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Quirks & Queries- Mili

Tell us the idea behind your debut album ‘Written in the Stars’.

I’ve always wanted to release my music, an album with songs I was writing. I believe listening to an album should be an event, like watching a movie or reading a book and with this album, Written in the Stars which is my first, the concept is exactly that. To have musicians like Vinnie Colaiuta, Michael Landau, James Genus and George Whitty record on your first ever album it’s definitely the stuff of what dreams are made of! Of course, conceptually there are so many elements that come into play – what each song demanded, the sound of the album, the direction you want to take the music. The songs on the album are stories about life, the stories that has inspired me, I wrote what came from my heart and sang what came to my heart. I wouldn’t want to say too much about these songs and I’d rather have the listener connect to the music and make it they’re own personal experience or story.

There’s always magic that happens when there are musicians coming into the studio and recording music. Music touched us for a reason and it is this connect we’ve captured and shared on the record. It’s very rewarding to see the how each song on the album is reaching out far and wide to people from different parts of the world. The album has reached out to a global audience!

You worked Grammy award winners. What did you learn from all these phenomenal people that you worked with?

It’s a very different realm when you’re working with people who’ve known to change the world with their skill and mastery in their craft, along with a combination of the years of wisdom and experience that goes hand in hand. I would say this journey and the things I’ve witnessed during the session are lessons and experiences for life. The very intention with this project was to record every instrument live in the studio and it couldn’t have been any better than working with the best. Everyone was on the same page while recording each song. It felt like we were reading each other’s minds! Such a great vibe!

The spectrum of possibilities I had with the music was huge. It ultimately all comes down to what we wanted to achieve in terms of the music and sound. That was something the producer Hamesh and I were very clear about from the very inception of this album.

Are you more of a singer or more of a song-writer? 

I guess I’ve always been both for the longest time. Of course during my childhood it was singing that helped me express myself. But it was only later I realised I was listening and understanding music with a very different perspective from a very young age – what each musician contributed to the song, the harmonies, the arrangement, the composition etc. Now looking back when I started writing these songs a lot of things happened easily.

You have worked with notable music composers in India like AR Rahman & Amit Trivedi. What has been your best take away from each of them?

I love how adventurous they’ve been with their music, with their concepts. I’ve been very fortunate to work with these great composers and their songs which suited my style of singing.

What have been your biggest writing influences?

Ever since I can remember being exposed to all kinds of music – western and Indian classical music, rock, jazz and of course being in India, all the film music has only added to my musical knowledge. Basically I’ve always been open to everything and it was this huge canvas that helped me think beyond the lines of genres that has contributed to my music influences.

Motto that you always live by

Follow your instinct! It’s always right.

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