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Mali & Me - The Dynamic Duo!

This dynamic and polished musical duo 'Mali and Me', otherwise known as Mali Hayes and George 'Jazz Man' Holliday have some exceptional credits to their name. They've taken their sassy, melodic and all-round slick music to some incredible top class venues. Individually, George and Mali have played in Angelica and Skylounge bar in Leeds, and Crafthouse and Gaucho - they are the perfect accompaniment to a cool crisp glass of wine, tantalising, yet easy on the ear, Mali and George really epitomise ultra sass. They NOW take their chill vibe to a whole new level, with their pitch perfect covers. Having ticked off Austria, Germany, Dubai, Northern Ireland and Italy off their list in under a year, it's safe to say, their experience is growing tremendously, as is their fanbase. Likeable and relatable, this pair are just so cool! 

It is not just restaurants and bars that want a slice of these talented musicians, they can also kick it up a notch as they have been hired as musicians on red hot shows for corporate purposes, including DoubleTree by Hilton, they also played at the World Cup Summit in Germany (Adidas), and for crowds of 20,000 for Heart Radio at After Dark in Sheffield. 

Mali has such a velvet, sleek voice it's practically heavenly, and the music accompaniment is so very alluring and flawless, it's hard to not fall in love. The strictness about each of their performances oozes professionalism, and it's no surprise that they have performed and featured on some incredible artists, such as Corinne Bailey Rae, JP Cooper and Tito Jackson...and this is only the beginning.

Corn Exchange, Leeds

Mali and George took the time recently to answer a few questions, from chit chat about their musical inspirations, what they love doing, their future plans and what their advice to newbies starting out in the industry would be!


Who are your musical inspirations?
Mali & George: We love same genre’s and artists which is so helpful. Some are Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, Lianne La Havas, D’angelo, Snarky Puppy, Jarrod Lawson.

What do you love the most about what you do and your music?
Mali: For me, it’s being able to share my musical experiences with my best friend. I really enjoy doing Mali & Me gigs as it’s great fun and we portray our own take on popular cover songs, and we’re also in each others original bands (Mali Hayes / PNEUMA), so this gives us chance to create on other levels and it’s great to share that together.
George: I love being able to travel together and not having to say goodbye for the evening until the early hours or the next day. Playing together and sharing the exciting moments rather than just filling each other in at the end of the day is so nice! I can't agree more with what Mali has said too, putting our own twist on the songs we cover is so much fun when we both have the same background of music we listen to.

What has been your biggest challenge, professionally?
Mali: I think I speak for the both of us when I say that the most challenging thing is to keep on top of admin jobs such as sending out emails to venue’s/promoters/agencies for gigs. It takes up a lot of rehearsal time and the majority of the time you send out 100 emails and get around 6 replies. But you never know how big the opportunity could be from just one of those emails!
George: Yeah admin is always so time consuming. It's something that needs doing, but running a 10 piece band and Mali running her own project too, it gets a bit too much. We do session work for a lot of people both studio based and depping for live gigs, and the challenging thing is just the time keeping of it all to make sure we don't lose out on anything between all the projects.

Are you trying to send out a specific message in your music?
Mali: As Mali & Me is a covers act, the message we try to give to our audience is to just have fun and enjoy our music. We do a lot of weddings, mostly background music but we always seem to get people’s attention, which is great. I love when people sing along!
George: I feel the message from us both is just to smile. We would hate to come across like we're not having a good time and hope that we pass this on through our music and our presence at a gig. 

5. How much time do you dedicate to rehearsing etc?
Mali: As much time as possible to be honest. As a covers act we need at least three 45 minute sets - which adds up to a lot of music when you think about it!
George: Yeah we try to fill in any gaps in our schedules with rehearsals. It's not as much as we'd like, because it's important to keep updating the sets for the audience benefit and our interest. The gigs themselves become the best rehearsals once we know the bones of a song, and things slot into place naturally, so the time spent is making sure we have the song in the right key and have a rough structure to get it to the live stage. From then on, our best time to rehearse is regular gigs to finalise structure and what works. 

6. What advice would you give to aspiring singers and musicians?
Mali: I’d probably say to just know your stuff when it comes to gigs/rehearsals/writing etc. Also to be super confident because it helps you to network with the right people in the direction you want to be going!
George: Biggest advice is to be out and about as much as possible. Having networking skills is vital and being a 'people person' is key for musicians to enjoy working with you. Reliability is also key; if you are as professional as you can be then people appreciate it, whereas if you start being slack with your timings people notice! 

7. Your favourite thing to do in your down time?
Mali: George and I love to cook and put on our guilty pleasure TV shows. Food + a film or TV is my definite favourite. We also love going for long walks around Yorkshire - George knows literally every great place and we love to explore.
George: Haha. Yeah we love an evening in with some good food! It's just different to what we do for a living so we don't feel guilty for sticking to the sofa. We're both very social and will try to get out either for dinner (we love a good Thai!), or to an open mic night to see friends when we aren't working (although sometimes we get asked to go up to play and social then feels like work), likewise we enjoy making food for friends with a home brew! Being home seems to be our favourite thing to do to sum it up! Haha.

8. What does the future hold? 

Mali: I hope it holds happiness and success, and I don’t just mean in my career - but of course I’d love to be gigging my original material all over!

George: I think the ideal future would be for us both to be touring with our original bands. We both love the Mali & Me project but we both realise it's currently for work and a means of finance. It's the BEST type of income, but if we could both live off our own songwriting, we'd be over the moon! 

If you have the taste for good music and want to listen to some exceptionally crafted covers, then head over to Mali & Me's Social Media for regular updates and videos. Here is where you can find them:

Happy Listening!!