Review: Mahalia @ Gorilla, Manchester

Mahalia played a sold-out gig in Gorilla on Wednesday – and what a show it was!

The singer’s distinctive husky voice dipped into the realm of soulful R&B and as an artist she really bridged the musical gap between the likings of Erykah Badu and Lauryn Hill with her honeyed authentic styling.

Surprising yet refreshingly, the humble approach which she took to the stage really added to her laid-back character. Mahalia’s personality proved to be a warming and relatable one which stands her in steady ground within the industry as something real and sincere, as opposed to it just being a performance.

Instead, Mahalia invited the audience into her personal life – from writing songs when she was just 12 to revealing the harsh realities of her past relationships.

The show explored an array of her music, from No Pressure to I Wish I Missed My Ex, as the songstress delivered a raw, thought-provoking and effortless performance.

She explored the tracks she wrote from in teenage years about the struggles of not being appreciated for her worth through a series of bad on and off relationships/encounters – all of which were well received during this outing.

It’s fair to say her music voices the anxieties of many teens and even adolescents in an age where girls and boys feel the need to suppress rather than address their issues. Mahalia has become a positive role model for young people, which only further adds to her kind persona.

A musical dark horse, she pushed herself vocally with songs like Sober (my favourite has to be her version of this on the ‘Colors’ YouTube channel), which oozed with relatable move-on-and-get-over-him-you’re-better-than-that lyrics, accompanied by her silky-smooth vocals.

The track was inevitably going to send her far. And so, it did. In fact, Sober was the making of Mahalia’s career.

In terms of her stage presence, Mahalia was happy to bare more than most artists do. It was that – as well as her exceptional vocals – which made her show an all-rounder at Gorilla.

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