From the West Coast, the East Coast, the Midwest and back, Malynda Hale has experienced many changes. What has stayed the same is her passion and talent for music. She began her music career in Santa Barbara, California, honed her theater chops in NYC, became involved with television in Chi-Town, and has put it all together back on her home turf, currently in L.A. Malynda is not only a great singer and newest addition to the HiFiveMusic family, but a true multi-talented person who, despite her success, remains super humble and always wears a smile. She took some time out of her busy schedule to spend some time with HiFiveInsider:
HiFiveInsider: Where are you from?
Malynda Hale: I’m originally from Santa Barbara, C.A. and attended Azusa Pacific University out here in Los Angeles. I majored in Classical Performance and Opera, and minored in theater. I graduated in 2007. Shortly after that, I started doing live performances and putting a band together. I started doing shows around L.A. and Las Vegas and just trying to travel as much as I could. Then I moved to New York in 2009 and took a little bit of a break from music, to focus on theater. Then I got my equity card, and started doing regional theater shows. I got back into music cause I really missed it. So I did my second album out in New York and recorded some of it at Germano Studios. When I came back out to visit Los Angeles I met my (now) husband. He wound up going to law school in Chicago. So I moved to Chicago and started getting in to more tv and modeling, but still continued to do more music. So now we’ve been back in Los Angeles for about the last 2 years.
HFI: Wow! You’ve been really busy!
Malynda Hale: Yeah. But being in different cities really prepared me for coming back to L.A., even though Southern Cali is technically my home. It helped me really figure out how to guide my career and be more business minded. Living in different cities really helped shape what I really want to do with my career.
“Moving back to L.A. was actually very hard for me because I wasn’t sure what was going to happen. Pieces of Me is kind of just preaching on those feelings. It’s about…the fear of the unkown.”
HFI: Our headquarters is on the East Coast, you’re over on the West Coast. What’s happening on your side of the map?
Malynda Hale: My music is doing really well out here. I do a lot of acting as well. I host for a network called The Stream.tv. I also host the after show for “The Walking Dead” (online show). So I’m really excited about that.
HFI: The Walking Dead is definitely discussed at our water cooler. Do you have any projects going on?
Malynda Hale: Yeah, I just released a new single on the September 15th, it’s called “Gray”, and my full album called “Pieces Of Me” released on October 20th. Just been promoting those.
HFI: Let’s dive into “Real Love” That was the first song of yours that I heard, and it really sold me. How long did it take you to create this song?
Malynda Hale: I wrote that song when I was in Chicago. It actually didn’t take me too long. I was going to Broadway United Methodist Church. It was a very loving and accepting church that stood for equality, and had members from all different walks of life. That really inspired me to write that song, because I’ve always been an advocate for the LGBT community and for equality. Myself, being in an interracial marriage, I know what discrimination feels like in that sense. It was written for people in same-sex and interracial relationships that have felt discriminated against. I really just wanted to give the message of love, cause at the end of the day, thats what it’s really about. So the church I was attending in Chicago, really inspired me to write that song.
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HFI: So the special someone that inspired that song is your husband?
Malynda Hale: Yeah! He definitely was apart of that, just drawing from my own personal experiences of being in an interracial relationship. We went to that church together and were always greeted with love. We were also a people that preached of love. That’s really what the song is about. That’s why it’s called “Real Love”. He’s definetly one of the reasons I wrote that song as well.
HFI: Cool, Tell us about your acting career.
Malynda Hale: So I started doing theater first, musical theater mostly. When I moved to Chicago, I began doing tv, film, and commercials. I auditioned for my first independent feature film (CradeMade Entertainment’s Oranges). It starred Brant Daugherty (Pretty Little Liars, Army Wives, DWTS). I got a, supporting role in that movie, and also wrote Flashback (theme song) for that movie. That got me really excited to do film, cause I had never done it before. Then I went on to get an agent and did more auditions for commercials, short films, & independent films. Since then, I’ve just been hitting the ground running. I’ve done commercials, lots of short films, and a couple of feature films as well. I’ve just been really, really busy. I’ve always loved acting, but I didnt know that it would be a huge part of my career. I’m kind of doing music and acting simultaneously now. It’s really fulfilling. Sometimes I’m able to offer music to a project that I’m acting in. I’m able to kinda double dip a little bit (laughs). But music has always been my end game. I know in this day and age, you have to be…you have to be almost involved in every thing. There’s so many avenues and platforms for you to be seen, for people to know your name and know the art that you’re involved in. So for me, being able to do acting really strengthens my music and music fanbase.
