Malea McGuinness’s star has been steadily rising, ever since her second single “Sweet Light” off her debut album True Believer hit number three on the adult contemporary top 40 music charts in 2007. We first featured the Korean-Irish-Scottish American in Audrey‘s Aug/Sep 2008 “Indie Music” issue. And now the singer-songwriter is out with her second CD, Close As Air.
Since then, she’s completely revamped her look as you can see below.
And it’s not just her look. Her sound’s been amped up as well. It’s a lot more rock, but there’s still that intimacy that makes Malea so addicting. Like in her song “Stars.” You see, Malea was born in Fort Hood, Texas, to a Irish Green Beret father and a Korean mother. After living two years in Seoul, Korea, Malea, then 5, and her younger sister were sent to live with her paternal grandfather and step-grandmother on Long Island. She says she wasn’t allowed to listen to much music or watch TV growing up.
You can hear that aching loneliness and isolation in the song: “There’s a wild and lonely child in the airport/Standing there with tears in her eyes.”
“That was me at 5,” says Malea, “waiting to be picked up my grandparents.”
Or like the title track which pays tribute to one of her close friends and personal musical mentors. “It’s about having faith in something you can’t necessarily see or touch — a higher calling, a higher being,” she says.
You’d never guess that Malea got her start studying opera at the prestigious Manhattan School of Music, before landing a featured role in the Broadway revival of The King and I. Her warm, sensual vocals has a hint of country twang, a nod to her inspirations ranging from Linda Ronstadt, Crystal Gayle, Stevie Nicks and Sheryl Crow to more R&B-flavored singers like Roberta Flack and Elton John. Here’s a taste:
And now we’re giving away five autographed copies of Malea’s new CD Close As Air. All you have to do is comment below by Friday, May 28, 11:59 pm, and we’ll pick five lucky winners!
Wanna hear more? Check out Malea at these hot spots in June:
Saturday, June 5, 2010
Breast Cancer Fund Raiser at Dakota Music Lounge, Santa Monica, CA, (310) 393-8200
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Brixton, Redondo Beach, CA, (310) 406-1931 (She’s opening for Crash Test Dummies)
Find out more at Malea’s official website.