All Posts

Interview: Keziah Mallam Talks about the Perks of being Multifaceted, New Music, “Audio Therapy”, and More.

On the day this writer interviewed Keziah Mallam, It was a public holiday. However, the Kaduna native singer couldn’t take a breather. For Keziah, It was business as usual which was ironic cause it wasn’t going to be for the next few weeks thanks to her nine-to-five hustle switching to a more flexible remote schedule due to an official relocation. The relocation process would last at least three weeks, providing Keziah with a tentative silver lining.

Not far too long into our conversation, she had divulged in scurry details some of the things she had been engrossed with during the supposed free day, including shooting and editing audio-visual content for her latest soul/R&B-tinged single, ” Floating” Keziah Mallam further explained that the content was to be stamped for approval by her team before the scheduled release on social platforms- a disclosure that sat well with this writer who is a fan of organized rollouts and of Keziah’s music – a fusion of retro soul and contemporary rhythm and blues.

Keziah Mallam is a classic jack of all trades and a master of more than one. The UK-bred Nigerian artiste occupies multifaceted labelings in which she functions as a singer, music producer, songwriter, and “corporate baddie”.

In her corporate capacity where she works for a PR firm, Keziah has ascended to a respectable administrative position, proving a work ethic also found in her rising musical career. Her dual career is reminiscent of a superhero cosplaying as a regular Joe in the daytime and a cape-wearing savant at night. This makes sense as Keziah is most alive at night when she performs unfiltered music to an intimate crowd every month, via a series she coined ‘Audio Therapy’.

In this interview with Upper Entertainment, she narrows down her new music, on Audio Therapy, and more.

Describe your childhood experience. 

So I was born and brought up in London, and I was there till I was 14, and then myself and my young sisters moved back to Nigeria for a bit. So the reason why that happened was, in 2003 my dad died, and then in 2010 my mum died. So when my mum died, my young sisters and I moved back to Nigeria. My older sister stayed in the UK. But overall, before my parents died, our childhood was great. It was okay, we were good. My mom, and dad, were very much into, you know, letting us be creative.

My older sister and I were in a performing arts school when we were little, where we were taught to sing, dance, and act. I used to have musical equipment, like karaoke machines, children, guitars, and stuff. And I used to play around with those. And yeah, my parents were very much about enjoyment as well. So they used to take us on, like, holidays and all those things. And then, apart from that, we used to come back to Nigeria a lot like we were back here a lot. So, Although we were born and brought up in the UK, we were still very much connected here. I think that’s what made it easier to even come back after everything. So, yeah, I hope that explained a lot,

In three words, how would you describe yourself? 

genius, loving, and determined.

What informed your decision to go into music?

I grew up in it. You know, it’s never been something that I’ve been like, oh, I want to do music. Like, I’ve always had a longing to do it, but at the same time, I grew up there. So like when my parents used to bring us back to Nigeria when myself and my sisters were little, they were performing in churches in Kaduna. I was even hearing that we were performing in churches in the UK. Like another Auntie told me that the other day. I remember growing up around Music and Performing Arts my whole life.

I think my mom used to sing in the choir, and then my mom’s dad, my granddad, was like the choir director for like a last chunk of Kaduna’s equa church. So, like, there’s always been music. I don’t think my dad ever did anything music. But his Children do and that’s fine. My sisters and I are into music, we either produce, sing, write, dance, act, or photograph.

My immediate younger sister is into interior design. You know, she does things with her hands. I think of myself and my siblings as very artistic people. Funny enough, when I think about it, I’m probably the only one working in corporate. And the corporate isn’t really corporate, because it’s still in creative, you know. So, yeah, this is just what I feel like. This is what God passed to do. So it’s not like we made a decision, per se. It was more like this was always where we’re gonna go to.

I know you don’t like to be boxed into a niche, but hypothetically, if you were to classify your sound, what would you call it?

Right now, with the next release and with my audio therapy project I will say predominantly Soul, and I’m just going to stand on that for now. That’s pretty just where I’m at right now with soul music. And it’s because I’ve leaned into a lot of soul influences. That’s like where my heart is, but at the same time, I am not limited to soul music.

You don’t want to be boxed. That makes sense.

