Malina Moye has become a sensation. The beautiful singer-guitarist from a musical family is currently shining on the 2014 Experience Hendrix Tour and is prepping her debut album, Rock & Roll Baby, for release later this year. She’s also an ambassador for HRH Prince Charles’ Prince’s Trust and donated her single “Hustler’s Blues” to the Wilberforce 200 compilation CD. Her single, “Alone,” peaked at No. 9 on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop charts and she’s a spokeswoman for Fender guitars.
Given her background, it should be no surprise that Moye is a smashing success in music. Her family made music a constant part of her childhood in Ohio.
“The guitar was something that was just always hanging around the house. My father was a bassist and my mother was a drummer and coming from a family band, there were always instruments around,” she shares.
Moye “wasn’t feeling” the guitar at first, then at 10 years old she began playing her right-handed guitar upside down with her left hand (a la Jimi Hendrix) and became hooked. “It seemed to work and I just kept going at it,” she recalls. “It’s cool to start coming home because you never realize how many hours pass by with you just playing and playing.”
And in spending all of those hours playing, Moye developed into a terrific guitarist. By the time she was in the seventh grade, she was a professional musician and she was traveling internationally with her family’s band by the end of the high school.
Since her emergence on the blues-guitar scene and show-stealing performances at several guitar festivals, Moye has become one of the fastest rising stars in the world of rock guitar. And with that heightened fame has come the predictable misogyny one would expects a beautiful woman to face in such a male-dominated genre. But she hasn’t been overwhelmed by it.
“Sometimes, you’re definitely going to get that. Like anything, you have to prove yourself,” admits Moye. And she also acknowledges that her sexy image sometimes leads to some criticism. “When you start to throw in the fashion and the make-up and the clothes — that’s a whole other animal. It’s male-oriented, but I like to throw on some heels, some leather — the glitz and the glamor.”
And her love of glamor, coupled with her skills as an artist and instrumentalist, have paid major dividends as she preps her album for release. Her single “K-Yotic,” (with legendary bassist Bootsy Collins), is gaining heavy buzz and she’s popping up everywhere–from Chuck Berry tributes to “The Arsenio Hall Show.” And for any instances of narrow-mindedness she’s experienced from detractors, she’s enjoyed tremendous love and support from her devoted fanbase and from her contemporaries and heroes.
“They make me feel so at home–and it was never about ‘she’s good for a girl,’ ” says Moye. “It’s never the guys at the top that give you flak for being female or an African American female. Eric Gales has been an amazing supporter — and Vernon Reid has been incredible.”