The SoulBounce Q&A: Mali Music Talks His ‘Transition,’ The Music Industry & The Next Part Of His Evolution

Photo Credit: Shane McCauley

SB: Awesome. Speaking of albums, I know there’s a collection of songs that you recorded from different times.

MM: Yes.

SB: I also noticed “Digital” wasn’t on this album, is there a reason why?

MM: Because of the way that paperwork or contracts are, you can only put so many songs on an album. The label didn’t know how to put the 22 songs that we wanted everyone to hear on one CD. We could only put so many slots on one project, and we had to make some hard decisions.

SB: Because you had a lot more than 22 that you liked?

MM: What? Of course!

SB: [Laughs] How many did you have to choose from?

MM: Oh, it was funny because I was with the A&R. He opened up the Mali Music pack of all the songs that were selected for the album. And there were 74 tracks. [laughs] There were 74 songs that were ready to go.

SB: Wow! I've been to your shows where you were testing out new songs on the audience. Are you going to keep doing that with the ones that didn’t make the album?

MM: I should! Anyone who has heard the songs that didn't make the cut is upset that those songs aren’t on the album. You’ll see all these positive comments and then randomly, there’s this one “dislike” and it’s like, “You’re trying to tell me that the song such-and-such isn’t on the album?” And that just shows me that everybody felt that the album was so precious, that they wanted their favorite on it as well.

It’s difficult to make sure that I have every song on the album that people want to hear. But I believe that those songs are still coming.

I was gracious in the three years and in the dormant season to let you guys get pictures of the future. But now it’s just kind of back to the curriculum.

SB: Do you teach people? Have you ever taught before?

MM: I believe I do. I believe a lot of people learn when they listen to the songs. There are some people who have believed in me and said that there’s more to me than the music. And I know that. There’s a lot more to me, but it’s all about what the people are actually ready for.

SB: Hence, the transition and evolution of it all.

MM: Exactly!


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