HFI: Definetly diggin it. Do you play any instruments?
Malynda Hale: I do, I write all my songs on piano. I bought a guitar a little while ago, for an acting role and have learned to play a few chords. I’m trying to find the time to really sit down and learn the guitar. But piano is my main instrument.
HFI: Love the piano. Which artists have inspired you?
Malynda Hale: I love the oldies. I love listening to Stevie Wonder, Whitney Houston, artists that I grew up listening to. Current artists…I’m a really huge fan of Gavin Degraw. He’s one of my biggest inspirations. Also Colbie Caillat and Sara Bareilles. Specifically, I think those three artists I mesh well with. So, when you listen to their music, I would be on the bill with them. That’s kind of who I’ve padded myself after. They inspire me a lot, mostly because, even though they’re major label artists, they function more like independent artists. They communicate with their fans very well. They are very tangible people. I just respect their art. I love that even though they put out some commercial songs, the bulk of their albums are very independently crafted. They stay true to their lyrics, who they are, and that’s the type of artist that I aspire to be. No matter what level of success I end up reaching, I always want to feel reachable and relatable to whomever my fans are. That’s why I admire them so much.
HFI: Who inspires you as an actress?
Malynda Hale: Obviously after her huge win, Viola Davis. I feel that she’s a huge inspiration because she’s breaking down barriers for women of color to be able to get roles in Hollywood. I think everyone loves Meryl Streep because she can just do anything. For male actors, Tom Hardy is one of my favorite actors. I think he’s finally starting to get the recognition he deserves. He’s absolutely brilliant. Another brilliant actor that isn’t as recognized as much as he should be, is Jake Gyllenhaal. He just blows me away everytime I see him. Viola Davis, Gabrielle Union, and Kerri Washington, you know, those strong independent black women, play roles like the ones I’d like to take.
HFI: Word. I hear you. What’s your favorite song to sing?
Malynda Hale: There’s two. Pieces of me. I love to sing it live because its the most vulnerable song for me to perform and also the most vulnerable song I’ve ever written. I wrote it when my husband and I moved back to L.A. from Chicago. I was mostly scared about coming home, not really knowing how to navigate this world anymore. Chicago became home to me, even though it was a place that I didn’t want to be. I didn’t know anyone there. I had nothing when I moved there, but then I built this entire community and new home for myself. So moving back to L.A. was actually very hard for me because I wasn’t sure what was going to happen. Pieces of Me is kind of just preaching on those feelings. It’s about…the fear of the unkown. Whether it would be the same in LA as in Chicago. So that song is really special to me and that’s why I titled my new album after it. It really gives the listener a full on look at what was going on in my life.
My other favorite song to sing is called “Falling”. New Years Eve night, my husband and I were just staying home, bored, not doing anything, acting like grown folks (laughs). I started coming out with the melody of this song and it kind of flowed out of me quickly. I ended up writing it about Leelah Alcorn (transgender girl that took her own life). It ended up being a song for people that feel lost. Its been kind of an anthem for me. It’s a really powerful song with a really strong message.
HFI: How was it singing the national anthem?
Malynda Hale: Well I sang it twice. Once I sang it at the Staple Center for the L.A Sparks and then I recently sang it at the Stub Hub Center for the L.A. Galaxy. The L.A. Galaxy was definetly the biggest. It was 27,000 people and it felt so great! It was amazing! It was definetly a high point of my career. I felt very blessed and honored to have that opportunity.
HFI: Onward to some things your fans don’t know about you. Whats your favorite TV show?
Malynda Hale: Hmmm. I watch a lot of TV. Right now…Scandal. My favorite guilty pleasure show…Pretty Little Liars.
HFI: Who is your favorite Super Hero?
Malynda Hale: Iron Man. Probably because I love Robert Downey Jr. I like anything Iron Man just in general.
HFI: I hear you. Definitely dig Tony Stark. Iron Man is dope. What’s your favorite midnight snack?
Malynda Hale: Cookie Dough! (laughing) Cause I’m Vegan so I can just eat raw cookie dough. So yeah, raw vegan cookie dough.