Malynda Hale is no stranger to show business. Not only does she host the Stream.TV for The Vampire Diaries and Walking Dead After Show, but she also co-owns and runs an entertainment company and indie label. To top off Hale’s busy schedule, on October 20 she released her new album, Pieces of Me. After hearing Hale’s song “Pieces of Me,” I was interested in knowing more about where she finds the inspiration to write her songs and how she came up with the title for her album. Hale was more than willing to chat with Cliché about all that and more.
Cliché: Congratulations on your recent album release! How does it feel to have released something you worked so hard on?
Malynda Hale: Thank you! It feels liberating. I feel free. But now is actually where the hard work comes in. Creating music, recording, and planning the release are the most fun for me. Now the focus is on getting the album heard and in the right listeners’ hands. That being said, being able to work with so many incredible musicians and producers to help bring my songs to life is an unbelievably rewarding feeling.
Out of all the songs on your album, which one is your favorite?
I’m proud of so many of them, but I would definitely say that the title track “Pieces of Me” is my favorite. It’s special to me. I wrote that song when my husband and I were moving back to LA from Chicago and I was scared to come back home. I moved to Chicago to be with my husband, and I had nothing and knew no one. After two years of being in Chicago, though, I’d built a huge community and fan base, so it was incredibly difficult to leave even though technically I was moving back home. “Pieces of Me” is a reflection of those feelings—the fear, excitement, and doubt. It’s a glimpse into my heart.
How did you come up with the name of your album? Does it have a significant meaning to you?
Even though I named the album after the most important song to me on the album, I thought the title was appropriate because the album is filled with songs from so many different experiences. Also, I wanted to pay homage to all of the people and things in my life that have helped me get to this point in my career. I’m truly grateful for all of the love and support I’ve received.
Where did you draw the inspiration to write your songs?
I drew a lot of inspiration from personal experiences, but also from things I’ve seen that have made an impact on me. For example, the song “Falling” is a song I wrote in response to the tragic story of Leelah Alcorn, who was a transgender girl who took her life last year. That story touched me since one of my best friends is a transgender girl, and I was moved to write a song about that. I wrote another song titled “Here I Am” for a friend’s wedding, and it was really based on their relationship. Other songs are based on my experience in the industry. There’s a wide variety of sources of inspiration for each song that, taken together, help make the album complete.
If you had the chance to collaborate with another artist, who would it be?
There are so many artists I would love to work with, but all of my friends, family, and fans know that the one person I want to work with is Gavin DeGraw. I admire him and his music so much. He’s unbelievably talented and underrated. I love how he functions more like an indie artist even though he is a major label artist, and I also respect his musicianship so much. His voice is unreal, and I think I write in a very similar style to him. It would be a good fit. I also would love to collaborate with Sara Bareilles or Colbie Caillat; they are artists I see myself meshing with very well. But, Gavin, if you’re reading this… [laughs]
Aside from your music career, is there anything else you’re working on?
I’m always working on entirely too many things! I love being busy and staying active. I do a lot of acting as well in commercials and film. I also host for the Stream.TV for The Vampire Diaries and Walking Dead After Show. Additionally, my husband and I co-own and run an entertainment company and indie label together. He’s my partner in everything I do. It’s great having him by my side. I’m also the spokesperson for a terrific vegan makeup company called Valana Minerals. It’s an incredible company with incredible products that I’m really proud to be a part of. And lastly, about a year ago, I founded an organization called the meTOO! campaign that promotes and supports the love between interracial and same sex relationships. It’s been great to meet so many amazing couples over the last year and hear their stories.
To keep in spirit with our holiday issue, what will you be doing this Christmas?
My wedding anniversary is on December 22, so my husband and I will most likely get away for a few days! I’ll be able to see my family as well, and I’ll also perform for Santa Barbara’s Unity Telethon early in December. I love the Christmas season—it’s a great time to give back and surround yourself with people you love.
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Malynda Hale Interview: Photographed by Lisa Konczal