Meeting Mahalia

One of my favourite artists is Mahalia.  She’s a neo-soul singer based in London, originally from Leicester.

She released her latest EP Seasons in September, following her hit debut ‘Sober‘ and recently dropped the video for ‘Surprise Me’ a few days before I interviewed her.

She’s surprisingly young, considering how far she’s come in her career. Mahalia’s worked with the likes of Kojey Radical, Ed Sheeran and even starred in Adulthood! So for a 21 year old she’s done pretty well for herself by anyones standards I’d say.

I stumbled across a poster for her tour after work one day, outside the Wardrobe in Leeds. I was so surprised that an artist of her calibre would be performing at such a small venue to be totally honest (not knocking the Wardrobe). So I quickly went to book a ticket for me and my friend but to my disappointment her gig had sold out.  🎫

I mentioned to a friend that I was interested in interviewing her, who suggested I speak to her manager. Low and behold thanks the the power of the gram, her tour manager, Carl, agreed for me to interview her when she came to Leeds on her Seasons tour.

I patiently waited for her manager to call me to come over for an interview. Carl brought her out to me, to which she greeted with me with “hey babe”. I couldn’t believe my eyes or ears lol. My favourite singer was actually stood in font of me and called me babe. But obvs I was professional and played it cool…🤣

After inviting me to join her for a fag outside, to which I sadly declined (as I smoke), I waited for her downstairs.
We then went into her dressing room for a chat. Which you can hear the edited version of here. 🎤

She was honestly an absolute pleasure to speak to, on and off the mic.
If there’s one thing I admire in anyone, especially artists, it’s being humble- and she certainly was.

I could go on fan-girling her but I think you get the message, she’s bloody fantastic and I can’t actually describe how much her music relates to me at the moment. ✨

Actions speak louder than…

…you guessed it-words.

Thought: 💭

I’m a strong believer in verbal confirmation and support. Like your friends top? Rate their workflow? Tell them.

But what people don’t like, are empty words.

And sadly, for those of us who so freely speak empty words, our true colours shine through at some point.

Action: 🗣

Let your actions speak for themselves.

Conclusion: ✍

We should talk less of what we want to be and just be, because our actions are the truth, not what we say.

Your opinion is not my business

…and my opinion is not yours.

Thought: 💭

Liberation is: freeing your mind of needless opinions-including some of your own.

Why should my opinion matter to you? It shouldn’t.

Why should your opinion matter to me? It shouldn’t.

Insecurity is probably one of the most significant factors in being concerned with others people’s views of yourself.

It’s taken me years to relieve myself of insecurities, freeing my mind of fear of judgement and judging others myself (admittedly, I’m still guilty of this at times).

But when you accept yourself wholly and f*** what anyone thinks- life’s considerably easier.

Might I add, this doesn’t mean we should have no consideration for people’s feelings etc – it just means their judgement shouldn’t restrict us.

Action: 🗣

When people needlessly share their opinion of you, to you, or more likely, to someone else, remind yourself it’s not your business to care what they think.

Or if you carelessly blurt out your views about someone, remind yourself, your opinion is not their business- so don’t try to make it.

Conclusion: ✍

We all naturally form opinions, but we don’t always need to share it or even delve too deeply into our minds to create them.

“I don’t have time for this!”

Thought: 💭

A phrase I often mutter to myself in a heated rush to get out the house on time, when I forget the one thing I needed or bump into an unexpcted set back.

Well I believe there’s a very simple way to correct this phrase and alleviate the frustration of ‘not having time’.

Action: 🗣

Instead of ‘I don’t have time for this’, say ‘I didn’t make time for this’.

Conclusion: ✍

This simple change of statement triggers us to self-reflect, and question how our own actions have resulted in us ‘not having time’ as opposed to blaming our environment.

It encourages you to question how YOU could have prepared for the current situation differently, which when practiced can make mornings, and life in general, run smoother.

The women that inspire me

I don’t usually like to make a thing of allocating one specific day of the year to a good cause or campaign, but I feel today is a good excuse to shout out the women that inspire me. It goes without saying that my mum, grandma and best friends are positive influences and inspirations in my life, so here are the females who inspire me and probably don’t know it/ never will.

Pauline Narvas: Me and Paw worked together a few years back. She was always a smiley, positive character who never let the perils of retail (and there can be a few at times) get her down. But I remember her coming into work one day crying, Pauline, crying? She was going through a difficult time to say the least and I couldn’t have imagined how she would bounce back. She took to the gym and is now actual body goals, she is CONSTANTLY working with other women all over the country with Code First: Girls. She’s just so sweet and positive I love her. It’s women like her that run the world.

