Singer Mali on the importance of entrepreneurship in music, and her gig this Saturday
Chennai’s Maalavika Manoj aka Mali is a singer, songwriter and composer. She would also like to be referred to as a “music entrepreneur” some day. Every musician, according to her, is an entrepreneur by default. She has held this view since her college days (she’s studied business administration) and had an opportunity to voice the same as a TEDxYouth@Chennai speaker at the age of 19.
Ahead of her band Mali and The Big Scene’s gig at BFlat Bar on Saturday, she tells us about the co-relationship between music and entrepreneurship — that love for your music is great, but means to take it further should be understood equally well. “As a musician, you have to constantly innovate to keep your audience engaged (to stay in the game). And, if you happen to be the frontperson of your band, you need to do a lot more than just singing. You have to be good at managing people and deadlines. You know, a lot of artistes are not easy to deal with it, some are emotional, a few others have ego issues. So you need to be a music artiste, a manager and a marketer, all in one. That’s how entrepreneurs also keep their business going, right?” begins Mali.
She’s 22, but she is clearly not new to the business of music. At the age of 17, she first led and managed a band, Bass-in-Bridge. It got dissolved later. After singing solo for a while, collaborating with other artistes and recording for music directors of the likes of AR Rahman, she put together her current band in February this year. This line-up’s music is pop, with influences of rock and country.
Just two days after her performance in the city, Mali will move to Mumbai — to understand the music industry better and further her career. “I needed to get out of my comfort zone in Chennai. This will be my last performance a a Chennai-based artiste,” laughs Mali.