Mahalia Barnes

Born into Australian rock royalty and influenced by the music her father, Jimmy Barnes, recorded and played, Mahalia naturally began singing at a very young age.

Mahalia has been a sought after session vocalist for over 20 years, having toured and recorded as a vocalist with artists such as Liam Gallagher, George Benson, Joe Bonamassa, Beth Hart, Kirk Fletcher, Ash Grunwald and Lachy Doley to name just a few.

An impactful Speaker able to be fluent in delivery within her knowledge, ranging from all aspects of the Music Business, Performance and being a valued family member and mother of two.

She has also been an active influencer in Producing both stage and Television productions.

As an artist, she’s drawn to guitar-driven gutsy soul, rock and blues, and is inspired by acts like Ike and Tina Turner and legendary queen of soul Aretha Franklin.

Mahalia and her band The Soul Mates have recorded and released several albums, singles and EPs over the years, including their tribute to Betty Davis featuring US blues rock guitarist Joe Bonamassa, reaching the top 10 on the a billboard Blues charts in the US.

Before the pandemic shut down so much of the live performance industry, Mahalia Barnes and The Soul Mates toured Australia non-stop, playing supports for the likes of US hip hop greats The Roots, Lionel Richie, Bruce Springsteen and gospel/soul legend Mavis Staples, as well as playing festivals and headline shows of their own both here and overseas.

Over the last few years Mahalia and the band have again toured extensively, appearing on all sorts of stages ranging from intimate stripped back venues (where Mahalia delivers a deeply personal show and engages the audience in with her stories and songs), to bigger shows like Bluesfest in Melbourne last year and the Red Hot Summer tour alongside artists such as her father Jimmy, Kasey Chambers, Pete Murray, Living End and Birds of Tokyo.

Her band is made up of some of the most acclaimed rock, soul and blues musicians in Australia including Lachy Doley, Clayton Doley, Franco Raggatt, Warren Trout and Ben Rodgers. They are frequently joined on stage and in the studio by their extended musical family that includes incredible singers such as Prinnie Stevens, Jade Macrae, Karen Lee Andrews and Gary Pinto as well as guest horn players and other musicians. They are known for their exciting, soulful, dynamic and spontaneous live performances.

Mahalia is a powerhouse vocalist who connects deeply to every lyric she sings, wowing audiences and taking them on a journey through joy, love, hope, hurt and heartache.