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People would bully me for talking about a website I built when I was 8. Today I'm empowering ladies to be unapologetically "nerdy". After all, the Future Is Female. ✨#PressForProgress _ I turned all the "you're such a wannabe, a tomboy, a nerd" comments from years ago into something positive: an empowering community of girl powa developing things together (because they are inventors, creatives and belong in STEM), multiple freelance gigs, a part-time job, a flourishing hobby and a thing to speak about at keynotes! 🤷🏻‍♀️😉 Guess all I can say now is thank you for the setbacks; I'm BETTER because of them. – So hey, I'm Pauline, and I'm a developer, a techie, a lifter, an athlete, a STEM student, an ambassador, a teacher, a communicator and whatever-the-hell-I-want-to-be. 💪🏻 _ Today I'm celebrating #InternationalWomensDay with the thought in mind: if you want to be x, y, z, you be x, y, z. Don't ever let anyone tell you that you can't be anything because of your gender, your ethnicity or your background. – ✏️ "Turns out I can be both." [LINK IN THE BIO] – #IWD2018 #internationalwomensday #girlpower #thefutureisfemale #tech #digital #womeninstem #codefirstgirls #shefcodefirst #sheffielduni #shefunilife #pawlean #shecandoboth

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Maya Jama: Need I say more? She’s beautiful inside and out, she’s absolutely smashing her career and is so humble (my favourite trait in any celeb). I don’t know what else to say really she’s Maya Jama.

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WOMEN WORLDWIDE YOU POWERFUL BEINGS!! I hope today and everyday you walk with your head held high and embrace every beautiful thing about the way God made you, it's definitely not easy.. I could list a hundred struggles we have to go through and that's before we reach 20 but we go through it all because we are strong enough to👑 on days like today I'm grateful to all the women that stood before us and fought for our rights and the women stood today still fighting for them, we have deeper powers and I truly believe we are magical, I'm so blessed to be constantly inspired and motivated by so many amazing women daily ❤️ love you ALL & keep pushing the boundaries and chasing your dreams, when they tell you can't, keep going my loves ✨✨ p.s this is my women's health cover, being in the background of a picture in a magazine 3 years ago would have prob made me cry with excitement and now fucking looook 😂🙏🏾 #internationalwomensday

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Frankie Clarke: Me and Frankie briefly know each other, but through social media she shares truly moving concepts and ideas, making me feel like I know her more than I do. She’s an articulate writer and thinker. She conceptualises those thoughts we sometimes can’t even understand ourselves into words- that’s talent. Her posts are so provoking and have encouraged me to focus much more on self-love, which I now believe is vital super- power we all should practice, male or female.

Laceinne/the.pinkcoconut: I don’t actually know her real name but they’re her IG handles. She’s an holistic lifestyle coach and a plant based vegan who’s not afraid to show it. She’s so caring for others, her community and the world. The things her and her partner do are just amazing. She has made me think so much more about what I put in my body and what I do for it. Health really is wealth and boy she is a walking epitome of health.

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I made my family a big vegan brunch yesterday! Hopefully you saw it in my stories because I didn’t get any pictures of the spread!🙈 I made sweet potato hash, tofu scramble (for dad), sautéed peppers and onions, fresh pico de gallo, lots of avocados, @samisbakery vegan and gluten free bagels (we even splurged for @earthbalance vegan and soy free butter!) and we also ate blueberry buckwheat pancakes! Everyone loved waking up to a completely organic vegan meal and I loved preparing it for them! Of course, I’m always a mom first and when my baby was ready to eat, I got her latched and continued cooking! She’s heavy😂 but we got it done! Just make sure to use the back burner so baby’s foot doesn’t get too close to the heat. We mamas multi-task!🤗 We can do it all!😎 #ThePinkCoconut 🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻 👻Laceinne

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Peace and love ❤

Being comfortable is boring

Thought: 💭

When we stay nice and cozy in our comfort zone, we aren’t experiencing all that life has to offer and can miss out on opportunities- ones that you’ll never know exist until you find them.

The most rewarding moments I’ve experienced have been the moments where I asked that question I was nervous to ask, when I forced myself to do something I’m not totally sure of or even got up that bit earlier to squeeze in a morning gym session.

Or that time I jumped out a plane (despite saying I’d never do it).

Action: 🗣

Want to do something? Can you do it?

So…do it.

Conclusion: ✍

That uncomfortable feeling is good.

If you want growth, you must push yourself out of the comfort zone. Just like training, if you want to build muscle, you must increase resistance. 💪🏼

Don’t tell me to smile, thanks :)

Like many women out there, I’m victim of an unfortunate and uncontrollable condition, commonly referred to as Resting Bitch Face (RBF). The most obvious symptom of this is displaying facial expressions of misery, anger or disappointment, despite the fact I might actually feel happy/content.

As a female suffering with RBF (all jokes aside now), I certainly don’t appreciate the arrogance of people who seem to be under the impression it’s there God given duty to let me know I’m not smiling, or better still, that I need to smile.

This genuinely is uncontrollable and by no means should indicate I am unhappy or need to be told to be happy…

I don’t go out to clubs and bars very often, but when I do I’m subject to petty, condescending comments, telling me to smile, or cheer up despite the fact I was actually having a good time BEFORE they had to come along and tell me that.

