Mali (aka Maalavika Manoj) is a Mumbai-based singer/songwriter. Her music combines inspiration from iconic pop acts of the 80’s, 90’s, with a contemporary twist. Her debut full-length album, 'Caution to the Wind' is about powering through struggle and keeping calm during difficult times. It has been dubbed one of the most anticipated releases from the Indian Indie scene for the year 2021.

Mali has worked with some of the biggest names in the Indian music business such as Oscar & Grammy award winning music composer AR Rahman (Slumdog Millionaire, 127 hours) She has performed at venues like the Wembley Arena in London and le Zénith in Paris and has lent her voice to several leading ad campaigns. She has been featured on BBC World News and in the BBC documentary ‘Rhythms of India’. In 2020, Mali became a part of Spotify’s prestigious RADAR program, being one of the few handpicked musicians from around the world to be given an exclusive opportunity for growth on the streaming service.

Ethnicity: Indian
Location: Chennai/Mumbai, India

Instagram: @maalavikamanoj

GET TO KNOW - completed April 2021
3 words to describe you:
ambitious, quirky, resourceful

3 words to describe your music:
soulful, nostalgic, relatable

If it does, how does your heritage impact your art?
I grew up in India but was raised by an English speaking family and so all of my songs happen to be in English. My parents made sure to expose me to a lot of Indian arts and culture as a child. They enrolled me in Bharatanatyam lessons and Carnatic vocal lessons because they always believed that it was important for me to be rooted and knowledgeable of my heritage. 

That said, my grandfather used to be the harmonica and he was taught by his grandmother who used to play the accordion as well as the harmonica. So I do believe there's a musical streak somewhere in my family. I even worked with my grandfather on one of my songs, 'Play', which was written about him and even features him playing a harmonica solo. That's my way of showcasing my heritage by preserving our musical connection.

If you could collaborate with anyone, who and why?
Phoebe Bridgers, because she's one of my favourite singer-songwriters

Your next career/music goal:
To tour the world

Top 3 go to songs/artists:
Gypsy - Fleetwood Mac
Somebody Else - The 1975
Bitter with the Sweet - Carole King

Words you live by:
Ask. The worst thing you're going to hear is 'no'

Anything else you'd like to share?
‘Caution to the Wind’ is Mali’s debut full-length album and one of the most anticipated releases from the Indian independent music circuit. The eight-track anthology is about working through difficult times and looking on the bright side of grim situations. It is a bittersweet album that very frequently switches between painfully realistic to cautiously optimistic using a perfect blend of both classic and organic sounds as well as a wide variety of vintage and modern electro-pop sounds. Mali has already released three singles from the album, all of which have earned her a devout following and much critical acclaim. Age of Limbo in May 2020, followed by Absolute in August and Mundane in November 2020. Age of Limbo became known as a lockdown anthem, Absolute, a song about dissent against the unquestioned power of the government and Mundane about choosing an off-beat career path over a more regular one. Mundane rose to #1 on the Euro Indie Music chart in the second week of November 2012 and has garnered a significant amount of radio play on community radio worldwide.