In a city like Mumbai, with its millions of voices, it can be hard to make your voice heard, but when you do, it’s a victory like no other. Mallika Mehta, an english singer-songwriter is taking Mumbai by the reins. Called the “Adele of Mumbai”, this artist has opened for artists like Shankar Ehsan Loy, Kailash Kher and has even released her very own music. She can sing in 5 languages, create interesting mashups and hit the highest notes.
Mirchi Play caught up with her for an exclusive interview to discuss her musical journey and experiences.
How did you venture into music? Was it something you always wanted to do?
I have been singing ever since I remember. I was always that kid who would sing at every birthday and anniversary, who would always participate in all music related competitions. I’d listen to my mom play her keyboard and pick up some lines and then play them on my own. That’s when my parents realized that I had an ear for music and bought me my own keyboard. From there on, I was unstoppable. I won multiple competitions throughout school and before I knew it I performed my very first solo concert,“Rhythm”, which was a dream come true.
What hurdles did you face on your journey and how did you overcome them?
The biggest hurdle in this industry is to get your music heard. After that, it depends entirely on your talent. Initially, I also had a hard time finding the right backing tracks for Hindi songs, which I overcame by collaborating with other artists as well as playing for myself. I try to share my music with people who I think will like it, because it’s only when they hear it, will they give me an opportunity.
Did you ever feel like giving up? How did you pull yourself through if you did?
I can never give up on music, but there have been days when I felt lost and unmotivated. On those days I listen to my music loudly on loop. Then I talk to my parents and get reassured by them, which is very comforting.
Does some kind of nepotism or favouritism exist in the area of music you are pursuing?
Nepotism and favouritism is a part of every industry, which is extremely unfortunate. There is so much talent in our country and most people don’t get a chance to get their music heard. More opportunities need to be created to propel the other talents too. Deserving artists should be given an equal chance.
What inspired you to write your EP, ‘Evolve : The Story of Her’?
My debut EP, Evolve : The Story of Her has 3 major songs on it, which I wrote during different phases of my life, and my feelings in those phases influenced them. My EP narrates a story of a girl in love. ‘War Solo’ is about a one-sided love story. The second song ‘Flame Is Gone’ is about getting over the one she loved, but yet something still holds her back. And ‘Finally Free’, is all about her bouncing back stronger and feeling complacent. The EP is about evolution, letting go of the past, embracing the present and looking forward to the future with a positive mindset.
Could you tell me a little bit about ‘Way Too Long’? What inspired you to write it? What is it’s significance?
‘Way too long’ is a song that portrays the emotion of regret. It highlights the fact that everything has a timeline and how certain things need to be said and done when the time is right. Everyone realises what they’ve lost too late, and that regret is a heavy burden to bear. My song explores that feeling, along with the bittersweet acceptance that comes after.
Do you think that the Indian music industry is more inclined toward Bollywood and commercial hindi music?
Yes, definitely. English music has recently started gaining importance, but there have been multiple occasions when I’ve been told that I could only be featured if I performed a Hindi song. We have a huge audience in India that listens to and appreciates English music as well and so it should have an equal place when it comes to opportunities for artists.
Do you have any advice for musicians who are just starting out?
Sing, play, write, perform music because you love it. Keep practicing until you can’t anymore because that’s the only way to achieve what you want. Your love and passion for it will be the reason behind you doing wonders in the field.
Mallika Mehta is on her way to becoming someone great, and we are glad we had the opportunity to interview her.
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