Malynda Hale - Does All The Things
From singer to activist, Malynda Hale does it all! At a time when there is so much going on, it is very refreshing to see more musicians tackling the hard issues through music. But Malynda doesn’t stop there! She also co-hosts a very interesting socially aware podcast called #WeNeedToTalk, acts, and is a vegan! To learn more about this incredibly intelligent and inspiring woman, please read more in Jejune’s exclusive interview with her below!
As a singer, song-writer, actress, podcast host, vegan and activist, you seriously do all the things. Do you have a favorite?
Music has, and will, always be my number one, but I’ve really enjoyed being a podcast host and activist. I’ve always gravitated towards having deeper conversations with people and wanting to speak out for voices that are marginalized, and I feel so blessed that I’ve been given a platform to do so.
Jejune is in love with your song “We Run”. Can you please tell a bit about what inspired you to write this song?
Thank you! That song is one of the most important songs I’ve ever written and it really embodies who I am. I was inspired to write it in 2016 when the Black Lives Matter movement was rising due to the spike in police brutality. I felt helpless and wanted to do something, so I sat down and wrote “We Run”. I put my heart into that song and simply allowed myself to be vulnerable. The response was greater than anything I could have ever imagined. I ended up putting it on my EP that I released last year called The One, and still to this day I end every one of my live shows with that song.
The video is very beautiful, it made me cry. How did you cast the people in it?
Everyone in that video is a personal friend or acquaintance of mine, and they were all willing to be a part of the video with no questions asked. It’s great to have such a network of people who are willing to help.
Can you speak on your experience of living as a African American woman in The United States?
Truthfully, in the scope of black lives in America, I won’t deny that I have lived a very privileged one. I grew up with two loving parents in a great household, I got my college education, I’m a business owner, and I have a great circle around me. But I also won’t deny that I’ve experienced my fair share of racism and discrimination, both direct and indirect. I truly believe black women in general have it the hardest in this country. They are combating two forms of oppression, but in different ways, and it can get very lonely. And for the black women I know who are in the LGBTQ community, there is just another layer added on to an already difficult journey. The plus side is that I think more people are realizing it and are opening their eyes and ears to the fact that there are still so many marginalized groups in this world that need their voices heard, black women being at the top of that list.
Why is it important to cover hard issues in music?
Music is something that everyone enjoys. I don’t know a single person who is not affected by music in some way. We all listen to music when we are sad, when we are happy, when we are working, when we are working out, etc. Music is one of the most powerful art forms that we have. So I feel like with the gift that I’ve been given, it’s almost my duty to address issues like this through my music. It’s just such a great way to reach a wide demographic that you may not normally reach.
Speaking of hard issues. Jejune loves your new podcast, “#WeNeedToTalk”. What made you decide to start this podcast?
I started #WeNeedToTalk as a live panel discussion series that I hosted at my church, Harmony Toluca Lake. The panel discussion got such a great response that I decided to turn it into a podcast. I think with podcasts being such a popular medium, it was an easy transition and choice to make.
How is this different from your podcast Boss, Please!?
Boss, Please! was solely focused on female bosses and empowering them in their journeys. And while that is such a big part of my life as well, I felt I needed to expand my horizons a bit in order to talk about deeper issues, since a lot of my life and conversations are centered around that.
How do you decide on your topics?
I really pay attention to what’s trending on Twitter, listening to NPR and things people share with me. I try to take those topics and then dive deeper into why they are an issue. Nothing is really off limits, and I think we really try to bring up points that people might be afraid to bring up in everyday life.
You cover a lot of issues. What made you decide to stay broad instead of focus on one or two hot issues?
There is just so much to talk about, and I think having a “nothing is off limits” model allows for natural conversation to happen and honest opinions to come to the surface.
Jejune loves that you feature charities at the end of all your shows. How do you know a charity is right for #WeNeedToTalk?
Thank you! I think it’s important to shine light on people who are doing good in the world. We tend to focus on the negative and give more of a spotlight to that type of energy, but I want to shift focus a little bit by giving the difference makers a platform.
Can you tell us about one of your favorite charities you have featured?
I think Adopt the Arts is one of my favorites, because keeping arts in schools is something that is very important to me. Having been a former preschool teacher, I love how music, dance and theatre affect kids in a positive way.
You are passionate about a lot of issues right now. Are there one or two that you think the world really needs to be looking at right now?
Race relations and homelessness are two of the biggest ones for me. I think we can’t ever figure out how to combat and end racism if people are too afraid to even admit it still exists. In regards to the homelessness, I don’t think people realize just how bad the homeless populations are, and no one takes time to remember that all of these people have a story. It’s so easy for any one to end up in that position. There’s not enough emphasis put on helping those in need.
Let’s talk about the upcoming primaries. Any thoughts? Do you know who you want to win yet?
I don’t have a favorite picked out. I actually like a lot of them. But I usually don’t make my final decision until after the debates. The debates are extremely helpful to me as a voter.
What do you think is most important to come from these upcoming elections?
I personally think it’s important to just change what we are currently experiencing. At the end of the day, not everyone’s candidate is going to get the nomination, and we have to remember that. But being stubborn about that is going to allow what happened in 2016 to happen again, and we can’t have that. So I think it’s important to support whomever ends up being the candidate.
Where do you want to see America’s future in the next 5 to 10 years?
I’m honestly not sure, but I hope that we return to just loving and appreciating one another’s presence, rather than focusing on the things that divide us.
What is next for Malynda?
I’m focusing right now on turning #WeNeedToTalk into a powerful brand. I’m working on launching a blog in September with other contributing writers, so other voices can share what they think is important for society to discuss. Starting conversations has become a real passion of mine. As far as music goes, I’m going to spend the next year working on a few new projects that I’m extremely excited about.
Jejune loves that you are vegan and that you will only wear vegan cosmetics. What made you decide to make this decision?
I became vegan almost 13 years ago for health reasons, and I couldn’t be happier. I just don’t think we need to kill animals in order to eat or have beauty products.
What are some of your favorite brands?
I was so happy to find Valana Minerals because it’s a vegan makeup brand specifically for women of color. So that’s by far my favorite. I also love Tarte and E.L.F., all vegan and cruelty free!
What is your motto in life?
Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and trust that God has a plan for you.
To learn more about Malynda Hale, please follow her via the following:
YouTube channels at youtube.com/malyndahale & youtube.com/malyndahalevevo.
Her podcast #WeNeedToTalk:
Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/weneedtotalk/id1454408360#episodeGuid=aee19fa8047f4d399d6614655658e23a.
And On Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/2wq8KG1sJlLglv5IDly7za?si=gGWNvxr-Q_-8-21qOdMNdw