From Hawaii to Los Angeles, Malia Civetz has made waves with her raw talent and dedication that has grabbed the attention of thousands of fans, one of which was a guy named Ryan Seacrest. Ryan hosted Malia on KIIS-FM, Los Angeles’ #1 hit music station to debut her new song at the time and mentioned that “you’re going to hear about Malia Civetz—a lot.” Along with that, someone named Taylor Swift added that same track to her Apple Music and Spotify favorite songs playlist. Since then, the same song has generated over 20 million streams and counting! Now as a signee on the Warner Records music label, Malia debuted her 2020 release with “Broke Boy” as seen below.
Exclusive Malia Civetz Interview
*This interview was edited for clarity*
Congratulations on the release of your new song “Broke Boy!” How does it feel to finally have it available to the public?
A combination of so many emotions. Overwhelming joy first of all, but also a relief because we’ve been working on it for so long and I’m beyond happy that people finally get to hear and see all of the things that we’ve been working on.
Were you anxious before releasing it? Or were you excited and ready to give it to the world?
A little bit of both, but mostly excited and ready because we worked really hard on everything and I’m really proud of the product. I had such a wonderful time in the process and this song makes me really happy and I hope it makes you happy too.
What did the creative process look like when making the song?
The producer was playing the intro that you hear in the song and the minute he started playing it my head flipped towards him and was like, “oh my gosh what is that? Let’s write to that please.” Then we started messing with melodies and the concept trickled in and it felt very celebratory and big so we wanted to have a fun and big concept that could match how powerful the cords felt.
Did you have any reservations on it whatsoever and push it forward with faith or were you 100 percent set this was the one?
We went for it and that’s generally how I know that I’m doing my best work is when I go “can I say this?” If I have to ask that question it generally always ends up working out. I really love how the song is a little silly because I feel it’s a part of my personality that people haven’t seen yet and that’s a huge part of my personality and I’m really happy that people get to see that side of myself and me as an artist now.
What else have you been working on?
I’ve been writing for the past two and a half years so the dropbox is full! We’ve got some more stuff coming this year, which I’m really excited about as well.
Is there anything you’re looking to do in particular in 2020?
I would definitely love to hop on a tour. Release more music and fingers crossed to work on an EP or an album and start putting that together.
What has been a major highlight for you as a music artist that sticks out to you?
There’s been a bunch. One of the major highlights was having my first single released on KIIS-FM with Ryan Seacrest because as a kid and especially as a singer we all grew up watching American Idol so to have him debut my first single ever was honestly I still don’t have words for it. It was such a special moment.
I still don’t even know how to explain that feeling because everything that I’ve worked for is paying off and when you see that first bit of payoff, it’s such a relief. This is a hard industry and people tell you your whole life that “you’re crazy” if you want to do this so being validated by somebody that you respect is all you can ask for.
It’s like, okay, this moment makes me really happy because I knew that there was something here and I knew that I felt this special connection to doing music and creating and all of that. So it makes you feel a little less crazy because somebody else sees it too.
Are there any other female musicians, leaders or people that you look up to and are inspired by?
The list goes on and on. Definitely JoJo who is my label mate and someone I opened for in 2018. That was such a cool experience because she’s by far one of the best vocalists of our generation and getting to watch her sing every night was just a master class in performing and vocals. She’s so kind and gracious to her fans so as a new artist that was such an incredible experience to get to watch her be a badass.
Can you touch on what it’s like being a female trying to build out a music career and establish yourself as an artist? Any pros? Any challenges?
I recognize I’m very lucky that I have the team that I do. I’ve seen and talked to other women in the industry who feel that they aren’t listened to when they have ideas – or they’re told what their artistry should look like and sound like.
I know that I’m so lucky that everybody who’s on my team really trust me and lets me be me, which I know is rare. I’m thankful for it because they’ve never once told me what to wear. Obviously they guide me along the path, but if I really believe in something they stand by me and that’s invaluable.
What sort of influence has growing up in Hawaii had on you as a person?
I moved when I was about five and so getting to live there when I was really young, first of all, instilled the love of music in me because there’s live music everywhere. Also, I think living there made me a chill person and learning to take things with a grain of salt and not make a mountain out of a molehill.
Most importantly was the music because when I was little my parents would take me to their client dinners and there was live music. So I would get up and dance with the hula dancers and just sit directly in front of the band and just stare at them the whole night. My parents knew from the time that I was a little kid, they were like “wow she really likes this music thing.”
If you could describe your ideal life what would that look like?
Wow. That’s a tough one because there’s so many things that I want to do. As far as like brand deals and creating clothing lines and alcohol lines and all of the branding side of things. I am really inspired by everything that Rihanna has done with Fenty and moving in that direction. Also, I’d love to pursue some acting, voice acting and potentially do something on Broadway way down the line because I was a theater kid back in the day, but obviously music is my main focus.
I just want to keep creating songs that make people feel good because that’s the most important thing to me. If I can create something that makes somebody happy and helps them with whatever they’re going through then I’ve done it. I’m definitely planning on doing all of that. I don’t necessarily know how I’m going to get there, but that’s sort of how I’ve always done things. I just say “I’m going to do that someday” and I work really hard wherever I’m at and somehow I end up there.
Is there anything you would like to share with passionate music listeners in the Seattle area?
I love Seattle and I went there with JoJo on tour and I found the people were so sweet. I was walking down the street and this girl just turned to me on the corner and was like, “you are so beautiful” and then just kept walking and I was like, I love this place, so shoutout Seattle you’re awesome.
As far as musically, there’s moments in “Broke Boy,” my favorite moments of the song are the little bass slides. There’s something about them that even when I first heard them in the studio, and when I hear them now, they just invigorate me and bring me so much joy and I hope other people feel the same way.
Malia Civetz – Broke Boy [Official Music Video]
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Afterward, read our exclusive interview with rising Nashville R&B star Bren Joy. All photos of Malia Civetz courtesy of Facebook & Dennis Leupold.