Mal McCallum, an acoustic/folk/pop singer/songwriter based in Auckland, New Zealand, has won the SongwriterUniverse “Best Song Of The Month” Contest for September, for his song “Life Worth Livin’.” This song is included on his latest album called Hearts & Crafts, which he released independently in March (2019).
“Life Worth Livin’” is an appealing, melodic tune that has an upbeat, positive theme. It’s about the joy of being in a long-term, romantic relationship with his wife, and how this relationship has been life-affirming over the years. This song features a hooky, feel-good chorus, and McCallum’s lead vocals are expressive and heartfelt. This recording was expertly produced by McCallum, with mixing assistance by his son-in-law RichieB, who has a studio in Sydney, Australia.
McCallum grew up in the rural city of Palmerston North in New Zealand. Early on, he played in bands and got a University degree in English. He was then invited by some friends to join a band and become their singer & bass player, and write songs. This band toured throughout New Zealand and was based in Auckland.
Eventually, McCallum became a solo artist, and he signed with CBS Records in the late 1970s. During the next few years, he released three albums (The Things We Need, Naked To The Sky and Victim In Paradise) which helped him build a profile in Australia, and he performed on national TV shows. Years later, McCallum released the albums Stepping Stones (in 2000), Above The Wires (2006) and Hearts & Crafts (2019). For his new album, he wrote most of the songs on his own, and played guitar, keyboards and bass.
McCallum recalled how he wrote his song, “Life Worth Livin’.” “This song came out of the little guitar riff I had for it…those little things kick around for a while and then gradually the ideas come along that seem to suit it. It’s a looking back song about when my wife I first got together in our old hometown. I guess it’s saying (to his wife) that we can’t control where we’re heading all the time, but if I’m with you I’m happy wherever life may take us.”
Here’s the video of Mal McCallum’s song, “Life Worth Livin’.”
Currently, McCallum has been promoting his new album, and he’s filmed a very good video of “Life Worth Livin’.” He’s also been playing some live shows around Auckland, and he has tentative plans to come to the U.S. next year.
McCallum is looking forward to writing and recording more songs at his home studio. “I like to think I still have more to do—I certainly have got a lot more songs, some I’ve missed recording on the way through, some new ones I’m writing at the moment, and some instrumentals.”
Here are the Top Five Songs which were submitted for this month's contest, with the songwriter credits, plus their e-mail and website links. You can listen to the winning songs by clicking the music players below.