The lights are dim. A gold shimmering curtain is opened by a pair of neon green nails. In the background there’s a soft piano melody playing, gentle echoey-vocals are layered on top. It feels comfortably familiar, like the start of many good R&B songs. The lights flick on, the bass kicks in and Alex Mali‘s coaxes you into the catchy hook of her track “Faded”.
This is the video that dropped Mali, the Brooklyn-based, singer-songwriter on to my radar. She creates dream-like, slow-burning visuals that accompany her distinct take on R&B.
Alex Mali’s sound is modest and minimalist but packed with the vibrancy of genres like dancehall and soca. Take her track “Hoity Toity” featuring Melo-X as an example.
Visually, Mali shape-shifts and toys with different styles showing that her music is extremely versatile.
Her tracks take on the mood and colour she chooses for her videos. ‘Benjamin’, for example, is a bouncy electronica infused track. But with the accompanying Afro-futuristic, neon-lit visuals it a takes on a darker, sultry, sexier tone.
Mali’s ability to seamlessly switch up her neon-green hair also makes her style iconic. Her eccentric looks are reminiscent of 90s icons such as Aaliyah and Kelis. She not only creates great music but looks the part of a good R&B star.
Alex Mali has been making waves for a while now. She dropped the punchy ballad “PHENOM” (produced by Monte Booker) in 2016. The track landed a spot on BBC Radio 1 and nearly one million streams on Spotify.
Since then, she’s dropped a handful of amazing tracks and videos. In July, Mali dropped her long-awaited EP Sweet n Sour. Hopefully, some more visuals are soon to come.
She also made an appearance at the VFiles NYFW SS19 Runway Show alongside Lil Kim at the Barclays Center.
With her playful and timeless sound, there is no good reason to not be listening to Alex Mali right now. Her Sweet n Sour EP is only just a taste of the exemplary sound she is pushing forward.
You can stream Alex Mali’s music on Spotify and subscribe to her YouTube channel here.