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2X Side A by Shalmali is a winning reflection of the singers new found, musical identity

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2X Side A by Shalmali is a winning reflection of the singers new found, musical identity

Vijayalakshmi Narayanan

Having successfully established herself as a playback singer for close to a decade, Shalmali made the independent music space her new playground in early 2020. The runaway success of 'Kalle Kalle' reinstated her beliefs that she could gauge with her listeners on her own.

Though through her lenses, Shalmali reckons that this was always her calling. To be able to call herself as a singer-songwriter who performs in English. In a video chat with us while promoting her latest album, '2X Side A', she confessed that the lockdown gave her a perspective as to how she wanted listeners to associate with her music.

Shalmali emphasizes, 'I wasn't able to express myself the way I'd wish through playback singing in Bollywood. I knew I would be in complete control if I were to write and perform on my own music. '2X Side A' is me convincing myself that I can put together an album and stick true to my craft.'

When you listen to her album, you are convinced by Shalmali's conviction. The songwriting and the composition, with due collaborative inputs by programmer Sunny MR and Stuart Hawkes weighing in behind the mixing and mastering, bares the sheer unabashedness and truth of one's innermost feelings.

When you listen to 'Language', you'll sense a valid explanation being offered on why an artist would prefer staying authentic with performing in English than appease a crowd in a tongue familiar to them. 'Love You Double' is about an effort to compensate in a relationship gone sour. 'As Far As We Get' is about how external validation can make or break an artist. 'Here Is Beautiful', the standout collaboration with Sunidhi Chauhan, is a giant celebration of sisterhood and feminism. 'Uncool' stems from a time of immense isolation in a New York apartment, post a fight. Infact, it's the first song that was written for the album. 'Sora' is an ode to an irreparable loss that cannot be filled.

In totality, '2X Side A' is a winning composition for both the artist and her audience.

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