KiNG MALA is the moniker of El Paso born, LA based alternative soul artist Areli Castro. Touching on themes such as lust, recklessness and badass femininity, KiNG MALA isn’t afraid to spill her guts. Raised in a hispanic home, the artist is passionate about supporting the LGBTQ+, POC and Indigenous communities and being open about mental health.
KiNG MALA doesn’t hesitate in spilling her feelings. Her music narrates letting go of fear, being honest with yourself and those around you and ultimately living your truest self. Life is messy and we shouldn’t feel ashamed to show our emotions and speak our mind.
“Thats really the inspiration for the name KiNG MALA, king cuz fuck being someone’s queen, and mala literally means “bad bitch” in Spanish.”she shares on the meaning of her name
Her latest single “sugarblind” stays true to her fun and carefree attitude. Showcasing soulful, raspy vocals, brooding melodies and muted tones, “sugarblind” is a relatable anthem for twenty-somethings.
“I hope it helps people feel okay with what they feel, I’m a person with very intense feelings and it took me a long time to realize that that’s a gift not a weakness.”the artist confides
To begin, how have you been doing throughout the pandemic? Have you found inspiration in unexpected places?
Well as much as I miss shows and seeing people, I have gotten more time to write than I ever have in my life. It has been so nice to be able to focus on one thing at a time for a while. I was able to finish my EP and get started on a whole new batch of songs.
You are open about feeling every emotion that we experience, and that in fact it’s not a weakness. Could you dive even further into that?
I think that being “sensitive” or “emotional” has always been used against people (but especially women) as if being in tune with what people around you feel is a weakness. There is something very powerful about being able to be in tune with your emotions, I think it connects us to each other. Going through life numb is like not going through life at all. People are emotional creatures, we are meant to experience the world on a deep and thoughtful level and you are doing a disservice to yourself if you don’t do that.
How did you find your confidence?
I apply the “fake it till you make it” method haha. I am just as insecure as any girl my age is, but I have found if you try and act confident, you start to really feel it. When I have a hard time feeling confident I dress up and try as hard as I can to pretend to be a bad bitch. After a while, it’s not faking anymore and I actually feel as confident as I’m pretending to be.
What are your future music hopes/goals?
I’m so excited to release my EP this fall and all the content that we are creating around it! Videos, photos, live streams and all that good stuff. I’m also really excited to tour with these songs (eventually) and meet the people that have been listening to them.