Mali Music: Singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from Georgia

Friday 7th January 2011

Mike Rimmer spoke at length to the latest artist to be feted by the gospel music underground, MALI MUSIC

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Mali Music:  Singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from Georgia

Isn't there an awful lot of Christianity already in the United States? Don't people know about the message pretty much? Responds Mali Music, "Actually, no. It's church, church, church. Church has become an industry in the States. It's a system where people can get caught up in the offering and the blessings. Everybody goes on the Scriptures like, 'Sow, sow. Reap, reap. Sow. Reap.' It's a perverted system like that - not all of them, but a lot of them. People are being told that if they give money, they'll get money. People are trying to get out of binds, so they start believing whatever they have to believe to get what they want."

He was very involved in church when he first emerged as an artist in Georgia. What's happening about church now that he lives in California? "I miss my home," he says honestly, "because a lot of the things that I am is because of my spiritual father and mother. It's crazy being gone. By the time I was getting ready to leave Georgia, I was already going - ministering here, ministering there. I was never home. Just because you change a home it doesn't mean you're going to be home still. I'm very rarely in Cali because of ministering. When I go there, I'm probably trying to sleep, from not sleeping for a long time, while trying to recuperate from flying for five hours. By the time I wake up, I get a good meal and I'm back up."

He continues, "I have a very close relationship with my spiritual father from home. We speak on the phone a lot - that's what I can pull from. One thing that God is doing, because the whole thing is his will, the places we go, we link up with people with like spirits. I can hear my pastor out of the mouth of a complete stranger. I'm in the will, so God doesn't let me lack. I don't have to physically be at my church. The Spirit of God may have fallen on someone in the service, and they'd be like, 'I don't know why I'm saying this but.'. It's the direct message that God had for me, so I'm able to eat. It's like following breadcrumbs. I'm able to stay filled."

Does he find that the same kind of spirit that he has in the studio operates on stage? "Yes, that's exactly what it is," he explains. "A lot of people, when they go and minister, they get people calling them a great psalmist or writer. Every place I've been, the comment is the same - a 'warrior for God'. Even though I was singing, they just saw a warrior. That's exactly what it is. A lot of things are getting cut away and being slain. That's why a lot of people are fought against, by the enemy, on coming to places where the ministry is going to change you."

Famously, Mali Music was released into music ministry at the age of seven in his home church in Georgia. What do you think the seven-year-old you would say to you now, if you could have that conversation? "'This isn't real.' That's what he'd say. I would probably be amazed. I still don't see myself as anything other than that same boy. I'm the same boy! It's just that some of the music is really awesome and my voice is deeper. It's the same heart. I have a lot more confidence in what I'm doing because of the faithfulness of God. So I'm really excited and we'd probably play video games."

What does he think is the advantage of God starting him off that young? "It was amazing," he enthuses. "Now, I know the path. It's really beaten out in my life because I go there a lot. I'm not trying to find myself or God. I have him and I'm just growing with it. Every day is the best day of my life. It continues to grow and I'm excited about it. There was no tradition and absolutely no religion in our ministry. It was just the Word of God. The effects? We don't know. We're going to preach it, as this is what God has laid on me. I don't have the foundation of tradition or religion. Starting at 11, and by the time I was 15, before church, my pastors were like, 'Hey son, we need to tap in. You need to stop playing.' Then, I'm 16 and it's like, 'Hey, get your life right because we can see that you're slipping.' The integrity and accountability was high from then, so I can't leave from that. I'm always really sensitive to others and I've got to be in this place where I can tap in, because I can't lose that connection."

Does Mali Music believe God has been pruning the vine, with him, all the way along? "Yes, I believe it, and that was always said. I never knew what the prophecy meant, as far as being covered and then being brought out in due time. He set everything up at the right time. It was a little gap and he just dropped me right in it." CR

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.
About Mike Rimmer
Mike RimmerMike Rimmer is a broadcaster and journalist based in Birmingham.

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