Mally is a jazz and blues inspired vocalist, composer and bandleader based in Nottingham, UK
Mally’s music tells the stories of emotional, human and life changing journeys. It is rooted in the earth of the blues fused with jazz elements. She has a strong voice with authentic emotion, which soars above the chord changes with a smooth and heartfelt delivery. A sound that is both beautiful and bluesy.
Mally has recently secured Arts Council England - Develop Your Creative Practice funding for the next 12 months to work on collaborating with Andrew Wood (d), Joe Egan (g) and Rachael Johnson (p). This will involve developing further her theory, technical and composition skills. This follows a mentorship with the Women in Jazz https://www.womeninjazz.co.uk/ organisation to develop her story, brand and business skills.
She has been gigging live in the East Midlands for the last 4 years. Her highlights include Bras Not Bombs Festival 2019 at Rough Trade, Nottingham and Hockley Hustle 2018 at Peggy’s Skylight, Nottingham. She also has other regular Nottingham slots at the Pelican Club and Brigitte Bordeaux.
Mally has worked and performed live with many of the East Midlands top jazz musicians including Andrew Wood (drums), Martyn Spencer (double bass), Matt Ratcliffe (piano), Ben Martin (saxophone), Elliot Lewis (guitar), Simon Paterson (double bass), Steve Rodda (guitar) and Andy Tytherleigh (double bass).
Initially Mally studied classical piano as a child and the family tradition of choral singing. During her school years she didn’t have much in common with her peers but found a connection with the sound of jazz and the blues. It seemed to express how she felt.
Mally’s jazz journey continued in 1996. She attended the Guildhall School of Music Jazz Summer School and dreamed of becoming a jazz singer listening to the likes of Billy Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald. Soon the reality of life and living in London took its toll and she started to experience problems with high levels of anxiety. Working and trying to learn as much as she could at the City Lit night classes eventually put a halt to her dreams.
In 2016 she decided to give it another shot. Initially she joined the Nottingham Jazz Workshops and started learning again about the art of singing jazz and began performing. The real break through came when she started joining in at the Nottingham Jazz Jam Sessions held at the Maltcross in Nottingham. Since then she hasn’t looked back and started doing her own gigs, plus running local grassroots performances at the Crimson Tree in Nottingham.
Mally’s influences include Billy Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Diane Reeves, Cassandra Wilson, Nubya Garcia and Zara McFarlane. Largely self-taught she has recently started writing her own material.
Mally’s original debut single ‘It’s Rare’ was released on 11th September 2020.
‘It’s Rare’ was produced and engineered by Andrew Wood, mixed and mastered by Sam Brown. Featuring Matt Ratcliffe (keys), Martyn Spencer (double bass) and Andrew Wood (drums).
“The central theme of ‘It’s Rare’ is about staying true to yourself with all the pressures that life can throw at you. It explores several situations in which it is hard (rare) to stay true. The soundtrack to my journey.”
“I believe it is never too late to fulfil your creative potential at any age. I started out with a dream but am only just starting to live it now. I chose my artist name with a story to reflect this. My Dad never gave up in the face of adversity. His name was Malcolm so people used to call him Mal or Mally, so it’s a tribute to him and his amazing laugh!”
“As a woman in jazz there are many obstacles both self-imposed and of opportunity. I strive to show that women can be centre stage as performers, composers and bandleaders and lead with their music.”