“I’m very in my purpose. It feels right”


Ashlynn Malia is a singer and songwriter based in Los Angeles whose music reflects emotionally on her own experiences. Navigating topics from social anxiety to self-worth to finding meaning in songwriting, DIVA Publisher Linda Riley caught up with Ashlynn at Etheridge Island in Cancun, Mexico for an exclusive interview. A week jam-packed with LGBTQI bands, meet and greets and more, DIVA was proud to media partner with the inaugural event.

DIVA: Could you describe your music in three words?

Ashlynn: Introspective, emotional and I’d say it is vibey.

DIVA: How long have you been playing gigs?

Ashlynn: I had been playing gigs for about a year since I came out with my EP back in June 2021.

DIVA: We’re here at Etheridge Island, how does it feel to be playing here?

Ashlynn: It feels wild honestly, I keep waking up in my hotel and being like “am I really here because of music? Did this really happen?” But I feel so happy and energised, that’s how it’s feeling to be here, it’s surreal.

DIVA: Etheridge Island and Melissa Etheridge herself has a huge LGBTQIA fan base. What does it mean to you to provide this platform and support LGBTQIA women and non-binary people through your music?

Ashlynn: It means everything! I’m just really grateful to be here and playing with this audience right now. I identify with women in the LGBT community, and I have had a great time watching LGBT people here coming together. It’s very freeing and beautiful.

DIVA: Let’s get Ashlynn over to the UK! So, what has your music journey been like?

Ashlynn: So, it started pretty early in life – I always felt really drawn to music and to singing especially. I was in choir as a kid and my family had a music school, so I learned different instruments because of that. I was kinda like the guinea pig for when a new teacher would come into the music school, my family would have me test them out and take a lesson from them. Through that I ended up learning about six instruments. Then when I was a bit older, I had some mental health problems and some intense anxiety, and I didn’t know how to channel it or do anything about it. I discovered that writing helped ease that ache and make everything a little less scary. I could take my thoughts that terrified me, put them out on paper so I could see them, and they weren’t taking over my life anymore. And then I’d turn them into music, it gave me my power back and it’s a really big tool I use for healing.

DIVA: How do you feel when you’re on stage?

Ashlynn: Excited! I feel at home every time. Even if it’s a nerve-wracking moment before I go on stage. Every time I’m on stage I feel like, this might sound super hippie crystal-girl of me but like I’m very in my purpose. It feels right.

DIVA: Having LGBTQIA role models are so important for visibility. What has your coming out journey been like?

Ashlynn: I guess I never really did come out. I’ve been living my life and I keep learning about myself, I wouldn’t even say that I have a strong label yet. All I know is that sexuality is very fluid, and gender is fluid as well and I’m just excited to be learning more about myself. I do identify as female, but I have major respect for the ideals of being non-binary and I love the idea that we have identities beyond the genders we were assigned. I find that to be an incredibly freeing thing, testing those boundaries.

DIVA magazine celebrates 28 years in print in 2022. If you like what we do, then get behind LGBTQI media and keep us going for another generation. Your support is invaluable. 


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.