The enigmatic Mali Music recently released his sophomore album to critical acclaim and mass appeal. The debut of Mali Is…(RCA) landed on the Billboard R&B Charts in its first week in the #2 spot…an amazing feat, considering the album was jostling for top spot against notable figures like Pharrell Williams, Mariah Carey and John Legend.
Strangely, compliments and best wishes among Gospel fans and believers have been tempered, as the album –Mali Is… – and the artist, Mali Music, have been viewed in many church and industry circles as lyrically ambiguous and spiritually shady. Rumor mills ran headlines like, “Mali Music has sold out.” “Mali Music leaves Gospel to do R&B.”
Mali Music: Well, to answer the first question, I could’ve released a whole other album from the songs that didn’t make the album and it would have been just as good. I think song selections was a combined effort honestly. There were a whole lot of songs that I was letting people know about that were coming because my mom and I and the management team where already under the independent label, and we were getting ready to release an album, another independent album, like 2econd Coming.
Mali Music: There was never a thought of featuring artists on the Mali Is… When I come, just like when anybody else comes, I come alone. I think it was necessary for me to be able to define the album. I went to the core of what MALI is, and this is what it is. So from now on, everyone will have a great ear and understanding of what I bring and contribute to songs I’m on. It’s like knowing the sound of Michael Jackson. I want people to be able to distinguish that sound that I bring. That will add value to what it is I’m singing.
Mali Music: It was very powerful. It was a huge impact. If you get the right people around you, the right connects, then you couple that with inspiration, doors fly open. There is a guy on my team, Randy Phillips, and he’s been a beautiful addition. He’s going to be the reason that I am able to walk into arenas and perform. I don’t know the first person to speak to…probably Kirk Franklin…because he’s done it and that would be all.