MALKA is the musical guise of Tamara Schlesinge, an artist that has been making music for years. MALKA has recorded solo records and records with her previous band “6 Day Riot“. As MALKA, Tamara makes alternative-pop music. MALKA likes to be a different character on stage from her every day life as a mother and that’s why Tamara goes under the moniker of MALKA. “I’m Not Your Soldier” is MALKA’s third album and it was recorded in Glasgow where MALKA now lives after many years of living in London.
“I’m Not Your Soldier” is a refection of where MALKA is in life right now. The album title cames from the idea of not conforming and not standing in line. MALKA has run her own record label for nearly 15 years and MALKA believes she has always rebelled against the traditional route of creating and releasing music. So “I’m Not Your Soldier” is just MALKA being honest and standing up to be counted.
A huge part of MALKA’s life has played in the creation of the record. MALKA has previously hidden behind characters when writing her music, often inspired by news stories of books and films. This time after moving back from London to Glasgow MALKA felt very reflective on her own life, what had come before and where it was now going. MALKA felt as if she was at a cross roads and perhaps a new beginning. The lyrics and the mood of the album reflect that feeling to a tee.
MALKA began writing the record at home and she created lots of weird sounds and percussive ideas along with backing vocals. MALKA picked up her old ukulele from her previous 6 Day Riot years and played that too. A lot of the songs began with just melody ideas that MALKA then went on to build up into full songs at home. Then MALKA went into the studio with record producer, Paul Savage (thanks to receiving funding from Creative Scotland) – that was when the album really took shape, MALKA reveals.
The creative process was essentially just MALKA and Paul working for three weeks together. Paul played drums and bass on a few songs and MALKA played everything else on the record. So it was natural, instinctive and exhausting in equal measure, but a total joy of an experience, MALKA expresses.
“I always love making full albums rather than just individual tracks. There is something about a piece of work that moulds together and has a feel and mood that I love. I often think that each record will be my last. But then I begin writing again and before I know it I have a body of work that I want people to hear.”
Creating the album was really important to MALKA, the album has captured a moment in time in a way that one song wouldn’t be able to. MALKA also wanted to work with someone new on the record, so that she could develop as a writer and an artist. MALKA could have shopped the album around and tried to get some bigger labels to take it on board, but MALKA explains that she has been lucky – MALKA has a loyal fanbase that pledged on Kickstarter that were waiting patiently to hear it and MALKA wanted it out there as soon as she could. The album has been ready since late summer, so MALKA took her time over the release and waited until everything was in line and ready to go. And now is just the right time!
With all that said, music wasn’t actually MALKA’s first passion, in fact, she actually studied fashion when she was younger and thought that was what she wanted to do with her life. However, during her time studying at unviversity, MALKA discovered music and fell into an amazing scene. MALKA realised that she had found her creative outlet and that was really exciting! MALKA had always wanted to express herself in a creative way but it took time to work out that music was the one for her.
The rest of 2020 is scheduled to be a busy time for MALKA, as she is heading out on tour. After that, MALKA will be back writing again. MALKA also writes music for TV and film too, so when she isn’t working on her own music she is working to briefs and pitching for adverts.