Listen: Mumbai Singer-Songwriter Mali’s Delightful New Single ‘Dreaming’
The vocalist-guitarist channels her male alter ego on the country/folk song that harks back to her childhood
Maalavika Manoj wasn’t your ideal schoolgirl while growing up. The Mumbai-based singer-songwriter, who goes by the moniker Mali, says she didn’t pay much attention in class and would often space out. One day, someone gifted her a John Lennon T-shirt with the message, ‘You may say I’m a dreamer but I’m not the only one.’ That famous line from Lennon’s 1971 magnum opus “Imagine” triggered something in her and she decided to follow her creative instinct.
Mali’s new single “Dreaming” invokes many of her childhood experiences — the people she met and the way she felt about them. She says, “It is the story of a boy, my alter ego, who is growing up. When I started writing this song, I thought I was writing about someone else, but then I realized, ‘This is me, this is my story.’”
“Dreaming” was recorded at Mumbai’s Cotton Press Studio with Stuart DaCosta on bass, Jehangir Jehangir on drums and Tejas Menon on guitar. Jehangir and Menon are also producers on the track. Although the track is unmistakably country/folk, Mali says she doesn’t listen to a lot of country, at least not as much as she did while growing up in Chennai. Her parents were huge fans of country.
The 22-year-old singer-songwriter is currently plotting a five-track EP titled Rush. She plans on recording next month and releasing it by the end of the year. “My first album was a collaboration with 25 artists; every song sounded like a different artist and the only common thread was my voice. So I wanted to have a record with one homogenous vibe that ties everything together,” says Mali, who is playing a few solo gigs this month. She is also on the roster of the Pune edition of Bacardi NH7 Weekender to be held on December 2nd-4th.
Listen to “Dreaming” below.