Singer-songwriter Maalavika Manoj’s latest song is now on online video game Fortnite’s radio 

Updated - February 29, 2024 06:21 pm IST

Published - February 26, 2024 04:25 pm IST

Mumbai-based singer-songwriter Maalavika Manoj who goes by the stage name, Mali

Mumbai-based singer-songwriter Maalavika Manoj who goes by the stage name, Mali | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Mali’s song, ‘Semi Automatic Butane’, is on Fortnite’s Radio Underground

Last week, on Instagram, Mumbai-based singer-songwriter Maalavika Manoj gave a fresh twist to a familiar tune. With her latest single, ‘Semi Automatic Butane’, playing in the backdrop, Maalavika, who goes by the stage name Mali, posted a string of animated videos of her and a clipping of popular video game Fortnite that featured her song. The track has made it to the game’s radio. Fortnite has seven radio stations, including Beat Box, Iconic Radio, Party Royale, Power Play, Radio Underground, Radio Yonder and Rock and Royale. Mali’s song is on Fortnite’s Radio Underground.

“The song was shortlisted for Fortnite, but I had no idea it would actually get through! It’s a pretty fitting choice since the music video also has a somewhat first person shooter element to it with the toy gun and the jeep. This is my first sync and I couldn’t have asked for a better one,” she says. “There have been Indian artists who have played gigs in Fortnite but as far as I know, there haven’t been any on the game radio,” she claims.

A still from the video of ‘Semi Automatic Butane’

A still from the video of ‘Semi Automatic Butane’ | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Written a few years ago, but released in October last year, the song, says Mali, is about how we are drawn to activities that are potentially dangerous. “The song is more specific to smoking; the meaning behind it applies to pretty much all other vices we tend to be trigger-happy about. It was inspired at the time when one of my friends almost burnt their hair while lighting a cigarette and, though it was a little scary, in the moment, we all laughed it off. That visual inspired it,” she says.

The tune, reminiscent of the early 2000s girly pop-rock, is produced by music producer Keshav Dhar. “I made a basic demo of the arrangement and sent it to Keshav. For the most part, it was just the both of us working on the song until we got my band mates Jehangir Jehangir (drums) and Aria Nanji (vocals) to put their parts down. So the flow was pretty simple,” she adds.

Mali’s career as a musician has touched many milestones, including a nomination for Best India Act at the MTV Europe Music Awards last year. “I think being a musician has evolved me as a human being. What people don’t talk about too much is that in entertainment, talent only goes a certain distance but beyond that it’s all resilience. I’ve learned so much about not only musical theory and performance but also work ethic and drive from my peers and from being on the job,” she says.

She also credits Internet for adding to the growth and accessibility of indie music, but is quick to point, “since they’ve made it easier for more people to release music, there are more artistes releasing songs everyday than ever before so it’s become a lot harder to stand out from the crowd”.

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