*There could be a Victrola-shaped trophy or two in store for “Funk Rock Goddess” Malina Moye.
The world renowned lefty guitarist of WCE/Sony is “one of the top 10 female guitarists in the world” according to Guitar World Magazine, a position the singer/songwriter maintained with the release of her acclaimed 2014 EP, Rock & Roll Baby.
Three songs from the Billboard-charting set are currently being considered for Grammy awards; both “A Little Rough” and “Foxey Lady” are on the ballot for Best Rock Performance. With such heavyweights as U2, Lenny Kravitz, Foo Fighters, and Jack White also available for selection by Grammy voters in this category, Moye finds herself the only black solo female artist among them. Her song “Hustler’s Blues” is being considered in the Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song category.
Nominees will be revealed December 7, 2015. The 58th annual ceremony takes place February 15, 2016, live from Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.
The EUR/Electronic Urban Report caught up with Moye for her thoughts on these Grammy considerations, and what it would mean for those to become official nominations. She discusses this with EURweb associate Mr. Joe Walker below.
EUR: Malina, you’re described as one of the 10 best female guitarists in the world. Your skill is on full display with “A Little Rough” – one of the two songs you’ve got under Grammy consideration. Did your reputation help it succeed or did you run into issues landing it on rock radio?
Malina Moye: We actually got that to chart on the 140 chart, and it got to #40 for 6 weeks straight, which is huge. My song “K-yotic” got to #5; and with that song it was me and Bootsy Collins which was a marriage of funk and rock. When we went to urban radio they said the song was too rock for them. When I went to the rock stations they said it wasn’t rock because I had Bootsy on it. Okay, so what is the record? So we took it triple-A – which is adult album alternative. That’s the reason you have to know when things start to move, because every few months s—t starts to move. You start to realize how the industry works. And you never want to change your music to fit radio.
EUR: Something you hear a lot is stories of artists grinding to get radio play, but once they’re there they fade away.
Malina Moye: What people don’t realize when they’re asking, “What ever happened to so-and-so”, is hundreds of thousands of dollars are being spent behind the scenes to play at radio. You need $20,000 just to find out if you have a hit! If it is, you need to fuel that. That’s another twenty. A lot of independent artists can’t afford that. That’s why it’s so exciting to see things like Go Fund Me. Once you’re on the business side it’s a chess game. And you have to be willing to lose money.
EUR: You’ve obviously played chess for some time now. How were you able to afford your game pieces?
Malina Moye: For me to get to where I am right now, a doctor ended up putting money into my situation. Another gentleman heard my story about how I was homeless trying to make my dreams come true, so he sold his Ferrari and put that money into my label. That’s how we got it kicked off. No matter what anybody says, it takes money to make money. It’s a real grind and a business hustle, and from that you learn so much. And I’m so proud of it all because you know what the Grammy consideration has done for me? It shows that I’m here. We’ve worked our asses off to get here, and no one can take that away from me.
EUR: Up-and-coming artists who’re also your fans will see your grind and be inspired by it.
Malina Moye: I’m looking at other people we’re totally inspiring who are trying to do what we’re doing. Good music is supposed to inspire. That means I’m doing my job.
EUR: Grammy nominations are seen as this validation of credibility. How important is it to even be considered?
Malina Moye: I think it’s extremely important to be considered for a Grammy because it shows two things: One, it shows the music you’ve created is being accepted by your peers; and two, at least you’re in the game.
EUR: Can you explain how the voting process works?
Malina Moye: With this year they’ve had over 21,000 entries. So what happens is they have a committee of maybe 150 people, they’ll get the music that has to meet certain criteria. Just because you submit it doesn’t mean it’s going to be accepted. They also decide what category you belong in. Songs will be submitted for one category then they decide where it should go. My song “Hustler’s Blues” is in the Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song category, which is unbelievable to me.
EUR: Why’s that unbelievable?
Malina Moye: It’s because with that particular song what I’m talking about subliminally is God. It’s the feeling of what the song is actually saying. So, that’s the thing about the Grammys. And I was just so excited because people don’t understand just how hard it is to land in the category you think it’s going to be in. And I’ve got two records on the rock side. That’s huge!
EUR: If you do receive the nomination then go on to win, wouldn’t you be the first female African American solo rock Grammy-winner since Tina Turner?
Malina Moye: Right, but I think Tina Turner may have had Best Pop/Rock Vocal, and this is actually Rock Performance. And when you’re speaking rock we’re talking about the biggest names in the business. U2 is up for it, you’ve got AC/DC, you’ve got Bon Jovi, Jack White, Foo Fighters. For me to be there… I’m so excited because I know how hard it is to land there. |
Known as “The Word Heavyweight Champion,” Mr. Joe Walker is a biographer, journalist, and columnist, currently a senior writer for SoulTrain.com, staff writer for Muskegon Tribune Newspaper, and writer for Concrete Magazine’s Concrete615.com. Also co-creator of TheGrooveSpot.com, Walker’s acclaimed, award-winning work has been published thousands of times regionally, nationally, internationally, and online. Like him on Facebook, follow on Twitter @mrjoewalker, and visit his official blog.