SB: So how do you want people to feel after listening to the album?
MM: Man, I want people to want to listen to the album again when they finish listening to the album. And I want that classic feeling that everybody used to have when they listened to an album that was so good, that they became the one that turned everybody on to it. Like, they got pleasure out of saying: “Hold on, whatever you’re doing, we’re linking up tonight; and you’re listening to this the whole way through.”
And, you know, I want people to know that it’s good, and I feel that I’ve been really seeing that and feeling that. I want people to want to listen to it again.
SB: What songs mean the most to you on this album?
MM: I can never deny the feeling that I get when “Still” comes on.
SB: Yes, that’s one of our favorites.
MM: It just opens up so much, and it reminds me of so much, yet it’s so new. So I love that song and “What You Done.” I was so excited to close the album with it. Definitely “Still” and “What You Done.” Those are the two that I have to say mean a lot to me.
SB: "Loved By You" with Jazmine Sullivan was amazing, too.
MM: Thank you so much. I can’t not say “Loved By You,” but then I would have said the whole album if I would have said that.
SB: That’s true. What I’ve noticed from you, is that you’re super-positive every time I talk to you and when I see you perform. And you’ve faced a lot of criticism and so many different opinions from the church or from your previous fans. And they’re like, “Well, why don’t you sing this anymore?” How do you handle everything and just stay grounded this whole time?
MM: It’s a constant fight, from day to day. There’s no one way to win the game. Because the opponent starts from so many different angles. So I learned to accept the moment that I transitioned or I crossed over that line to where I am now and the gloves are off. I’m not sparring anymore. Now I wake up prepared for the fight. I have to accept every day, the success that God has made me and everyone else aware of. I can’t get lazy, and I guard in my heart with diligence.
SB: So, what’s the next video? We loved “Gonna Be Alright.”
MM: Oooh, I don’t know which one, but I probably should do “Loved By You.” We should probably just do something cool for the people.
SB: You totally should! I am going to vote for that.
SB: So what’s next? I know you’ve been doing some cool partnerships. I loved the Lincoln MKZ ad you did last year and you did some stuff with fashion. You have your own suit and stuff. So what’s coming up next?
MM: I feel really good about the momentum that the album is going to bring to all of my projects. Anything that has been dormant or anything that has Mali Music on it, I feel will be rejuvenated. And that’s all across the arts. The films that I’ve been able to record. The things that I’ve been able to score and produce for.
I’m excited about the tour setup for this summer, and going into the winter, to be able to bring the music to everybody. Because what everybody has now is nothing but a poster, trailer or a translation of what I actually am or what I’m actually saying.
I’m excited about the new visuals. And I’m very, very excited about the cleansing, the purification and the revalidating of the music industry through a new wave of artists and a new, inspired generation of creatives who are inspired by this type of music.
SB: It’s tough to be positive these days, but I’m glad someone’s doing it out here.
MM: I know it’s tough to be positive, but you can’t be so negative that it’s hard for you to acknowledge when there is something positive happening to you. People are forgetting how to express positivity, which is the scary part.
SB: That is scary. I hope it gets better.
MM: It will. Through this, it’s going to be all right. It’s up to you to believe me.
SB: Final question, which I always ask because it’s SoulBounce.com, but what makes your soul bounce?
MM: What makes my soul bounce? Ooh! Progress. To see the progress that everyone is making. That’s what’s making my soul bounce.
I believe in the kingdom of love. I believe in the kingdom of life. I believe in the positivity that we can strive for and the peace that we are going to attain. And the thing that makes my soul bounce is when I see us care about it, even for a moment. Because that shows me that it’s possible.