I know it’s not just me, I know this happens a lot and it’s not nice.

Almost every time I’ve been out, a man tells me to ‘cheer up’, ‘smile love’ or the worst, ‘smile bitch’. The latter comment has only been said once might I add.

This goes out to all the busy-bodies that think they have the right to tell me and any other woman what to do: kindly, f*** off.

*said with a smile*

FORM: please select race ME: erm…

So, this is a bit of a weird one.

Without delving too deeply into my unusual family situation, up until recently, I didn’t know what race I was. My dad never met his dad and so he grew up knowing only his mother, who is Irish.

I knew was that I was half English (from my mum’s side) and quarter Irish and quarter ‘something else’…

For years, I speculated as to what I might ‘be’, but I wouldn’t say I have features that indicate one specific race which made it hard for me to guess.

So I finally decided to order a DNA test from It arrived a week or so later.

There were two cotton bud swab sticks that I swiped in the side of my mouth for 30 seconds, then popped each of them in a small vile filled with liquid.

My samples ready to send

I sent them off to the lab and waited patiently.

Almost a month later, I received and email confirming my results were ready. I was both nervous and eager to find out.

So I clicked on the link to my account and these were the results:

As you can see, I’m quite a mix (if that’s PC to say)

I can’t say I was too surprised, being Asian has been ‘on the cards’ if you like, for years really. I remember talking to my friends about what I could be when I was in school and being Asian came up a few times.

The mixture of European ethnicities didn’t come to my surprise either, simply because of migration patterns of Europeans over the years makes it highly likely that if you’re white, you’ll be a mixture European races.

I was overwhelmed to finally know. It was weird actually knowing and no longer being a ‘mystery race’. I now don’t have awkwardly explain to people that I don’t know what race I am when my unusual features compel people to ask.
The combination of mildly foreign features like the brown curly hair and freckles juxtaposed with probably the broadest Yorkshire accent and dialect going, throws people, leading to the question, “I hope you don’t mind me asking, but where are you from?”.

I’ve spent years trying to figure out what race I am and its associated culture that I should identify with. I’ve always felt a bit lost in a way, because I saw not knowing where I was from as a lack of identity. I felt like I can’t identify myself properly just because I didn’t know where the hair and darker skin came from.

Much to my own and other people’s surprise, I actually have very little desire to investigate my racial roots any further than I already have. Why? Because I know my culture, it’s what I was brought up with and I needn’t look any further than home to find it.

Things Change

Thought 💭:

Why is it we struggle to embrace the inevitable? Of course, I’m talking about change.

I like to think of change as a curse and a blessing in life- you never know what’s round the corner.

Sometimes, we find it hard to accept new people, new situations and the hardest of all- to let go of the old stuff (I’m pretty bad for this). But we can’t fight it and even if we do, it comes at the expense of our energy and most importantly, our time.


You can’t ever really prepare for what’s coming, how could you? After all, the future only exists in your head *mind blown* but there are ways we can handle change better:

  1. Never be complacent🛌: don’t get so comfortable in a situation and think its there to stay, because it might not.
  2. Awareness👁: Simply acknowledging that nothing is concrete makes you so much more accepting when life throws unexpected things your way.


As the old saying goes, there’s only two things in life we can be sure of; death and taxes (lol) but I say their is a third- change.

Should we chase happiness?

Thought 💭:

For the past year or so, I believed I should live everyday in the pursuit of happiness and that I should strive to make every situation happy, regardless of the circumstances. Because, what’s wrong with trying to be happy?

However, recently I’ve began to question whether we should aim for constant happiness. The reason being, I’ve found myself feeling worse trying to be happy all the time- because I can’t make every moment worth cartwheeling for (well, I can’t anyway, I’m sure some people can). Again, setting unrealistic expectations for myself.

What should we chase then?

I watched an inspiring TED video by Emily Esfahani, on why happiness isn’t the be-all and end-all. It gave me the answer I was in need of; we should aim to create meaning. According to Emily’s studies, living life meaningfully leads to more fulfilment than focusing solely on happiness.


Think about how you can bring meaning to your relationships, work and all that you do.

To create meaning, we have to add value to what we do and make it mean something to us. Here are ways we can do this:

  • Listen👂– actually listen to what people say to you and interpret it, you don’t always need to jump in with an opinion.
  • Take notice of your environment👀– be aware of the space you’re in, appreciate it.
  • Stand up for your beliefs💥– fill your beliefs with passion and unapologetically hold them.
  •  Self- reflect🙏– no one persons’ experience of life will be the same, recognise yours and how you have got to where you are now, value your changes.
  • Believe in yourself🐝– remember, you are only bound by the limits you set yourself. Have faith in yourself and create what you want.


Surprisingly, chasing happiness is not all it’s cracked out to be. Following what makes you feel fulfilled, on the other hand, is.