Born and raised on Reunion Island, Malaika Salatis is a professional singer, dancer, model and actress.
After her High School degree, she moved to Paris, where she studied advertising and marketing at the renowned Sup De Pub. Although, it was in 2015 whilst living in Australia, that she came to refine her artistry and understand her cultural identity. Since she has travelled the world, making her mark in the hearts of others.
She quickly established herself as a highly refined model and dancer within Australia and beyond. She has performed for renowned artists such as Macklemore, Tiwa Savage and many more and appeared on TV shows, i.e. The Voice.
In 2017, Malaika Salatis was scouted by Warner Music Australia’s producer and songwriter, Audius Mtawarira, and from there, she began developing herself as a musical artist under his watch. She compiles experiences as a talent and feeds her own creative project simultaneously. Professionalism and love for life/her craft are by far Malaika’ greater strengths, not to mention her passion for the performing arts and hunger for creative excellence.
Blunt by nature and in constant search of progression, Malaika quickly realised through professional and personal experiences the importance of her creole culture. Reunion Island is to her one of the most unusual, hidden gem paradises on our planet, a place which holds a multitude of spectacular features that no doubt should be world-famous, and soon will be.
But also, beyond her aesthetic, Reunion Island is a beautiful melody with complex harmonies, the cultural power within the island is a statement of faith. The need to push the boundaries that keep her nation unseen by the rest of the world has only grown more within her as the days roll on.
As she observes the Australian, British and even American art industries, she defines her own project and finally responds to her inner call to move back to her island home. She believes this decision will allow her to take real action to make changes as a creative agent.
Malaika Salatis truly hopes to raise a voice and provoke inspiration within the hearts of the upcoming generation through her artistic vision.
Q & A with Malaika
Tell us a little bit about your career and how you started?
I have been passionate about Art since a very young age. I grew up in my grandma’s house with my mother’s siblings and we used to spend time dancing, singing, drawing and more…
I have been known as a dancer, a choreographer and artistic director. But I have recently opened myself to the world as a singer. I have always sung but I sang for myself all these years.
I had a few attempts in studios but fear drove away from achieving anything for a while. Until that day, a talent hunter scouted me and invited me to an audition held by a branch of Warner Music. I felt it was an opportunity to make a step, a real step into music.
One of their producers found interest in me. He contacted me and we started a long going collaboration that helped me build my persona. The more I got to know myself, the more I sought for my independence as an Artist. I still do by the way.
What projects are you currently working on?
I’m currently working on my EP called “Reunion” and I’m really excited about this one for many reasons. After 5 years living away from my motherland, I chose to move back home in order to work on this project. And the name was born due to my spiritual reconnection with my family but also my country.
With the help of many, especially my family, I can run around and focus on working my vocals, creating choreographies with the girls I lead, making real bad sewing or being completely stubborn as a WANNABE director because I love writing and I have a curious nature. The excitement is very personal but I hope it will be well received by everyone.
What is your favourite thing about what you do?
Creation! I love the process when it comes to creating. And it’s probably the reason why I felt stuck with the life I had before whilst living in Australia. I had lots of fun, don’t get me wrong. Without this experience, I would have gone to Nowhere Land.
But my life started to move too fast and it was stressful. I started to realize something was missing and I needed time. Because I enjoy processing an idea, executing it and putting together the idea. I see music just as I see dance, or anything that should be part of a composition, like a thrilling exercise.
You think of a color, you follow your intuition and it doesn’t matter if you failed because the idea of following a sensation is incredible. It might sound completely naïve. But like I said I enjoy the process of creating. You have to live this life with risk and I believe from my experience it is the best way to create your own texture.
What is your best career highlight so far?
My first single release “Give it all” from my EP project. I have waited long enough to see this day coming and it feels like removing a thorn from my foot. The one that doesn’t want you to be grounded and pushes you away from facing reality. I feel like I have jumped in very cold water and there is someone looking at me, probably laughing but also curious to know how I am going to use the survival kit. It doesn’t sound fun when you say it, but that’s the beauty of life. I feel like a newborn.
If you could give some advice to someone starting their career journey, what would it be?
I’ll probably tell that person she needs to know what she wants, spend time with herself and don’t expect anything. But enjoy the process. Because if you do, you’ll remember that you just turned something you had fun doing into a real job and that’s all you really want. A great man said “don’t worry, be happy”.
How did your career in the industry begin?
I followed a man all the way to Australia. He had the amazing opportunity to join NIDA, a very prestigious acting school and he fooled me enough to follow him over there. Despite how things ended up between us. He has been an exceptional motivator to me. Sometimes being really angry at someone can help you to start something you didn’t have the courage to do.
I had to prove to him but mostly myself that I could do something. The story is quite funny but without this act of bravery, I wouldn’t have shined in Australia. I won an underground dancehall battle and people started to show interest in me. The rest is the exceptional journey I had and I’m thankful.
How do you think we can grow the creative industry and bring African content to the world?
It’s a tricky question. I can only give advice from my experience and my experience is only true to me not to someone else. And the truth in my eyes is that we already won many battles and we just need to keep moving. Also, we need to keep in mind that education is important for this to live on.
Have you ever been to Cape Town? If so, what makes you love Cape Town and if not, what about it makes you want to go?
I have never been to Cape Town but I dream about it. There is something about South Africa that is calling me. Obviously, each city has its own flavour not to generalize it. Cape Town has a beautiful geographically speaking position and I am sure I’ll fall in love with this town.
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