Chali Mulalami has established himself both nationally and internationally as a household name and has even greater plans into taking his works international. He is one of the best musical producers Zambia has ever produced and is ready to take on Africa and work with more international artists. Here is THE EXCLUSIVE of Chali Mulalami.
EZM: Family background?
Chali: “I am fourth in a family of 5, that’s 2 girls and 3 boys. We have lost
2 siblings. 3 of us remain. My dad was a librarian hence my love for
knowledge. I grew up around books about almost everything. My parents
(both late) had a massive collection of music as well. I was greatly
influenced by my older brother’s love for music and adventure. My
close friends are my family too. They helped shape me.”
EZM: Who is the brain behind the opening of the music production house “Sling beats”?
Chali: “Sling Beats is my idea. It was unofficially called David Sling from
the bible story of David and Goliath. Am glad it came to pass that a
little known studio came from a humble background and influenced
Zambian music in a major way. Prayer works.”
EZM: What made you venture into music production?
Chali : “I always wanted to make music. I have always been a businessman but my
need to start a music label was fueled more by desire to create music
than commerce. Music doesn’t stop making itself in my mind. Its
irritating not having an outlet. I just had to get into the game.
EZM : Can you sing?
Chali “I actually started out rapping (as Bravo). Then I started singing but
I couldn’t see how I could fit my rock sound (at the time) into the
industry so I started to write and produce local music in local
language. I still sing some of the songs I write first before I pass
them on to an artist. That deals with my singing crave.
EZM : How many artistes have you worked with?
Chali : “Can’t really count. There’s me the label owner, producer, writer and
studio engineer- so “work” is a wide term. But I personally own (as a
publisher) one of, if not the largest music catalog of modern zed
music in Zambia with over 400 songs from 29 albums. Most of that music
is written and produced by me. So I have worked with quite a lot of
artists to develop it.
EZM :What are some of the challenges that you’ve faced in your music production career?
Chali : “Lack of affordable professional equipment is a highlight in any
upcoming third world musician’s journey. The income for work is much
lower than in other countries. There’s less appreciation for the
profession so there’s no shortage of peanuts. The market in Zambia
isn’t very diverse so its creatively limiting.
EZM : What do you have to say about the studios which are mushrooming? Are they competition to you?
Chali “New businesses in any field are competition to existing ones but we
are not “a studio”. Sling Beats runs a recording studio as one of
things we do. We are a media production, digital content distributor
and marketing firm. Our focus is on becoming a household name in
Africa.Zambia will be proud to know we are now officially representing TRACE
in all anglo-african countries with the exception of South Africa and
EZM : Which Zambian producer is doing it for you at the moment?
Chali ” Quite a lot. I love works form TK (always), Ben Blazer, my own
producer/artist Magik Links, OC, Raydo, Will Bundu, KB and a lot more.
There’s a lot of good activity on the market right now. Its hard to
EZM : Which International artistes would you love to work with?
Chali ” Its Africa now and the world later for me. Sling Beats is in the
process of working with a lot of African artists already like
Mocheddah, Naeto C (Nigeria), P-Unit (Kenya), Gal Level (Namibia),
Liquid Deep (SA), Radio & Weasel, Toniks (Uganda) and a lot more.
The artist am looking forward to working with is M.I. from Nigeria. I
will make it happen. You should hear his new album. Brilliant!”
EZM : How would you rate the music industry now compared to how it was when you just started out?
Chali : “Its really advanced sound quality-wise. Its certainly a lot more
commercial as well. Its quick served and very tasty. A lot of it is
fast food music though. The disadvantage being that a lot of it won’t
be remembered in a few years. We need balance. Make the fans dance but
find time to make them think of the important things because music
should imitate life.
EZM: Why should the artistes choose to work with you!
Chali : Artists already choose to work with me because of my track record. Am
a good producer/writer/engineer but more than anything I steer them
right in their career and work to improve them as people. Its not just
about music with me. I also mentor. Plus I crack some VERY good jokes.
EZM : Where did the name “Chali Bravo” come from?
Chali “I was a rapper in my younger days. I get the first idea for “Chali”
from my name (clearly) and the Bravo is from spy books (Robert Ludlum
novels) I was fond of reading. The spies would go “Alfa-Charlie-Bravo
when communicating. I some how found it very cool. Not much meaning? I
EZM :Are you in a relationship?
Chali ” Yes. Am married to a very beautiful Ngoni lady. We have 3 kids
together, 2 girls and a boy. They will run the earth in their own
small little way one day.
EZM : Are we expecting any hit songs from Slingbeats?
Chali: “Definitely. Look out for new works by K’millian, Magik Links, GYK, JC, Diane
Khuzie and a lot more. Sling Beats has recently signed a Nigerian
female singer called Valerie. We are also in the process of bringing
a female group from Uganda on board.
EZM: What makes a successful producer?
Chali “Pure passion and a good taste for music. An ability to judge the
market. A sense of adventure. Always put the song before everything
including yourself and the artist. Good songs never die. People do.
Stay true to the song.”
EZM: Describe Slingbeats in a sentence?
Chali: “Talent and creativity meet hard work and common sense, hello!
EZM: Word to the people who look up to you?
Chali: “You will only go as far your mind can allow you to go so free your
mind. Venture out. I say “Dream it, Think through it, Do it. Ain’t
nothing to it!”. That’s my driving force. Fear is your worst enemy.
Fear of failure is the devil. Dare to place your talent back in God’s
hands and see how far He will take you. You have one life to live.
Make it count.
Like my facebook page: Chali “Bravo” Mulalami. Let’s stay connected.
By: Memory Kalima