Her mother, a renowned concert pianist and opera singer from South Korea, was the driving force in Tina's classical musical education. It was her father, however, who bought her a guitar when she turned 15 and encouraged her to follow her musical curiosities. "I remember first discovering so many great women of folk music – Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez, Ani DiFranco, Alison Krauss. Listening to them was basically how I learned to play the guitar, and it's also when I began writing my own songs," says Malia.
Not long after the release of her first album, the accolades winning Shores of Avalon, Tina met pioneering world chant artist Jai Uttal, who recruited her to sing in his groundbreaking ensemble – the Pagan Love Orchestra. It was through Jai that Tina was introduced to the rich spiritual tradition of Sanskrit mantras.
"When I first started singing with Jai," recalls the Amida recording artist, "I didn't understand the power and beauty that is held within a mantra. But later, when I was going through a difficult time in life, I was able to turn to this practice and receive the healing that comes with the repetition of these sacred sounds. To this day, I attribute my sense of wellbeing to chanting mantra. It is so simple and yet so extraordinary." Tina's love of mantra is reflected on her 2005 album Jaya Bhagavan, her 2015 release, Bridge to Vallabha, and – now, on her newest Sounds True offering, Anahata: Mantras For A Heart Wide Open.
Tina's all-encompassing worldview and artistic perspective have led her to studio and live work with a wide variety of iconic artists such as pop singer India.Arie, revered chant artists Deva Premal & Miten, world music favorites Omar Faruk Tekbilek and Idan Raichel, EDM trailblazer, Bassnectar, and cherished songwriter Kenny Loggins. Tina's prodigious talent seamlessly harnesses all of these styles as is evidenced in her self-produced catalog of albums: Shores of Avalon, Jaya Bhagavan, The Silent Awakening, The Lost Frontier, Bridge to Vallabha and Anahata.
Winner of four Global Peace Song Awards, Malia’s music has been acclaimed by audiences the world over, radio, press and industry tastemakers, including Echoes’ John Diliberto, Kenny Loggins, Jai Uttal, Bassnectar, Yoga Journal, Zone Music Reporter, Music Connection and Huffington Post.