The SoulBounce Q&A: Mali Music Shares His Musical Growth, Celebrity Crush & Exclusive News About Playing Black Jesus


SB: You write all of your songs, right?

MM: All of them. I have to. It’s a big part of me, a big piece of it. It’s kinda scary when you start mixing publishing and creativity. I kinda have the heart of God, and God is really jealous about his own so he made the earth first by himself so nobody can say I made a mountain, you know what I mean? So he’s responsible for it and that’s kinda how I feel about music as well.

SB: Awesome, so you draw your inspiration mainly from God?

MM: Well, and many other artists, many other people who operate in their God-ship through artistry. So you got people who are patty-caking and then you got people who write hits, but then you got like James Brown, who’s like "I don’t know what a trumpet did or does, but it’s going to do this for me. I don’t know what a guitar do, but it’s going to do this for me." I love that. Michael Jackson, Bob Marley is like "forget the rules man, I’m coming in, we bopping." I want to be one of those people who reinvents a space so a lot of the kids that may be enlightened or awakened, have sensitivity and cast out into the odd group, might give them a space to be spiritual but also have a touch of swag.

SB: And speaking of those artists, they’re typically on your playlist. Is there anyone new or young you’re feeling right now?

MM: I’m really excited about the young people who are going to be opening here [tonight]. As soon as I got my opportunity to do a show, I went on Twitter and started doing my research to be able to give people an opportunity because I didn’t get that. It was like "hey, can we sing?" and they were like "alright, you got two songs or you got one song," and you’re like "okay, let me make sure this song is good." I am really excited about these young guys; the opportunity could really just make them more of the beasts that they can be in the future. This guy Manny Wells is really good, Bobby Yang, he plays violin, he’s really really good. Jhené Aiko, I like what she’s bringing to the table lyrically especially. So yeah there are some good things happening in music, and I think it’s about time.

SB: Speaking of current musicians, I heard you had a crush on Rihanna.

MM: Man, I love Rihanna, and I really just want to meet her so I can go ahead and just let her know that that’s how I feel and let that go. But I need her to know for sure that I think she’s amazing.

SB: Well, we’ll tell her! But what Rihanna song would you remake if you could?

MM: [starts singing Rihanna’s “We All Want Love”]

SB: Wait, you just made it song like your own song…

MM: Exactly! We’re already supposed to do that song together, man! I love that record. She has a lot of popular ones but that’s one of the album cuts that really touched me and I like that she felt that it was worthy to be on her album. It says a lot about the spirit inside of her in spite of the things that we might see or feel or judge.

SB: Right, like her boobs.

MM: [laughs]

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