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Acknowledgement of Malaya Blue’s continued recognition in the worlds Blues community can be measured by the quality of musicians who travelled from far and wide to record her new album in a small back street recording studio in her home city of Norwich.
Richard Cousins (Robert Cray, John Lee Hooker, Etta James), Brett Lucas (Bettye LaVette, Thornetta Davis, Jeremy Spencer), John McCullough (Sinead O’Connor, Van Morrison) and Sam Kelly (Gary Moore, Chaka Khan, Robert Plant and more) were happy to be involved. The album builds on the song-writing partnership with multi Grammy winning writer and producer Dennis Walker (Robert Cray, BB King, Bettye LaVette) with contributions from Brett, Joey Delgado (Delgado Bros) and Hank Linderman (Joni Mitchell, Eagles and Chicago).
2020’s release 'Still' firmly planted Malaya into the Roots Music Report charts, sticking around for over a year and gaining no less than six Grammy considerations. When such iconic figures as Dennis and the godfather of UK blues Paul Jones not only publicly sing Malaya’s praises as a vocalist but are happy to collaborate with her, it’s time to sit up and take notice.
Malaya burst onto the live circuit in 2015 following the release of her critically acclaimed debut album Bourbon Street. Introducing her intoxicating stage presence to blues audiences at The Great Rock & Blues Festival that year, a plethora of bookings followed including iconic venues such as The Jazz Cafe, The 100 Club, New Crawdaddy Club and The Bulls Head, Barnes as well as Birmingham International and Colne festivals. Along the way the British Blues Association nominated Malaya UK Blues Challenge Final.
Early 2016 found Malaya in the studio recording the follow up album with some of the cream of British blues musicians and guest appearances by the legendary Paul Jones who has become a fan and staunch supporter. The resultant album Heartsick received even higher praise than the debut and introduced the Malaya Blue phenomenon to a wider audience with continued radio play on BBC Radio 2, all the UK based blues broadcasters and at respected
stations across the USA, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, South America and most of Europe. National and International print and online music media have been generous in their praise of the album with reviews, interviews and articles appearing in Classic Rock, R2R, Maverick, Blues Matters, Blues In Britain, Rock Society, Red Lick, Songwriting Magazine, MusicNews in Britain: Blues Blast and Elmore magazine in the US plus Rock Your Brain, Rootstime, Blues Greece and Concert Monkey in Europe to name only a few.
That record also introduced her vocal prowess to Dennis Walker who was blown away with what he heard and started writing songs tailored to her voice and taking Malaya under his wing to pass on his song-writing techniques and skills. The first album to come from that collaboration was Still, which also included input from Brett Lucas and Richard Cousins. It really gave Malaya recognition to the USA blues community, spending over a year high in the respected Roots Music charts and gaining Grammy considerations in six categories. The longer Dennis and Malaya worked together the more he was able to craft songs around her voice and style leading to the super selection of songs on the new album Blue Credentials.
It means a lot to Malaya to be the only UK based artist Dennis ever worked with. New album Blue Credentials displays the blossoming of this connection, completed and given his seal of approval shortly before his passing in the Spring of 2022.
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