Mali Music is just that … all about the music. He has a wisdom that goes beyond his years. He has been a star football player in high school and a musical prodigy moving and shaking in the church. However, his appreciation for his gift and talents show how much respect and humility he has for the creator. Singersroom had the opportunity to really have an in-depth talk with the man called Mali Music. Check him out talking about his faith, father, manhood, football and more.
What’s Up … The single “Ready Aim” is doing an amazing job. Right now I have time to spend with my family. I have the Essence Festival coming up. We have an EP release in June. Soon as we get the EP out I think this album will do well.
Talented and Gifted … I know my musical talents are bigger then me. I know I’m not just lucky. I thank God for changing my situation around. I can only give him my drum claps and 16 to try to change people.
The Metaphorical Writer … Well, the creative process was the same as it always is. The position that I was in at that time was changing … I was with Jerry Wonda. I’m a metaphorically writer. I knew that I was clearly here to do something major. “Ready Aim” is speaking to the resistant, internal fear, lack of courage and feeling insecure. The biggest antagonist is your self. I also have a song called “I hate you”. I love resistance … a lot of people back down from it. I look at it like let it happen.
My roots … My talents are rooted from my personal history and my musically history. I’ve been playing keys since 5 years old. I’m from the middle of Savannah, Georgia so when you’re a kid at church you have to be secure and really bring it. So when I was fifteen, sixteen there wasn’t a doubt in my mind that I had what it took. I had already slayed the lions and bears so dealing with those giants was nothing.
R&Blues of Today … I feel R&B. I feel it’s evolving in a way that coincides with the evolution of music today. It’s changing from the focus being the soul to it being all about the rhythm and words. Blues is a sentiment of emotions. B.B. King’s “The Thrill is Gone” is the Blues. Music has been so industrialized, they look at artists as lottery tickets. It’s not about living a life that causes you to sing anymore. I want to assist in bringing music back as a whole and save the people.
Can’t Separate The Message & Music … You couldn’t separate Bob Marley or Ray Charles from their music. It’s like the game of basketball in relation to the game of life. Basketball is just a conduit. Basketball is not your life. Who you are drives what you bring to the court. Music is nothing without life. The people want something that is going to change them. I see the music thing as something like the civil rights movement. It’s about the momentum of the event. You have to tap into your marches and those “I Have a Dream” speeches.
Musical Medicine vs. Poison … Music is the medicine but also the poison. We need people on both sides. I’m grateful that they gave me the ears of the kings. God decided it’s my time and when he says it’s over I’ll go raise my family. I’m not so intrigued by the glitz and glamour.
Industry vs. Artists … It varies when it comes to artists. Artists usually come in with a great heart. They come in just as on fire as I am, but things change. I think the frustration and scrutiny can cause people to get lost and lose sight. Some people will be a puppet or a so called thug just for the money. Some people are all about the sound. They are not concerned with the fans and become like aliens that no one can relate to. Some people feel like music turned on them and they take their frustration out on the industry. I don’t take this music for granted at all and I’m into it to make other statements. There is more to life then what people are told. I want to share with the people.
Superman on Stage … I feel invincible on stage. I think one of the most profitable businesses today is video games. People enjoy video games because it’s a virtual reality. That’s how I feel on stage … its my internal virtual reality. How are you going to tell that producer or painter that he or she messed up on their work? I can literally feel the message and energy go from my heart to the people in the audience. I can literally see the music hit the people. It’s like a bulb comes up.
Changing The World … I don’t know what I would be doing if I wasn’t singing. I was real heavy into football when I was in high school. I would have dabbled in football. If it wasn’t music, I would have found a cure for cancer last year. I would have dedicated my life to changing the world or inventing something.
Family First … My family is really close. My mom is my manager. She’s been my manager from the beginning. My dad has definitely made a difference in my life despite the fact that he is not my biological father. My dad literally changed my life. I watched a man show my mother love and not take no for an answer. It was my two sisters and my mom at that time… it was a straight girl party. He really showed me what it was to be a man. I really took to him. He was and still is a basic man. I was raised by a basic cat that only cared about being a man of integrity. If I did well in school but got in trouble he would explain to me “no one wants a bad egg”. He would say, “If the people around you don’t have good things to say about you when they talk then your doing something wrong”. Larry Walker is an angel. I get to break bread with him everyday.
Connecting With Dad … It was always my mom who supported my music. She’s super talented and she can sing. My father always believed that men get money by working with their hands, but I always said I wasn’t going to work a 9-5. When football got crazy for me, I was #21 in the nation. At homecoming I would do the national anthem and then return the first kick. This is when I really saw my father open up. He’s not the type to be too vocal, but when it came to football we were able to connect. I would run through any linebacker just because I knew he was watching. But when the time came to pick a college, I denied all scholarships. Even my coach was upset that I was going to throw all those scholarships away for music.
I couldn’t proof it but I knew I was suppose to be a musician. I knew this was God given because he put songs in my head. My dad was not trying to hear it though. He told me, “You are going to get a job. You are not going to be in my house sucking up all my air.” So I got a job reading water meters and driving trucks. One day my boss found a CD of mine and told me, “Mali this job is not for you. ” I went home and told my father I quit and we physically fought. A little later my father said,” Anything my son will fight me for I support.” So my mother quit her job and became my manager and my father little bit later got laid off. I ended up supporting my family with my music. My first concert had over 3000 people there. I was on and won BET’s Music Matters in New York. Then Akon put me on. Now everyday is awesome. My dad is on it now.
The Love… I think my best show was in Louisville. I did a show in Louisville at a small venue but the love was crazy. Louisville was nuts! I was in that joint with tracks and we rocked it for two hours. I like performing in Virginia Beach. Ain’t nothing like the south, like Georgia or Florida. I did L.A. and other places on the west coast like Fresno. You got to be there when I perform. I guess I don’t know my favorite place to perform but I have to give it to Virginia for the love also.
A Man’s Man … It’s kind of pitiful that people thank me for being a man. People get excited because I am a real man. It’s the mixed hybrid that really just turns me off. They start dancing and it gets tricky. The restoration of masculinity is refreshing to people. It opens up a huge market because a lot of males are not trying to support other males because of the no homo phase we are in. We need to see men singing and being men again. I think it’s going to restore a lot of creativity and open a lot of doors.
Surprises … They would be surprised how good I was in football. The fans would also be surprised in how down to earth I am.
Mali Music has something to say. Check him and his music out. He definitely has a massage. To Mali it is more than music it is a movement with a message.