I love how these songs are from real life instances that trace themselves back to a phase or a mood or an influence, or incident in my life: Shalmali

Shalmali is a singer, who has been active in the music industry for many years now. A multi lingual singer, she has sung in Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Telugu and Tamil. She has recently come out with her album in English, 2X. While the side A of the album has been released, side B is awaited. We had an interaction with her recently and here are the excerpts:

English full length album, what was the driving force behind creating 2X, and how do expect it to move forward?

I have often found myself saying this at the end of a lot of interviews – Evaluate yourself and find what you are good at, what you can build on and what makes you happy. But I guess I didn’t follow my own advice until now. Writing and releasing my English music is what I have always wanted for myself so it sure does make me happy, I also know that I can build on this and put more music out in the future and that this is my calling.

The last 10 years of being in the music industry, has taught me to follow my passion and gut. My gut tells me I’ll find a lot of happiness in this path, and as long as I can chase that, everything else along the way will only be a bonus.

Side A to be released on 22nd April with 5 songs apart from already released Here Is Beautiful. Tell us about the experiences behind creating these songs?

Every song is from a different phase in my life. While Uncool is a song written by Shalmali from 4 years back, As Far As We Get was written during the 2020 lockdown. I love how these songs are from real life instances that trace themselves back to a phase or a mood or an influence, or incident in my life. One of the closest songs on 2X Side A is a song called Sora which is an ode to my friend Sora who passed away suddenly in a car accident three years back. I have had this song ready for 3 years but didn’t have the heart to play it out to the world. Love You Double is a love song I’ve played on Live gigs a few times and its gotten a lot of love. I completed writing it at Berklee when I was there for a summer program in 2019. The opening track of this album titled Language (Intro) is like the name suggests an introduction to the sound of the album and lyrically an expression of all the things that kept me from putting out an album like this before. It’s called Language because it had to be English – the language I’ve felt more comfortable writing in, despite being Indian.

Here Is Beautiful has already garnered 1.3 Million views on YouTube. How was the experience of working with Sunidhi Chauhan?

I am absolutely awestruck at the kind of love Here Is Beautiful is getting. Specially since its an English song. I won’t say that just because of the YouTube views. That is not a measure of the success or failure of a song. Not to me. I find people, friends and strangers appreciating what the music is saying – lyrically and melodically. That makes me happiest. That makes Sunidhi happiest too. Working with her has been the most effortless and beautiful party of this journey. Despite the weight of her name, she remains the most devoted to music. She is someone I look up to even more now that I have gotten to know her closely. She is inspiring in more ways than one. We’ve shared in our passion for making the song the king, and giving it everything it needed musically and visually for the video.

When are you planning to release Side B?

Although I’d love to give you a date, the current lockdown regulations make it hard for me to set a date in stone. But definitely this year. All tracks are almost in place. There’s no reason for me not to release Side B by the end of 2021.

How difficult was the choice to create a full length English album, given that we are not an English speaking country in general?

It was as simple as it was difficult. I say that because it did take me 10 years to finally take the decision of doing this. But when I did decide, it was really simple – there was no calculation based on who will listen, how well it will do, etc. I had to do this for myself. For my peace of mind and happiness. I was convinced in my idea. That’s half the battle won. If I know I’m convinced by my product, I know I can convince the audience.

My music isn’t only for the Indian audience. The world is my audience.

What’s next from your end? Are there any other collabs in this album?

We do have a slot for a possible collaboration on Side B. I am still looking for an artist who I really want to work with to be on. All in good time.

I did the music for an Indie Marathi film named June last year which did the rounds of a lot of festivals. The film and its music are due to release this year. So that will be my debut as a film composer too!


2021 looks to be a year of Shalmali, we are all thrilled to see what comes out this year from her!

Article By Vishwa Deepak Dikshit

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