Mahalia Burkmar may be only 21 years of age, but the singer-songwriter’s debut album is nearly 10 years in the making. The Atlantic Records signee has released a string of promising singles, and now she’s delivered her highly-anticipated debut album Love and Compromise.

Love & Compromise, her first LP (going simply as Mahalia), is a soul-inspired project influenced by a multitude of different genres including R&B, dancehall, and pop, and derives influence from seminal artists such as Erykah Badu, Amy Winehouse, and Lauryn Hill. The U.K.-based artist’s new record features appearances from Burna Boy, Terrace Martin, Hamzaa, Lucky Daye, and Ella Mai. Across grandiose yet direct production, she puts her songwriting talents on display with a confident delivery that straddles genre boundaries.

In a recent interview with Billboard, Mahalia details her share of heartbreak and unrequited love, which she defines as a result of “being young and a total romantic,” as well her attempts to gain exposure as an artist in her predominantly white town of Leicester, England, where Mahalia felt she didn’t fit in. These struggles nearly made Mahalia quit music in 2017.

“I was a dark-skinned girl with an afro playing the guitar and singing and people didn’t understand me. I think I was a little bit lost and I didn’t know what to do or where to go next. I was young and I felt my music wasn’t connecting.” 

She explains. It was until Mahalia decided to perform on the Youtube music platform, COLORS that her career path finally shifted. Her 2017 performance went viral, garnering over 34 million views.

Listen to Love And Compromise below and let us know what you think about it.

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