"I tell you when you got a made up mind, even the winter feels like summertime." excerpt from 'Walking Shoes'
Kortney "Mali Music" Pollard is a 26 year old Savannah, Georgia native taking the music industry by storm. Pollard's debut album on RCA Entertainment debuted at No. 2 on The Billboard Top 100 behind Jennifer Lopez. The album recorded 18,000 units sold in its first week. Although this is Mali's first release on RCA, he is not a newcomer to the world of music. He has gained notoriety from his acclaimed independent release "The 2nd Coming". The national buzz surrounding Mali Music can be pinpointed to his performance of "Job's Song" at the BET Awards a few years ago, as a BET Music Matters artist. The on-air performance was only a snippet, but enough to catch the attention of those watching; particularly music artist Akon.
The album speaks on different life topics we all go through, while encouraging believers along their journey. The opening track 'No Fun Alone' stresses the importance of traversing life with supporters around you. The accomplishments and milestones we achieve as an individual are cherished better when shared with loved ones. The "Mali Is" album has been long anticipated, garnering numerous pushed back dates over the last two years. Mali has definitely been under high scrutiny for accusations of forsaking his faith and becoming a mainstream secular artist over that period (and arguably still today). As Mali celebrated his album release with a concert at S.O.B.'s, he emphatically dispelled the rumors assuring his allegiance to Jesus. The lead single "Ready Aim" is a cleverly written track addressing all the rumors and attempts to sway him from his faith.
Mali continues to show his amazing ability as a songwriter on the "Mali Is" album, as well as incorporating different musical influences. The album has a great mix of different genres evoking different feels as one listens to the album. A salute to the marriages of our grandparents spanning 50 plus years are sung about on "Heavy Love". The track has a driving bass line sure to make listeners tap their feet and do the proverbial head nod. The song is one of the more upbeat songs on the album providing a good switch of style from the previous tracks.
You can't move it, you can't shake it You can't beat it, you can't take it
It's unchanging, heavy love It ain't changing, heavy love
So much power, so much patience
It's a love, so amazing
It ain't moving, heavy love It ain't breaking, heavy love
As mentioned earlier, Mali supplies encouragement for the believer to stand their ground and face life with a new perspective. The many influences and voices in this world can easily turn their convictions in many directions, but Mali stands a beacon in the music industry. One of the most compelling tracks on the album is "Walking Shoes". An ode to all the dreamers of the world. The desired lives we have set out for ourselves often seem miles away, but it can only come to fruition if we persevere. "Yeah I believe, I believe But its a dream that I ain't seen yet. Chasing a dream that I ain't dreamed yet. But I'mma meet it halfway if I keep on walking."
The reggae infused one-drop beat on "One" is sure to satisfy any listeners who appreciate the genre. The message of the song is yet another poignant one, as a collective unit we can accomplish so much more. The change we desire to see in this world can most effectively happen when personal ambitions are put aside. In case you were wondering where Mali Music is looking to go after this life ends, the song "Make It" declares he is aiming for Heaven.
The final track on the album "I Believe" has a old school quartet/Motown feel cementing the underlying themes of the album. Despite the situations in life, one has to believe God is still taking care of him or her. The passion and sincerity in Mali's voice gives the "I Believe" an edge that will surely resonate with all who listen. The production is done well throughout the album, everything is complemented well.
"Mali Is" represents a rarity found in music these days and that is music with a clear cut message. The songs are not overly Christian beating one over the head with Jesus, but Christ is all through the album. The Bible encourages followers of Christ to be wise like serpents, yet harmless like doves. Mali Music has wisely infused hope and life music with messages from the word of God. The highly anticipated album does not disappoint and shows the growth in this young man over the past few years. Mali has matured and gained a renewed confidence for the mission God has placed him here for. If you seek to know more about him, be sure to pick up "Mali Is".