Mahalia Strips ‘Whatever Simon Says’ To Its Lovely Core With An Acoustic Performance On ‘The Eye’

The Eye features music’s best rising artists in a minimal studio space to perform renditions of their top songs with only one camera, one microphone, and one take. Featured on the latest installment is Mahalia, who in many ways has already risen.

Mahalia is a familiar figure in the R&B scene thanks to her two albums, 2016’s Diary Of Me and 2019’s Love And Compromise. The latter fared well on the charts, as it was top-30 in the her native UK and came close to topping the R&B chart over there, too, with a peak at No. 4. She’s made some powerful friends in recent years, as she’s collaborated with people like Rico Nasty, Burna Boy, and Ella Mai. One of Mahalia’s collaborations even landed her her first Grammy nomination in 2021, as Jacob Collier’s “All I Need” featuring Mahalia and Ty Dolla Sign was up for Best R&B Performance.

Now, Mahalia has earned a different sort of honor: performing on The Eye. For her performance, she busted out the recent single “Whatever Simon Says,” which she just released last week. Here, she strips away the lush R&B production of the studio version in favor of an acoustic guitar-led rendition. The new aesthetic works well here, which is a testament to both the quality of the songwriting and the beauty of Mahalia’s vocals in a more minimal context.

When Mahalia shared the song last week, she explained its background on Instagram, writing, “there’s only one thing i have to talk about today. and that’s individuality. uniqueness is beautiful. it’s a superpower, in fact. ‘Whatever Simon Says’ is my gift to all of you reading this who are over ppl telling you what to do .. how to speak .. how to look. It’s for all of you who are no longer compromising your happiness for the benefit of somebody else.”

Watch Mahalia perform “Whatever Simon Says” for The Eye above.

Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.