Mahalia Fontaine

MOBO Help Musicians Fund supports BIMM alumna Mahalia Fontaine 

8 October, 2020

This year, the MOBO Help Musicians Fund has expanded, aiming its support package at musicians who need help during these crucial times. BIMM Institute London Vocals graduate Mahalia Fontaine was lucky enough to receive the fund this time around.

MOBO is a platform that has been celebrating excellence in music for more than 20 years. It’s continued its legacy by recognising and honouring the achievements of exceptional British and international talent in Hip Hop, Grime, RnB, Soul, Jazz, Gospel, Reggae, and African music. MOBO Trust continues to support musicians by teaming up with Help Musicians for the fourth year running with the MOBO Help Musicians Fund.

Hailing from West London, powerhouse Mahalia Fontaine debuted as a solo artist early this year. Her music draws influences from Fela Kuti, Bob Marley, Mahalia Jackson and Ella Fitzgerald.

Mahalia grew up with her Dominican and Jamaican parents and regularly attended church. This means that she was exposed to a broad range of music styles and performance settings from a young age, with a strong foundation in the Gospel tradition from her upbringing in church. In 2017, Mahalia joined The Kingdom Choir. In 2018, she sang at the Royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. She has gone on to tour the US and UK with the choir who has since been signed to Sony Global.

A pivotal moment of Mahalia’s life came after her father died in 2015. “Losing my dad reshaped my world,” she says. From the depth of these experiences, Mahalia hopes to inspire the next generation of music lovers with liberation, faith, and passion.

We caught up with her to discuss her success:

What does receiving this funding from MOBO mean for you and your future?

To me, this funding means that I can finally produce and get my EP on the road. Making music can be a very expensive process, and this has given me the freedom to explore without the financial burden. I’m so grateful for the MOBOs and Help Musicians who have given me this opportunity, and I can’t wait for you all to hear it!

How has BIMM helped to prepare you for life as a singer?

BIMM was an opportunity to really stretch myself both vocally and as a performer. The constant learning process was a good training ground. I was learning new songs every week that I might not have chosen for myself. I also found that it really helped me get control of my stage fright, gain the confidence to own the stage, and made sure that I was able to communicate the meaning of the songs I sang with power and authenticity.

Your track, ‘Empires’, is a big bop! When can people expect more music from you?

Thank you so much. Yes, I really enjoyed making ‘Empires,’ so that means a lot to me. Manny Talvez – who is also a BIMM alumnus – produced the track and brought out the musical chemistry we have together!

I’m about to release my second single soon. There will be new music before the year heads out. I’m also working with Josh Ali and Vincenzo – also a BIMM alumnus – who will be playing on my next single so I’m gassed about that too. There will also be a couple of collabs coming your way, so I’m super excited for everyone to hear what I’ve been cooking up behind the scenes.

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British and Irish Modern Music Institute