Monica Pearson One on One: Michelle Malone is only just getting started

A lot of this rock artist’s music is autobiographical

ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - Atlanta rock artist Michelle Malone defies description as an artist. This singer, songwriter, producer, does rock and roll, folk, rhythm and blues and is apt to put aside her acoustic or slide guitar and pick up her harmonica.

“I love music so much and it gets me out of bed in the morning,” Malone recently told Peachtree TV’s Monica Pearson. “It keeps me going if I’m having a bad day, I just put on music. If I’m having a great day, I just put on music.”

Malone started performing in bands and writing songs as a teenager. She has several albums, including Dream (1994), Home Grown (1999), Sugar Foot (2006), Debris (2009), Day 2 (2012), Acoustic Winter (2014) and Slings and Arrows (2018).

Watch Monica Pearson One on One on Sunday, July 24, at 8 pm, on Peachtree TV.

Malone has won numerous awards over the course of her 30-year career and her songs have appeared in numerous films and television shows, including True Blood, Dawson’s Creek, Felicity and Brooklyn South.

“I listen to everything. It depends on what time of day you catch me or what day it is. I will listen to blues and jazz. I will listen to, I love really great singers, everything from Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald [to] Carmen McRae and Erykah Badu.

“They’re able to communicate life. They’re able to just reach down in here and play one of my heartstrings. I remember have this ability to just open my mouth and sing, and that is the greatest gift.”

Malone has music in her DNA. Pearson discovered her grandmother was a singer and her mother was a jazz singer. Malone herself began singing in her church choir at age four. She wrote her first song for a magazine contest.

“I think it was about being a runway and it [about being] out in the streets. There’s a child with a world at her feet, a smile on her face, but she’s crying inside. It’s all I remember. I didn’t win.”

A lot of Malone’s music is autobiographical.

“Music has been my greatest therapy, and I’ve worked it all out to a degree through writing and self- expression,” she said. “My mother has influenced my music greatly in a very positive way, because just knowing that’s the family business gives you a bit of self-esteem and almost makes you feel like, yes, this is what I should be doing.

“I’m just getting started.”

Monica Pearson: One on One is an interview-themed series featuring the legendary Atlanta journalist.

Tim Darnell

Tim Darnell

Tim Darnell is the Investigative Digital Content Producer for CBS46.