Malaïka Maxwell releases her 1st single


Responsible for communication of the CCI, Malaïka Maxwell leads several lives. She is one of the four young talents of the island who will appear on May 6 at Pépites. And just released her first single: This Journey. A mixture of soul with hints of jazz and reggae.

Malaïka Maxwell did not suddenly discover a passion for music at the age of 32. She grew up with it. Her father, Michael Maxwell, played many instruments and founded one of the island’s top music schools in the early 1980’s: The Music Workshop. She went on stage for the first time at the age of three to perform a song composed by her father. He first taught her guitar, then piano and drums. Raised in a Christian family, she discovered gospel music very early and exercised her skill in the church choir.

She likes art in general. She does photography, was a dancer, and invests in the island’s cultural life. But of all instruments, it was voice that she chose in the end.

"Maybe because my father was my teacher for all the other instruments, although I appreciated it a lot, there was no way to avoid my homework at home (laughs). I am able to express myself better through song," she analyzes.

It was in Martinique, where she left to study English, that she truly became free. There, she met many artists such as 4 Hard Way, Tiwony, Lusdy, Mounia, Valley, Pleen, Pyroman, and Mc Janik. And she worked with them in the chorus. She stayed on the Flower Island for ten years before returning to Saint-Martin. "I am the mother of an eight-year-old girl, and I wanted her to experience what I did when growing up: family, culture...".

On her return, she collaborated with different artists on the island such as Jérémie Huot, Twin Monarchy, D .O Gizzle, Fatta and King Vers. She also took part in the group Akoustyle with Natisha Hanson and Fabian Charbonnier. At the time, being in the chorus suited her perfectly. Especially because that allowed her to stay in her comfort zone. Even though she works in communication, the bubbly young woman describes herself as "relatively shy": "I always say that I would be happiest if I could sing without anyone seeing me." The chorus offered her the best of two worlds: she was on stage, without being in front.

But in late 2015, something clicked. "I devoted myself again to God, put order in my life, and decided to throw myself into music body and soul," she explains. But this time, following encouragement by different people, as a solo singer. In October 2016, she received the NIA Emerging Artists award. It was, however, the death of her grandmother at around the same time which marked the decisive turn in her career. "I was supposed to give a concert at the AXUM Café, but when I lost my grandmother I didn’t want to any more. She was my cousins' and my biggest fan. I ultimately decided to restructure what I had planned to make this concert, called "The Journey to Me," an homage to the woman who always supported me," she remembers. During this concert, where she tells about the steps of her life as a woman, the audience’s reaction convinced her to continue.

The live studio single This Journey, recorded at Zamar Musical Productions (Philipsburg) and released a few days ago, retraces Malaïka’s life journey, to music by Adrian Scott and words by Shawn-J. "For me, music needs to have a meaning. I want people to be thinking as they leave, even if they also have fun," she declares, considering herself a Christian artist without proselytizing.

"I talk about my personal experience, I grew up in the church and then took my hits in life. After that, things take on different meanings." However, she differentiates the Christian artists of her generation from those of their parents. "If you listen to them, they always did everything right, while our approach is more real," she notes. For example, her next track, this time that she wrote and composed herself, is inspired by a Facebook conversation initiated by a young girl who talked with humor about the difficulty of respecting the need for abstinence before marriage. "In my music there is still a spiritual side, even if my songs don’t talk only about God. But at a certain point, I don’t see why I shouldn’t share my experience, if it is positive, without trying to impose it on others," she specifies.

When Nadia Boukir and Emmanuelle Toulliou presented her with their Pépites plan, consisting of offering a professional stage to the island’s young talents, Malaïka Maxwell couldn’t say no. Especially since the goals are, certainly on a different scale, similar to those of the Oualichi Productions Association that she had created several years earlier with her sister and a friend. Awaiting her turn on stage on May 6 at Loterie Farm, the young singer is having a great time at rehearsals and promises "a beautiful time to share."


The single "This Journey" is available as a paid download from the following platforms: Cdbaby, Itunes, Amazon mp3, Deezer, Google Play, Shazam, Spotify, Tidal.

Photo credits: Blue Skies Images

Fanny Fontan