Yeah, and that’s the thing for me. It’s not so much about not wanting to be boxed, because if you box me, that’s not doing anything for me. It’s doing something for you as I will still make what I want to make at the end of the day.

And when it’s now time to speak. If you’re not telling them something that they can instantly tap into or relate to, you know, they want to come and mix it up a bit, but I think it’s quite simple to say that an artist is an artist, and you can say, okay, they’re predominantly soul, they’re predominantly R and B or so on and so forth. That’s if they don’t identify with one genre. But you know, if they don’t identify with one genre, then you have to allow for that fluidity.

Let’s talk about Audio Therapy. Yeah, this is your brainchild. How did this concept come about? Like, I know it’s self-explanatory, but it makes more sense coming from you, like, coming from the source.

Audio therapy in itself, is not self-explanatory anymore, because I realized that people have their own interpretations of it. But audio therapy for me basically, was me looking at hearing my music, hearing why I was creating, and then also identifying what I wanted others to feel when they hear it too. So it’s just this feeling of being at peace, the feeling of this music being therapeutic for you, and the fact that it’s audio, and then that’s just another aspect of it.

The second aspect is my vocal production, and the fact that I do a lot of vocal layering, the texture of my vocals, um, especially in recordings, is airy, soft, and light for, you know, or my background vocals and stuff. And so that is what makes audio therapy for me. It’s a combination of these soft, sultry, whispery, you know, vocals, mixed with the fact that the music itself is therapeutic and it’s good, cohesive music. And, you know, audio therapy came about when I was in 2022, or even 2021 rather, I had moved here, moved to Lagos in September 2021.

My manager at the time wanted to drop a song every month the next year. And we had even, like, we agreed to do it. And I told him that, you know, I’m calling my music audio therapy. And it just became a thing where it was like okay, this is audio therapy, and I am the audio therapist. And so that’s just how it kind of, you know, came together.

Based on your experience, What has been the hardest part about being a multifaceted professional?

For me, the most challenging part about pursuing more than one career simultaneously is keeping up with the energy, you know. There are days I am stressed out of my mind, and I wonder if I have reached my breaking point, but somehow I always find a way to keep going you know. I think it also helps that I have a good support system to fall back on when I feel drained.

Silver linings to being a Multi-faceted professional?

Oh, there is a lot. For one, you will learn how to productively multi-task. This sense of efficiency follows once you get the hang of it. And also strong networking. My capacity as a corporate earner has helped me form constructive relationships with certain entertainment industry people that I might not have been opportune otherwise. I hope it makes sense. I consider myself lucky because I love my Job as a corporate person and I also love doing music. So, it’s a win win situation.

Favorite Mantra?

I don’t have one.

With female acts like Ayra Starr and Tems killing it globally, what’s your current disposition towards the women takeover in the Industry?

I would say it’s long overdue and highly inspirational. Women in music work so hard and it’s beyond comforting to see the spotlight shine on us, finally.

Mainstream acts you would love working with?

There is a list. First would be my Idol, D’Angelo. I don’t know if you know him. He is a popular American soul/R&B singer. He is one of the reasons I started taking music very seriously. His music speaks to me. I would love to work with Tems too. Basically, mainstream acts who make music I identify with.

Underground Music Acts?

Winny Adanu.

If you were to choose between a record deal with a global music giant such as Sony Music and a one million dollar grant allowing you to push independently, which would you choose?

Sincerely, I would go for the record deal.


Well, there is only so much an artist could do independently. Being signed to a label like Sony or UMG will leave room for organized artistic development, and more doors being opened to you via the label’s connect. I don’t think you can put a price on that. That is just how I feel anyway.

What is your latest single, ‘Floating’ about?

‘Floating’ is simply a song about my present head space. It’s written from a non-toxic perspective. It is an expression of how I feel. Plus I produced it, so everything you hear in the song is from my heart to listeners.

Finally, When Should Your Fans Expect A Full-Length Project?

All I can say is to keep their fingers crossed.

Stream Floating Here

Share this post?

Join Our Community

Do you want to promote your music or brand? We’ve got you covered at The Upper Entertainment

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Get updates directly to your inbox

Related Posts