Deva Mahal, daughter of the blues icon, Taj Mahal, may have been born into music but her heart, dedication and attitude is what has brought her here today now with her debut album, Run Deep. Recently, I got to sit down with her and it was breathtakingly refreshing! Not only is her voice incredibly powerful but her personality makes her that much better. One thing that really stuck out to me was the loving energy she gave off, you could just feel she truly cares about the world and that, I think, will take her even further than her out of this world talent. (Seriously, go listen to her newest album on spotify!)
Where are you from?
I was born in Kauai, but I moved to New Zealand when I was a teenager because my mom was living there and then I ended up living there for 7 years. I went to University there and that was where I really started fortifying my music career.
When did you realize you wanted to be a musician?
Since I was single digits I was interested and I would say probably in 1st grade I really started to show signs that music was really exciting to me. When I was younger my parents would take us on tour, and sometimes my brother and I would get up on stage and sing. When we were really young we recorded a children’s album with my dad, I was 6. My first band was called Soul Project, which I started in college and that was when I first started to actually show people my songs that I had written.
You went to college for music?
Yes, I double majored in music and theatre when I went to college in New Zealand and I finished my degree in Jazz vocal performance.
What’s your writing process?
It’s kind of a mixed bag. Sometimes I use my voice memos, I get a lot of ideas when I’m walking or I’ll be playing something on the guitar and that evolves into something. Then other times, especially on this new album, I’ll write with someone else. I’ve always enjoyed working with other people.
What is your newest album ‘Run Deep’ about?
Simply put, the songs are like letters to myself or someone else. All different topics like relationships and different circumstances. I find I don’t always know what to say in the moment but I go back and revisit the experience and create what I wanted to say basically writing a song in the form of a letter.One of the inspirations for the video that I just shot for one of the tracks, Fire, was based on the idea of taking painful experiences and emotions and actually going thru the process of burning them and working through it. The album is about deep feelings, friendships, it’s about deep love, challenging experiences and persevering.
What’s next for you and your career? You’re currently touring right?
Yes. The biggest thing so far is that I am playing the Hollywood Bowl in August, which I am really excited about.
You can find Deva Mahal’s debut album out now, follow her on twitter to keep up to date @DevaMahal