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Interview: Destiny Malibu, one of the year’s 25 break-out artists

Interview: Destiny Malibu, one of the year’s 25 break-out artists

Destiny Malibu started singing when she was 5 years old, on Univision no less.  By 12, she was getting radio spins and iTunes downloads. By 19, she was nominated for the Indy Music Video of the Year award; she had over a million views on Vevo and YouTube, she had a song at #1 local ReverbNation Pop Charts, and she was in the top 100 globally. This year – at 20 – she was named as one of the year’s 25 Break-Out Artists by Shutter 16 Magazine. She will be celebrating her 21st birthday this December and is negotiating with sponsors to make the party global. But in the meantime, this hardest-working young woman-in-music is not standing still: she is in the studio recording a new album, she just added four  new cover videos to her YouTube channel and is in production on four more.  Plus, she created an IHeartRadio channel called Destiny – Love Hurts Radio just to make sure she has all her bases covered.  Somewhere in that whirlwind, she found time to talk with me.

Patrick:  When I read your accomplishments, it seems like you have gone very far very quickly.  Then I  noticed that your first performance was when you were five years old – 15 years ago, so you have been building this career for a decade and a half.  Is that right, or did you take off a decade to be a kid and have fun?

Destiny: No I didn’t take off, but I had a great childhood.   My mom was a singer so there was always a music atmosphere around me.  I was in the studio with her; I was with her writing songs and performing. She was a pretty popular Spanish singer so I got a lot of my influence from her.  Also, I went to Malibu High School which is a theatrical, industry-oriented  high school. That prepared me for my music dreams – talent shows, festivals at the school.  And I met my first business partner,  James Burnett, son of  Mark Burnett who owns a bunch of TV shows. We connected in high school and he signed me as his first songwriter.  Every single day I work on my career and I love it.

Patrick: I interview a lot of artists, and  I am pretty good at spotting the ones who have it – all the elements of success. And you do. Aside from the Burnetts, who were your mentors along the way?

Destiny: I have had and still have a lot of great people, but my family members are my number one fans, which is so important to any artist.  My mom is my number one mentor – she taught me about performing and writing music.

Patrick: You are a Latina? Part of the growing revolution of fusion music artists in LA?

Destiny: Yes. I am Spanish on my mother’s side and Swedish on my dad’s side.  I love it –I get a bit of spicy and a bit of Swede.

Patrick:  Your hit song, “I Feel Alive” is a tremendously lush production…did you produce that song.

Destiny:  Not personally.  I worked with the producer in a studio in LA and had a strong hand in it.  It was so much fun.

Patrick:  Your song “Oblivion” really shows your range, including rap. Did you ever see yourself doing rap, and doing it that well?

Destiny:  You know, it’s funny – my favorite music is R&B so for my entire life I have listened to a ton of R&B – Drake, J Cole , Chris Brown.  I grew up with a lot of that , so I have always had a passion for rap.  I would memorize their raps.  So one day I sat down and wrote a rap and it just felt right.

Patrick:  What did your mom think about you singing rap?

Destiny:  She loves it! I have a couple more rap songs coming out – and a bilingual song called “Playdough” – and now my dad’s favorites are my rap songs.

Patrick: You have a bilingual song coming out?  Do you incorporate Latin beats into your music?

Destiny: Yes. I do.  I work in a variety of genres, usually in top 40 oriented, but not  a specific type of song.  I listen to all genres and I could never just do one because I would be neglecting pieces of my personality and who I am.  This new song, “Playdough,”  is my first bilingual song and it has Latin rhythms.

Patrick: Why “Destiny Malibu” instead of just “Destiny”?

Destiny: It is easy to find when you search – just “Destiny” brings up a lot of hits on a video game.  This was my thing from the beginning – it is not a stage name;  “Destiny” is my real name and I am from Malibu.  It is easy to find and I love it.

Patrick: You are fascinated by health and nutrition.

Destiny:  I have been  intrigued by nutrition my entire life.  I am vegan and big on exercise.  I think the most important part of life is feeling good and how we eat and exercise makes a big impact.

Patrick:  Any advice?

Destiny: I am currently writing a book about nutrition and my personal discoveries.  It will be out soon! I have experimented with different diets and I feel best now going vegan.  You need supplements.  I love animals – I prefer forks over knives.  Start by cutting out meat a couple times a week and see how you feel.

Patrick O’Heffernan.  Host, Music FridayLive!, Co-Host MúsicaFusionLA

Patrick O’Heffernan, PhD., is a music journalist and radio broadcaster based in Los Angeles, California, with a global following. His two weekly radio programs, MusicFridayLive! and MusicaFusionLA are heard nationwide and in the UK. He focuses on two music specialties: emerging bands in all genres, and the growing LA-based ALM genre (American Latino Music) that combines rock and rap, blues and jazz and pop with music from Latin America like cumbia, banda, jarocho and mariachi. He also likes to watch his friend drag race.

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