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MAALA. We’ve heard the name. But who’s the man behind the moniker? Where is he from? And does 'MAALA' actually stand for something? World, meet Evan Sinton. He’s from Auckland. And no, the letters just looked cool.

Over the past year, MAALA has risen from little known Kiwi enigma to garnering near instant acclaim on the world stage. Since first single Touch hit the airwaves (reaching #2 on the Alternative Airplay charts and over 1 million streams on Spotify alone), the accolades flooded in, the streams kept flowing, and the fan base grew exponentially. In an age of oversharing, MAALA’s anonymity put the focus back on the music. Where it should be.

With the wheels firmly in motion, fellow Kiwi Zane Lowe, host of Apple’s taste-making Beats 1 radio show, proclaimed that MAALA’s music "blew him away", even premiering the buzzing, new wavy Into the Air to millions of listeners. Evidently, Evan’s first release, 2015’s MAALA EP, was an instant success (Top 5 iTunes, #3 NZ Top 40) with over three million streams and counting. Numerous international blogs praised the release, including Hilly Dilly (“…a rather invincible body of work,”) Acid Stag, (“Another mysterious newcomer bringing some serious talent to the scene…”) as well as local blogs including Sniffers and Libel. A sold out EP release show followed.

With his album Composure, released in 2016, MAALA reaches – and in many cases, surpasses — the upper echelons of his contemporaries. The songs twist and turn but never deviate from their path. Some swell up in steady euphoric revelry; others simmer in the heat of heartbreak and lost love. All this from a guy of just 21.

On creating the album, Evan says: ‘There was a lot of anxiety and findings… it’s a rollercoaster. A way of exploring things, a way of finding my feet.’ With Kind of Love, an insanely hooky, earnest-as-hell banger co-written with MoZella (writer of Miley Cyrus’s Wrecking Ball), MAALA takes his moment and sprints. The song has been making waves on radio and streaming sites after making its global premier on Beats 1 (“…a brilliantly produced pop record,” says Lowe). It easily smashed 1M+ plays in its first month of release.

Forget About You is an aching, beat driven electro ballad with soul by the bucket load. Feels So Right, is a delightful slab of minimalist electro funk fit for the biggest clubs, sure to further establish MAALA as a formidable young force. The addictive pop swells of Hush and album closer Soak are the icing on the cake.

You get the hint pretty quickly. There is no filler, no humdrum exercises in production on Composure. It’s exciting, unsettling, emotional, just like the best records in your collection.

Evan, of course, has a long way to go. After recent shows in London, New York, LA and Sydney, he has played an opening slot on Flume’s NZ tour, an ideal setting for unleashing the new material on keen Kiwi audiences. "Giving everything I have (performing) live is something I can’t shake. That is the most romantic notion that exists in the world of MAALA."

Spotify Page

Band Members:
Evan Sinton




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Reviews / Interviews

REVIEW: EP Review: Maala
Submitted by Ria Loveder
13 Sep 2015

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