Mahalia – Cheat (feat. JoJo)

Mahalia and JoJo are telling it like it is, “once a cheat, always a cheat.” The UK R&B-influenced single was released as a tease for the singer and actress’ upcoming studio album IRL – out July 14. Before the release of “Cheat,” this year has seen her release “Terms and Conditions” and collaborate with RAYE on “Five Star Hotels.”

“Cheat” sees Mahalia and JoJo sing about giving a partner who cheated on them a second chance, only for them to continue cheating. “You swear you’re innocent but that’s not the case, uh / You’ve got the guilt written all over your face / You busybody, you can’t stay in one place / You were out romancing and now asking for one more chance,” Mahalia sings in the opening verse before Jojo joins in on the second verse to list the ways they found out their partners – or in this case, partner – was still cheating on them: “Now did you really think I wouldn’t find out (Haha) / ‘Bout all your late night escapades on the town (Yes, I know).”

In the accompanying music video, Mahalia and JoJo discover that they’re both seeing the same guy and that he’s playing them both. Instead of fighting each other about it, they come together to confront the guy. He sees them both approaching and flees, leaving the girls to laugh it out.

Speaking on the single, the 25-year-old said: “I can’t quite believe this one is real. I have been a fan of JoJo for as long as I can remember so having her on this record really is a dream come true for me. I love watching people come together through hardship and everything about this song represents that. For me, it is a song about strength, power, and letting go.”

The single is produced by Spencer Stewart and JD Reid, and written by Ryan Ashley, Chrystal Lecointe, MNEK, Spencer Stewart, and Jojo, with several people playing violin on the track. It also samples “Playa Cardz Right” by Keyshia Cole feat. 2Pac.

The British singer-songwriter has been releasing music since 2015, and her discography includes charting singles like “I Wish I Missed My Ex,” “Surprise Me,” “Do Not Disturb,” “Simmer” feat. Burna Boy, “In the Club,” and others. In 2018, YouTube ranked her among their “Ones to Watch” list.

In the past, Mahalia has listed Corinne Bailey Rae, Erykah Badu, Lauryn Hill, Amy Winehouse, Jill Scott, India Arie, Ed Sheeran, and Kate Nash among her musical influences.