It takes a special kind of 23-year-old indie artist to have worked with the likes of AR Rahman, Anirudh Ravichander, Dualist Inquiry and Sapta. Meet Maalavika Manoj, better known as Mali, one of Chennai’s sweethearts. She’s performed at some of the biggest venues across India.
Now in Mumbai, Mali’s finally released her debut EP Rush, with five compelling tracks under her belt. Rush was inspired by her own life and the experiences she gained while moving around cities, which shine through her simple and honest songwriting.
The EP opens with an upbeat track about how a “rich guy is a poor girl’s dream”. In it, Mali sings about the realities of moving to a new place, the gritty exchange of contacts and how the naive can be taken advantage of. It progresses onto a song about making a friend and losing them, before moving on to the rush of doing something you love.
The next track is about being proud of being a dreamer. In school, Mali always thought that being a dreamer was equal to being a waste of space, something unnecessary. But now, she lets the stamp of a dreamer represent her. Being a dreamer and being a musician go hand in hand, and Mali’s embraced that.
But perhaps her favourite track on the album (information she divulged after a bit of prodding, adding that all her songs are like her children) is Sooner or Later, in which she sings about a break-up which she’s learned to look at in a positive light. The Rush EP is a summation of a life experience that can especially be enjoyed by people who appreciate live recordings. Listen to the whole EP here: