Behind the Song: Malina Moye’s “Enough”

Upside-down left-handed guitarist, Malina Moye, is a beacon. Whether she’s ripping solos on stage or sharing her new signature guitar strings, Moye brings joy wherever she goes. She’s energetic, exciting, and excitable, and just a treasure of an artist. But Moye’s story wasn’t always a happy one.

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As American Songwriter previously wrote about here, Moye has endured her share of struggles, from being homeless to working her way from the ground up as a professional musician. So, when her song, “Enough,” helped the record Bad as I Wanna Be hit No. 1 for two weeks straight on the Billboard Blues Chart, it was a cause for celebration for Moye.

We caught up with the artist to ask her about the song, how it came to be, and how it helped to change her life.

American Songwriter: What does the song’s first line—”When I was young, I thought the world owed me everything”—mean to you today? 

Malina Moye: Today, I feel, since the murder of George Floyd, the world has had a chance to reset and think about a lot of things. It seems we are making better strides. I feel seen.

AS: How did you think about the music, specifically the guitar (your specialty) and the horns on the track, while writing?

MM: With this song, the melody is what I heard in my head first, when it was just an idea. Then I approached the song as if I were writing a letter to myself. I wanted to use a simple progression in G and lean on dynamics borrowing elements from the ’70s. I wanted to make you feel what I was feeling, which was broken.

In regards to the guitar solo, I wanted to keep it simple but using long cascading notes that captured the feel in G minor. The goal was to play a solo that would cut to the heart and change the mind of the person that made me feel like I didn’t matter.

AS: The song helped you become a Billboard charting artist—what does that mean for you and can you talk about how Boys II Men and other musical friends helped the cause? 

MM: I launched a campaign with the song via social media. I asked everyone to put up any picture of themselves to celebrate who they are and tag it #IAMENOUGH to their favorite social platform. When I woke up the next day, I was amazed that so many people felt the same way I did. Yolanda Adams put up a video talking about the song. Shawn Stockton from Boys II Men put up a post. Kathy Sledge from Sister Sledge put up a post. It was incredible. That song has changed my life. I really felt seen and I learned I wasn’t alone and there were many people feeling the same way. I think we had over four million impressions with #IAMENOUGH.

AS: What does the song’s chorus mean to you today after it being out and so successful now?

MM: I feel seen. I feel so happy that the song gods allowed me to birth this song and share it with the world. I hope people remember their own power and realize that they are enough. That song got me my first Billboard in Times Square, it was also the end credit song in the movie “The Samuel Project” which is currently available on Amazon prime, and the jacket and guitar I played in the video are on display at the Rock and Roll Hall of fame as part of the “Right Here Right Now” exhibit featured with some of the industry’s leading musical artists. I met so many cool and incredible people because of that song.

AS: What does it feel like to play that big guitar solo on the song—especially live in front of an audience?

MM: It feels great! Every time I play it, I’m trying to bring more feel and passion to it.  I want it to touch your soul. My parents taught us early on, don’t sing it or play it if it isn’t coming from a place of honesty.

AS: Now that you’re achieving your dreams after starting with just your ambition to begin with, what does the hope in the song “Enough” mean to you today when you hear it?

MM: AMEN, and thank you! It takes me back to the first line of my song. I feel like I can do and be all the things that I have always imagined. I’m still that nine-year-old little girl who is free to dream and believe. When you don’t see yourself represented show up, when you think you can’t, show up and always know you matter and you count.

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