Shalmali, one of the most versatile singer and performer, has been successfully dabbling with independent music since past year and a half. She had released 2X Side A in 2021 and the much awaited 2x Side B has been recently released. Whoever has seen her sing or perform live, can swear by the kind of energy she brings to the atmosphere, the kind of artistic skills she makes listeners experience. With 2X Side B, she has taken this unbelievable benchmark a notch up, by experimenting and exploring more facets of her talent. We had an interaction with her lately, here are the excerpts of it.
We last interacted in first half of 2021. How have things shaped up from you from there on?
I’d say things have shaped exactly how I’d hoped for them to. I have been immersed in working on 2X Side B and I am in the middle of releasing the music from my latest album right now. I couldn’t have wished for anything better.
It’s been over a year that 2X Side A was released. What took it so long for 2X Side B release, given that the fans had been eagerly waiting for it?
All good things take time. I wrote three more songs in the pandemic that now have a place in Side B. We also had a lot of featuring artists on this album, along with a lot of live horn and string dubs which we did in Nashville. We also took time with the production and my vocal arrangement. I recorded my vocals over two months in the studio. We knew we had something very special, and we didn’t want to be hasty with releasing it.
Tell us a bit about 2X Side B. What should your fans and music lovers in general expect from it?
People who’ve heard me for the last ten years could, maybe, be shocked because I don’t think I have sounded like this. There hasn’t been an opportunity for me to sing like this. I’m excited for my fans to see the songwriter in me. This album is me opening myself up to my audience because every song is written from a very personal space and as such is an insight into my life and the person I either am or used to be. I’ve written about love, anger, getting back at someone, songs in reflection – there’s a plethora of topics and that makes the album loveable by all.
Watch “Chills” here:
“Chills” sees you in a new avatar, you have just heated up the coming winters 😃, and have received a BIG Thumbs Up from all around! Tell us about the visual identity conceptualisation of the song What’s next to drop from 2X Side B?
“Chills”, since the time I started writing it, was about vanity in love. It is a song that is utterly vane as I believe all love to some degree is, more so at the start of a relationship. When Lendrick Kumar, the director of the video, came to the studio to hear the track the first time, he immediately took to it and said it’s such a good track, it doesn’t need a video! In a week’s time, he sent a visual treatment for the song which began with the first frame, “Shalmali is in a grave.. mud falls on her as the camera pulls out, to reveal her lover digging her into a grave”. I was already hooked when I read this, because I loved how Lenny took the words “I’m so fixed on you” to its extreme and made the narrative about what being blindly in love can do. That, coupled with my stubborn need for having choreography in the video, resulted in the video we have today.
We’ve shot a music video for Runnin’ that we teased when we dropped the audio. That will release soon.
With the year end approaching and you must definitely be busy performing, this being the season’s busiest time, how much is 2X Side B a part of performance or will it have a separate Album Tour format?
There definitely will be an Album Tour early next year. But I will be performing select songs from the album in my regular shows as well.
Last when we spoke, you shared that being independent musician you have started getting hands on with many other aspects of music making which were often managed by record labels for you earlier. Which have been those interesting aspects of music making and marketing that you could add to your arsenal?
Writing music and being involved in its production process has been the most exciting aspect of all. With every song I’m writing, I am getting a better idea as to if it is good enough, whether it needs a change in production that’s drastic, whether it should remain mostly live or heavy on production, etc. I’ve also gotten better at understanding how to feed the music to listeners, based on how music is consumed today. Social media is a powerful and exhausting medium, which if used appropriately can be beneficial and fun all the same.
Where does Shalmali go from here? What are your next plans?
I’ve just released an album. I’m already writing more songs and have some singles I plan to release in 2023. I do want to play my album live every chance I get so a tour would be most exciting to do right now.
What would you like to say to your ardent fans?
I’m grateful for the love I’ve received for my singing in these last 10 years. I’d love for my fans to lend their ears to my independent music with open hearts. I feel immensely thankful that I am able to release so much music in this day & age and get an increasingly growing audience for it.
Well, the album is streaming and we are hooked on to it. Check it out if you still haven’t yet!