KiNG MALA releases new track Hypothetical

Gemma Lacey



Photo: Jade Sadler

Fast, fierce and tender, KiNG MALA is an alternative pop doyenne with punchy lyrics and a feisty on stage persona. The Gen Z artist is a feisty new voice in the music world and not afraid to be controversial with songs such as “She Calls me Daddy” taking a tongue-in-cheek approach to normalizing queer relationships. 

Gender is something she plays with creatively in many ways, even starting with her name as she puts it “I wanted to choose something that was both masculine and feminine and it fit perfectly. Plus mala is a nice nod to my hispanic roots haha”. It goes deeper than that overall though. Her exploration of gender plays into something deeper though and in fact is a driving force in her self-esteem and creativity “I think playing with gender roles makes me feel powerful, whether I’m leaning into my femme side or being more androgynous, being intentional and experimental with it gives me confidence.” 

Sonically her songs have a stealthy vibe, often starting soft and then creeping up on you to reveal more bombastic sections. In her own words though the perception is simpler and more laissez faire “I would say its alternative pop, a little dark, sometimes cute, mostly all over the place like me”. Her beginnings, as with most artists, started with her own fascination with music “I started writing lyrics and poetry when I was a kid and I was always obsessed with music. I started writing songs at 16 and studied classical music throughout high school and middle school. Then I moved to LA to pursue contemporary music and songwriting and started my project two years later. “ It was in collaborating though that she really found her groove as an artist “I met my producer Rob and our sound was born. I’m not sure which of those led me exactly here but I like to think it was a bit of all of it.” 

Given how contemporary her sound is, her influences are a lot more old world but that speak to her roots as a more traditional musician and the universal themes of love and longing that permeate her music. “I listened (and still listen) to a lot of Soul music growing up. Ray Charles, Etta James, Sam Cooke, Aretha Franklin and Otis Redding were some of my faves. I think that sound still influences me a lot.” Getting to the heart of emotion in her songs is something that’s important to her but so is writing songs that are fun, catchy and relevant to her audience. In her words the perfect pop song is “A song that is clever, musically ambitious while still being undeniably hooky and lyrics that tell a story.” 

Indeed narrative is at the heart of her songs and in a more established and relatable way than we often see, KiNG MALA is a world builder and with each song she writes she shares a glimpse of her universe with fans and tells them a story they can become part of. 

The story is always the lead for her songs, even driving the visuals “I like to use the lyrics to inspire the visuals, as well as some of my favorite movies, books and visual creators. I’ve always been obsessed with horror and darker imagery, as well as occult/pagan imagery like tarot cards.” Another obsession for her is True Crime “Yes I am one of those.” Yet despite her interest in all things macabre in real life she prefers to sidestep darkness and avoids conflict preferring to address any real life beef via her music “so I feel like my audacity just comes from making all my “diss tracks” — a little funny and tongue in cheek.”

Her newest track “Spilt Milk” is an exploration of her softest side, navigating her emotions and how all consuming they can be for her. “they tell me don’t cry over spilt milk but it’s seeping out my pores” and I just felt like that really captured the energy of the whole project. Every song just feels like me pouring my soul out, taking everything too personally, and being a bit of a crybaby haha and that’s exactly what I love about this record. It’s literally just me crying over spilt milk. Things in my past, unrequited love, being angry at boys, being angry at God, having crushes on women, having panic attacks when I do drugs, being in love, it’s all the spilt milk of my life thus far. 

Live her shows are equally powerful and cathartic, with fans getting riled up into the maelstrom that is KiNG MALA’s world. It’s clear she’s having fun on stage and that creates an electric atmosphere. For her next round of shows, things are being amplified and she’s taking things to a new level in terms of energy, choreography and the overall experience “ It’s SO FUN. I haven’t played this new set yet but it’s the most involved my set has ever been, more songs, more insane moments, more detail and intricacy. I’m so excited for people to see it. “ 

There’s another side though and for someone so in tune with their emotions, something as chaotic as touring can be a balancing act, but this is one she has in check. “ I love traveling and being with my best friends and playing incredible shows and meeting fans. I hate carrying really heavy gear 5 times a day, eating fast food at 3am and getting ready in bar bathrooms.” 

In terms of what she does though, releasing her EP and playing these shows are definite 2023 highlights. We discuss how she plans to build on that going forward and for 2024,and from her perspective; it’s’ simple “THE ALBUM”. Two literally bold words from a similarly bold artist, we can’t wait to see what’s next.


 Today sees her release new track Hypothetical which she talks to us about here:

  1. Why is it significant to release this track today?


This song is meant to finish out the SPILT MILK era, one final release from the messy, sweet, lover-girl moment we were in last year. all of those songs were so deeply personal and felt like a look into who I am as a person and before we leave, I thought it was important to release this final track, hypothetical, which is the most SPILT MILK of all. I think releasing it on valentines is also so special because all of these songs felt like love songs in one way or another to myself and to my experience over the last two years, so it’s a Valentines gift to that version of me and to the fans that loved that project.


  1. Can you talk more about the inspiration and messaging in the song?


This song is about all of the alternate versions of myself who ended up with a person I never got to be with. It was about all the what-ifs, all the daydreaming, all the fantasies I created about a person that honestly I didn’t even really know. It’s a song about potential and the heartbreak that comes when it’s never fulfilled. it is about that little part of me that will always wonder what if we made it? would it have been beautiful? would it have been a nightmare? this song is also a final acceptance of reality and the fact that no matter what, all those what ifs are exactly the what IF not what WAS. Inevitably we were probably better as a what-if.


Watch the video here