Shalmali: I’d like to give my audience a chance to know all of me

By Bryan Durham - March 12, 2020

Shalmali recently put out a single about being single… on Valentine’s Day, no less! Called Kalle Kalle, it’s a peppy number that sees her dancing her heart out in a music video for the first time.

Shalmali: I’d like to give my audience a chance to know all of me

A far cry from her last release, the rock ballad, Ruka Ruka, it talks about being unapologetically independent and living life with no boundaries. 

Here are excerpts from our conversation…

Is Shalmali IRL closer to the girl in Ruka Ruka or the one in Kalle Kalle?

I’ve felt equally Ruka Ruka as I’ve felt Kalle Kalle at various points in my life.

Kalle Kalle has crossed the lifetime views of Ruka Ruka in three weeks flat? What does that tell you about listening trends?

People do gravitate towards groovy tracks like Kalle Kalle. They also probably expect me to comply to my reputation of peppy upbeat numbers which is something I’ve done more often. I have no complaints with the expectation. But I have several colours to my music, and I’d like to give my audience a chance to know all of me.

Is it a sort of victory that a song as hatke as Ruka is going great guns while Kalle gets the safety net of being a dance song?

All of it is a victory. From launching my independent career with a song like Ruka Ruka, which is a rock ballad in all its glory. Then have Kalle Kalle which allows me to transform into the performer I wish my audience to know me as. Then again, how safe is Kalle Kalle though? It is me dancing in a bodysuit, promoting and embracing being single. Most importantly, Kalle Kalle isn’t a dance video because those kind of videos work, it’s because I don’t think before this video, people knew I could dance, or that I am not just a singer.

We are very much a product of our times and experiences. Is it important to let out that authentic voice and bare your vulnerabilities?

If it’s independent music, I believe speaking your mind is the only way to go. I cannot sing a song that I’m not convinced of. I need to feel like I own the song, in order to perform it, speak of it, deliver it. Our vulnerabilities make us unique and relatable.

Any khaas dushmani with Abhay Batra? While you’ve changed production from Jugaad to SlickFilm, the character remains the object of attention

You’re probably the only one to have caught on to that! We are so happy you did. We are weaving the music videos together in a way. The “Abhay Batra” you read on the Fossil watch is the same one from Ruka Ruka !

Do you think a brand integration dilutes a message you’re trying to put out?

This is a production call. I am still to learn how it affects the message. Although from what I gather, the message of the song is still reaching the people.

Loving yourself first was the best Valentine’s Day message to send out. Why do you think we don’t do it enough?

I’ll speak for women. And I know most women are the kind that I am – we forget about ourselves and make it all about the man – what he wants, when he wants it, how he wants it. We do it because we find joy (at least, at the time) in doing it. But, with time, the one thing that we realise we have is, ourselves. While we are being selfless and giving, we must remind each other that we have to first be happy with who we are. Get to know ourselves better, our likes, dislikes and interests.


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