Mali Music Interview
Watching Commissioned live in concert in 1983 essentially sealed my fate as a proponent for Gospel music. Listening back in 1991 to the release of God Is In Control by James Hall & Worship & Praise inspired me to produce my first major concert featuring the aforementioned recording artist.
Watching Kirk Franklin & The Family debut at a GMWA media showcase in 1993 reaffirmed my desire to promote and proclaim the music of Jesus Christ for a lifetime.
And finally, some 18 years later, the debut of Mali Music and his spirit-jolting album, The 2econd Coming, has reawakened a dormant spirit in me to desire more, aspire for more and aim for more in the spirit. His music, his movement and his method is counter clockwise, yet so timely for today’s generation.
My admiration for Mali inspired me to feature him in concert in my home town recently. His live performance was further evidence of a man who flows in the Holy Spirit and walks humbly before God. I’ve witnessed Mali perform in Nashville, Tennessee, Toronto, Ontario, New York City and Montreal, Quebec and in every instance, he’s shown himself to be consistently embedded in the spirit that anchors his life he will not yield.
Mali Music is clearly gaining popularity among music fans and industry players alike, with more cameo appearances on albums by Kirk Franklin, Kierra KiKi Sheard, Da Truth and Sharon Riley, a recent performance on BET 106 & Park and as the headliner for the current MisFit Tour. It was time to put this young fellow likely to be the Next One on full blast.
Christopher Heron: I’m going to start with the obvious question, the name Mali Music. This is your artist name. I believe your birth name is Jamal. How and when did the transformation take place from the birth name to the stage name?
Mali Music: This was an extremely slow process. My name is Kourtney Jamal Pollard. My family and everyone called me Jamal. When I was a young boy, I sang in my little concerts for my mom and stuff like that in the living room at home. We did routines. She would chant Mali, Mali, Mali. As I became an athlete in high school in football as a running back, every time I would run and score, I would hear Kourtney Pollard for 10, Courtney Pollard for the touchdown. Whenever I heard Mali, it identified me musically. I felt like a musician when I heard Mali and I felt like an athlete or student when I heard Courtney. So music is my one thing of choice so it’s Mali Music to separate the two.
Christopher Heron: I’ve watched clips of you on YouTube, listened to your music on My Space, played out your CD in my deck. You’re incredibly distinctive as an artist and as a deliverer of the Word like no one I’ve seen before in gospel music. Where does your artistic inspiration come from, and who are some of the artists, and ministers as well, that have fed your soul?
Mali Music: Well, I listen to a lot of Fred Hammond, John P. Kee. At my church, I served for 11 years as Minister of Music at Faith on the Move Ministries. I’m 23 so I was really like 11. That’s when I got really serious about it. But I couldn’t play a lick, but I told my pastor that I wanted to play (instruments) for the church and stuff like that. He believed me. It’s a small church and he said I can do it. So without training, without a lot of things he would allow me to play even when I couldn’t play. So all I had in my whole foundation of playing and relaying music is from this wail that I found in my spirit that I pulled direct from Heaven. So my whole foundation, it wasn’t based on hymns or a musician that was before me. My pastor just let me get out there and wing it and I fell many times, but God decided to attach this connection to me so I could tap into it whenever I needed to. And I can hear the Heavens.