Malia James has lived the kind of life normally watched in movies or read about in novels. Her artistic pursuits began early, making movies with her barbies, and being the youngest person at her school to direct a play, a teenager proclaiming she was going to be the next Annie Lebowitz. In her twenties, she moved to London on a whim. She spent most of her post-adolescent life living on the road, touring the world as a photographer, then as the bassist of acclaimed bands like Dum Dum Girls and Marnie Stern, all the while capturing moments and creating ideas, before finding her way back to her original goal of directing.
Her on-screen stories are a product of her own adventurous life lived without abandon. This attuned perspective has led Malia to become a top choice among artists, leading Malia to direct music videos for Halsey, MØ, Troye Sivan, Dev Hynes, and Alesia Cara among many others. Her background in music and performance allows her to see eye-to-eye with artists, and direct with a hands-on approach. Her fluid directing style blends a relaxed demeanor with high attention to detail, and her passion to direct is evident on every set, setting the room at ease while establishing a creative, energized atmosphere.
Clients are drawn to her work because of her ability to capture realness in her subjects, stories, and locations, proving success with a roster of commercial clients that includes Adidas, Sephora, Converse, and Mailchimp. Her background touring the world has made her uniquely capable to work on the road and shoot anywhere, and Malia’s moments feel believable and authentic, portraying visceral emotions through her love of beautiful lighting, bold color and compelling compositions. Her work consistently captures the optimism, hope, beauty, and pain of life, tapping into intense feelings, and sharing them on screen with an assured confidence.