Exclusive Premiere: Watch Singer-Songwriter Mali’s Emotional New Video for ‘Play’
The Mumbai-based musician’s grandfather M.C. Rammohan, who features in the clip, also adds a harmonica solo to the track
Mumbai singer-songwriter Maalavika Manoj aka Mali is finally out with new music after her much acclaimed 2017 debut EP Rush. Her latest offering is the poignant and pleasant “Play,” accompanied by an emotional music video that features her septuagenarian granddad, M.C. Rammohan.
Mali penned the track as a dedication to him after her grandmother sent her a bunch of old photographs. She says, “I looked at the photographs and there is one which is now the cover art that spoke like a million words to me. I felt like in another life I would have been friends or bandmates with my granddad. He was suddenly this relatable character.”
In the clip, shot by Mumbai-based photographer and filmmaker Krish Makhija, Mali and her grandfather are seen spending time together, laughing and smiling in their ancestral home in Kannur and performing the song together. Mali also roped in her granddad to play harmonica on the track. She says, “I remembered all the times he used to play the harmonica for family jams and stuff.” At first Rammohan was quite hesitant, but after plenty of coaxing by his granddaughter he finally agreed to record his harmonica solo. “In the studio he was so frightened, he froze and turned red,” says Mali.
Turns out that Rammohan used to be in a band called Black and White and would play a lot of Bollywood songs of his time and folk numbers. Although he gave up music and got a regular job to support his family soon, Mali states that music was always his passion. So when she decided to pursue music full-time, the singer-songwriter was surprised by the fact that her granddad was apprehensive about her decision. “He was the one who said I don’t know if music is the right thing to do, you can do it as a hobby, but what is the financial situation and how will you have the lifestyle that you want.” She adds, “I had to tell him music is different these days, it’s not like before where opportunities were limited. When I started putting out stuff and he saw my music was getting views he was like ‘Oh wow, this is really cool.’”
“Play” is the first of three singles Mali plans on releasing this year. The next track she wants to put out is a song titled “Mango Showers” along with a music video, while her third pick is currently still undecided. The musician also intends to release a full-length debut album. She says, “I am collecting songs and maybe I’ll start working on it in 2019.”
Watch the music video for “Play” below: