City teen Maalavika Manoj’s debut pop album Deceptive offers a variety of styles from jazz to blues

When she was 12 years old, Maalavika Manoj began to sing, and by 16, she was composing songs. Now, at 19, the singer has launched Deceptive, her debut pop album, containing six original tracks, composed and sung by her.

The undergraduate student, who is about to leave for France to complete her education, has been working on her album since last March. “Releasing an album has been a long-time dream,” she says. “I’ve always looked at artistes who’ve made it big and thought, ‘Someday I’ll do it too’. And now, I went through the whole process myself and it feels great to have created something.”

The album also features other artistes such as Ujjayinee Roy, Karthick Iyer, ‘Ghatam’ Karthik and Ed DeGenaro who have helped Malavika with the instrumentals. Apart from this, the album has also been mixed by Grammy award-winning composer-mixer-producer based in the U.S., Anton Pukshansky. “The album has a mix of styles such as jazz, electronic, blues and so on. It’s like a box of assorted chocolates — something for everyone,” Maalavika explains. As an independent artiste looking to release an album on her own, Maalavika found that coordinating with people in other places was challenging. “There were so many delays at every step. When you delegate work, there’s often a clash of interest and sometimes things don’t work out, and you’ve to go back to the drawing board. That’s why it took me so long to release the album,” she says.

‘Deceptive’, the title track, talks about how nothing is as it seems, and seamlessly blends her voice with the harmonies. The feedback so far has been heartening, says the singer. “People tell me they are able to relate to the songs and the lyrics, that they have been in similar situations. I write songs only when I am really inspired by something,” she smiles. In the long run, she hopes to start her own business, combining her passion for entrepreneurship and music. “Music will always be a part of my life,” she says. “I will continue to record, compose and perform.”

Deceptive is available on iTunes, Amazon, Myspace and Xbox Live and other online platforms.