelessness, and she’s tackling that through an upcoming single titled “Story”. The concept behind it is the stories that everyone has – especially those that lose that part of humanity when having to struggle with being homeless.

“They were five years old once, they had parents, they were born somewhere; everybody ended up in their situation differently and I think we tend to forget that when we see somebody begging on the street,” Hale said.

Although she focuses on the Los Angeles area, the documentary-style music video is meant to explore the topic without exploiting it. It’s something that she sees on a daily basis, as do many other people, and she sees the need to bring awareness to those misunderstood arguments.

She’s also taken the conversation and brought it over to the podcasting world. Along with comedian/entrepreneur Karmel Humphrey, #WeNeedToTalk is a weekly series that originated as a church discussion before becoming something that goes beyond smaller audiences and social media character limits. Hale is hoping to get rid of the stigma that comes after saying the words ‘we need to talk’ and give those words a less negative tone.

Malynda Hale has so much to say, and by having the confidence to speak her mind through various forms of art, she is part of the change that needs to happen. Whether it’s through her music, her podcast or her social media, this step in the right direction is something we all can learn from.