March 13, 2023 Interview – Malina Moye
When you think of some of Rock-n-Roll’s most famous left-handed guitarists, chances are Jimi Hendrix, Tony Iommi, and Joe Perry make that short list. Then, in more recent years, you might turn your attention to the stylish playing of Malina Moye. Known to fuse Rock, Blues, and Funk into her playing, Moye is one unique talent that should be experienced. Becoming the first African-American woman in history to have her own line of guitar strings, she is also the first African-American left-handed upside-down female guitarists endorsed to join the Fender family, and founder of her own label, WCE Records.
A strong, pioneering woman, Moye is now set to put out her highly anticipated third album Dirty. Set for release on March 17th, Dirty is guaranteed to strike the interest of anyone who enjoys eclectic guitar playing presented in a cool Pop Rock format. Proud of her latest work, the diverse Moye recently chatted about her career, her approach to music, and much more.
Cryptic Rock – You have been in music professionally for nearly two decades. A highly accomplished guitarist, how would you describe your journey in music to this point?
Malina Moye – Thank you, I think it’s been an incredible journey. For me it’s all about discovery and coloring outside the box when it comes to music. I love challenging myself and looking back and seeing how far I have come. That can be the journey and the conception of a song or anything that has to do with the craft of creating.
Cryptic Rock – Right, and with that, new inspiration is born. Your style of play is a unique blend of Rock, Blues, and Funk. Through the years, what has inspired your guitar playing?
Malina Moye – The simple answer is Life. I feel I listen to all styles of music and growing up my parents had an eclectic pallet music in the house. I feel every style of music comes from the Blues. Notes are not aware that they are supposed to stay in certain lanes. We all have access to the same notes, it just depends on the story you wish to tell with your notes.
Cryptic Rock – That is very true. To date you have released two studio albums and one EP. You are now set to release your third full-length album, Dirty. What was the writing and recording process like for this new album?
Malina Moye – I’m the artist who hears melodies and writes and sings them on the phone or whatever device I have near me. I then come back and try to decode what I’m doing. Sometimes I hear melodies first and sometimes I hear lyrics first.
Cryptic Rock – Interesting to hear a little about your creative process. The first single off the album is “Say My Name.” A powerful song with an extremely catchy sound, would you say this song is indicative of the new material, or are we in for other surprises?
Malina Moye – I hope you are in for other surprises. Thank you! I’m glad you like the first songs and video. It was fun to do. My style is Pop Rock with a mixture of everything you said earlier.
Cryptic Rock – It will be fun to hear the record once it hits on March 17th. You are set to tour Europe in support of Dirty in April. How excited are you for this tour, and how exciting is it for you to perform live?
Malina Moye – I love performing. I can’t wait to share the new music and I’m excited to get back on stage and see people. Nothing beats being with people and feeling the energy and the love.
Cryptic Rock – Exactly, and nothing beats a live performance. Historically the Rock-n-Roll scene has been dominated by males. However, we have seen strides for more of a balance of women on the scene. For example, we are not only seeing ladies fronting bands, but we are seeing more female guitarists, bassists, drummers, session musicians, etc. This is all fantastic to see! As a lady in music, how important is it for you to show aspiring, young female musicians to know – that yes, they belong and can do this too?
Malina Moye – It’s very important. I feel when you see someone who looks like you, you realize what’s possible. I feel women have always been here doing this. It’s just that now more people are paying attention. I’m also seeing more women assisting each other. In order to thrive that’s something that is mandatory. We are stronger together.
Cryptic Rock – Agreed, and that goes for everyone together. Since you have been working hard on the music scene for nearly two decades, you have obviously gained a lot of experience. What would you say are some of the most important things you have learned not only from music, but in life?
Malina Moye – I would have to say, have a great team of people around you and listen to your intuition. Surround yourself with people who are better players, singers, dancers etc. You should be a sponge and learn a lot and fail a lot. Take your time. Everyone has a different journey and honor that for yourself. Think of yourself as a cake. Let it bake ‘til it’s done.
Cryptic Rock – Very good analogue! Beyond working in music, you have also done a little acting as well. Is this something you would like to pursue more in the future?
Malina Moye – Yes, I love acting. I love all mediums of creating. Yes, there will be more things coming through the pipeline for me in the theatrical. I can’t wait to share what we have been working on.
Cryptic Rock – That will be something to look out for. Last question. On the topic of film, if you are a fan of Horror and Sci-Fi films, what are some of your favorites and why?
Malina Moye – I love Horror movies. Some of my favorite horror films are The Shinning (1980), Friday the 13th franchise, Halloween (1978), and of course all of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre films. Something about being scared to death and the common denominator in all the films for me is that any one of the killers could be a next-door neighbor and all of them are based on true stories, with the exception of one or two. I also like the Amityville Horror franchises too. Perhaps it’s the idea of someone looking like the person next door but Crazy AF. (Laughs)