This student spotlight introduces you to Magda Halina, a Vancouver vocalist and house music producer now residing in Riverside. Check out her latest release and our interview.
Introducing Magda Halina
Magda Halina is a vocalist and house producer with the drive and determination to take her anywhere. Originally from Vancouver, she’s spent the last few years in SoCal building a reputation through hard work and dedication to her craft.
Early on, Magda’s family inspired her musically. Over time, Magda’s enthusiasm took her further into music, where she discovered ICON Collective. She is now in her final quarter at the Collective. In addition to learning music production at ICON, Magda performs regularly in LA and OC. She also helps curate talent lineups for MDA, an Orange County production collective.
As a resident DJ of MDA, Magda had the opportunity to play alongside Flava D, Hannah Wants, Robin Schulz, Fritz Carlton, and more. She also developed a keen sense of the decks and live performance as a resident. She skillfully adapts to the tastes of any crowd in any environment, whether it be under the lights of Academy LA or on the pool deck of the Saguaro in Palm Springs.
On the production front, Magda serves a variety of house influenced tracks. She even has a fantastic house remix of “Nowhere to Go” by Hayden James ft. NAATIONS. Most recently, however, Magda released a single with Matthew Anthony on Worthy’s Anabatic Records. Listen to the single titled “Wrong” below.
Magda Halina Interview
Magda started the interview by explaining her approach to writing vocal toplines and melodies. She also talks about her recent release with Matthew Anthony on Anabatic Records. Then Magda takes us into the SoCal music scene and discusses her rise and time working with MDA. Last, Magda shares the valuable lessons she has learned from ICON.
1. Much of your music emphasizes vocal toplines and melodies. What do you think is essential about these elements? And as a vocalist, how does it feel to contribute the topline to your productions?
For me, topline and melody are what make a song memorable. A ‘hook’ does precisely that; it hooks your listener and touches them in a relatable way! Sometimes we fall into the trap of making music that will impress other producers. But they only make up a small percentage of our listeners when it comes down to it. A memorable and robust melody must stand the test of time, no matter the production. As a vocalist, I enjoy contributing original toplines to my music. It allows me to express my emotions and allow others to connect.
2. You recently released music with Matthew Anthony on Worthy’s Anabatic Records entitled “Wrong.” Tell me about how the release came about? What are your plans for upcoming releases?
I had so much fun working on this! Matthew posted a tweet he was scouting for vocalists, so naturally, I reached out and sent him some of my work. He loved it and sent me a demo of this song. On the first listen, I was already singing along and wrote the hook on the spot, which is usually a great sign. I then ran home to record a demo for him, and he loved it! The whole idea came together quickly. We both knew it was something special, so we spent almost an entire year finalizing all the details and exchanging ideas on production/arrangement. He was also a joy to work with, and I’m glad Worthy recognized our vision.
I will be self-releasing my next single with another vocalist. I also want to showcase my skills as a producer this year. It will be coming out in the next few weeks!
3. Over the past couple of years, you’ve established a foothold in Orange County through one of the most prominent promoters, MDA. What do you think of the OC music scene compared to LA?
One thing I love about the OC music scene is the house scene. There is a lot of opportunities for local talent to shine. LA is home to some of the most prestigious venues on the West Coast, where all the biggest stars come to play. I love LA for that, and we are blessed to be living in a region with such regard. OC, however, is unique in the sense that it’s a smaller, more intimate community where raw local talent can be showcased. I’m also thankful to have been a part of MDA and this community over these last few years.
4. What are some of the most important lessons you learned from ICON? How do you feel about heading out into the industry when you graduate in a few weeks?
One of the most important lessons I’ve learned this year is to trust my ears and not overthink anything. For the longest time, I could never trust my process. What I realize now is that everyone has a unique approach, and there isn’t one “right” way of doing anything. There are guidelines, but your process will always depend on what your ears tell you. The best thing you can do is learn from people and slowly build the approach that works for you.
I’ve also had the opportunity to learn from many talented individuals this year, including colleagues. It’s been a true blessing to be surrounded by a community that’s always learning from each other. I’m also super excited to step out into the industry and apply everything I’ve learned with my flavor.