Malena Pérez: Offering. Human Comrade. Spiritual Warrior.

A guest post by Madam CJ

Since debuting in 2004, vocalist and songwriter Malena Pérez has been mesmerizing audiences around the globe with smooth, soulful, sweetly haunting vocals, introspective lyrics and genre-bending melodies.  An Atlanta native of Cuban and German-American descent, Pérez draws upon various musical influences — Flora Purim, Portishead, Sade & Amel Larrieux among them — in creating a uniquely dynamic sound. Pérez’s third full-length studio album, Offering, currently available for purchase, features a fusion of soulful beats and orchestrated live instrumentation.

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I really enjoyed your performance at “Soul Sista’s Juke Joint”. Congrats on your new release, “Offering”. What inspired the title of the album? Why did you name it that?

Thank you. The album is titled Offering  to reflect the title track, “Offering”, which is a song about having a conversation with an ancestor that wishes to pass on wisdom about how to be a warrior (i.e., a spiritual warrior) in this life and in this world.. how to transcend our pain and difficulty and use our experience to do good and help facilitate our own and others’ healing.  The album is also my ‘Offering’ to the world, words and sounds from my heart and soul. This project was very much a labor of love over the course of a few years between myself and my primary production partner for the album, Kian Asamoah, and in several ways, the title Offering seemed to fit.

What inspired the artwork for the album?

The wardrobe design for the cover was a collaboration with artist & designer Grace Kisa and is intended to reflect the theme of being a warrior.  These are times of great change.. light is coming up against darkness everywhere we turn and we are being called upon to step up and be warriors for peace, truth, light, love, oftentimes in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles, unjust circumstances and our own fears and insecurities.

How did you know you could sing?

I can’t really remember a time when music or singing weren’t a part of my life.  I began singing at a very early age and remember attending choir practices with my mom as a child from the time I was around two years old.  I sang my first solo when I was five years old, with the Sacred Heart Children’s Choir in Atlanta.  My love of music and singing grew over the years as I became involved with church choir, school chorus, community musical theater productions and university choir.  I felt support from my family, teachers and friends.  I felt encouraged and like this was a gift that I could nurture and develop.

You are a certified health and wellness coach. What are some of your areas of expertise in this field?

The areas I focus on are also the ways in which I’ve healed myself.
My focuses are on:
– improving digestion
– detoxification through liver and colon cleansing
– helping to identify food sensitivities and how to adjust one’s diet accordingly
– helping to identify what kind of diet suits each individual, as everyone is unique and no one way of eating fits everyone
– juicing fruits and vegetables
– healthy cooking, organic cooking
– using Ayurvedic (ancient Indian healing science) principles to restore dietary balance and health
– facilitating weight loss & achieving one’s natural weight through improved digestion
– healing chronic skin conditions
– identifying and addressing emotional causes for health imbalance
– alkaline, ionized water and how it helps facilitate health on a cellular level
– movement, yoga
– massage therapy

 How do you make sure you are living your purpose?

Mostly it’s a feeling deep within and trusting, surrendering to something greater and having the willingness to be led instead of trying to be in control.  When I let God lead, miracles seem to happen all the time, guiding me to the next step.  The right people and opportunities show up and I feel affirmed that I’m on track.  If I run into a road block or a big obstacle, I try to let go of how I think it should unfold and ask God for guidance.  It doesn’t always happen in my desired timing but the way is eventually shown and things start flowing again.
When I feel strongly inspired to create or act in some way, I do it.  I don’t suppress the urge to create or to investigate new areas of interest.  If I am interested in something, I pursue it.  It also helps to receive support and affirmation from others.  When I feel that the work I’m doing is actually touching others’ lives in a positive way I feel affirmed that I am on track in living out my purpose.

What is your self care regimen?

In the mornings I have green tea and take some time to quiet my mind. If it’s a sunny day, I go outside for at least five to ten minutes and take in some sun. The sun helps facilitate all bodily/mental functions and is just a great mood enhancer in general.  I take epsom salt baths a few times a week; it helps relax the muscles and removes toxins and radiation from the body.  I enjoy taking walks and shooting basketball.  When I am at my best I am practicing yoga on a daily or near-daily basis.  I eat as healthily as I can and cook from scratch with fresh ingredients as often as I am able, which has been less these days but I have a few places where I know I can get a healthy meal on the spot if I need to so I rely on those when I need to get quick takeout.  I treat myself to something sweet almost daily.  I think when we are too rigid with a dietary philosophy we can get off balance and eating becomes less of a pleasure and more of a chore, causing additional undue stress.  At night I try to read something positive and affirming before going to bed.  I try to get a fair amount of sleep, though as a creative this can be a challenge as I am often inspired late at night.  Part of my self-care also involves managing my sensitivity to electromagnetic radiation.  I have wired, not wireless, internet in my home, and I keep my cell phone turned completely off unless I am actively using it; this helps minimize radiation exposure.  One of the best things I do for myself is spend quality time or have a significant conversation with a close friend or family member at least a couple times a week.  This allows for reciprocal sharing and keeps me feeling connected, supported and uplifted.

Malena Perez will be performing during the Atlanta Weekender for DJ Lynnee Denise’s Soundtracking Our Lives Tour on Monday September 1,2014.  Photos by Julie Yarbrough
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