CHRISTMAS AFTER MIDNIGHT STARRING FANTASIA

In 2004, the High Point, North Carolina native became the season three winner of Fox’s American Idol. Later that year, Fantasia released her platinum-selling debut album Free Yourself and became the first artist in the history of the Billboard Hot 100 chart to debut at #1 with her first single, “I Believe." Fantasia’s second single, “Truth Is,” spent 14 weeks at #1, making her the first singer to simultaneously have two of the top three songs on the Billboard chart. Fantasia’s 2006 eponymous second album featured the #1 R&B single, “When I See U,” and reached gold status. In 2010, Fantasia released the critically acclaimed Back To Me, which featured the hit single “Bittersweet” that earned her first ever Grammy Award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance and a NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Song. Back To Me debuted at #1 on the Billboard R&B Albums chart, #2 on Billboard’s Top 200 Albums chart, and not only marked Fantasia’s first #1 R&B album but also her highest Billboard Top 200 chart ranking. In 2013, Fantasia released her fourth studio album, Side Effects of You which debuted at #1 on the Billboard R&B Albums Chart and #2 on the Billboard Top 200, marking her second consecutive positions on these charts. On July 29, 2016, Fantasia released her fifth studio album, The Definition Of…. The album debuted at #1 on Billboard’s R&B chart, #2 on the Overall Albums and R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, and #6 on the Billboard 200 chart. The high chart entries mark Fantasia’s third consecutive #1 R&B album debut, her fourth top ten debut on the Billboard 200, and earned Fantasia another Grammy nominated for “Best Traditional R&B Performance.”

In addition to being a mainstay in music, Fantasia adds author and actress to her growing list of accomplishments. In 2006, she released her New York Times bestselling memoir, Life Is Not a Fairytale, and starred as herself in the Lifetime movie of the same name. In 2007, Fantasia landed the coveted role of Celie in Broadway’s The Color Purple for which she won a Theater World Award. Fantasia returned to Broadway in 2013 as the first celebrity engagement in After Midnight, a dance-focused musical that celebrated Harlem’s iconic Cotton Club during the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920’s and 1930’s. After receiving rave reviews, Fantasia joined the cast of After Midnight for a second run in May 2014.

Mali Music is a man aware of his musical gift to the world, and that gift has no boundaries. Born in Arizona and raised in Savannah, GA, the prolific singer-songwriter and producer grew up in a strict, Christian household, with his first memories of music heavily influenced by religion. At only 12-years-old, Mali created and arranged his own material as his church’s minister of music.
Despite exhibiting such talent at a young age, Mali faced challenges expanding and adjusting to music beyond traditional gospel, the older he became. "It was hard because my gift was ready, but I wasn't," he reflected. As a teenager he worked even harder to share his gift, posting music on his MySpace page and experimenting with different ideas. Mali’s perseverance later resulted in being discovered by people he still holds in high regard today, and intentionally transforming into a professional recording artist.
With his new album, The Transition of Mali releasing on Bystorm Entertainment/RCA Records on June 2nd, Mali Music demonstrates his evolution as an artist expanding outside of his gospel roots while maintaining his R&B core.
Undeniably, Mali has managed to successfully bridge a gap between the secular and sanctified, a point undeniably made with the success of his last album Mali Is (Bystorm Entertainment/RCA Records). In 2015, the singer reached a major landmark in his career receiving GRAMMY nominations for Best Gospel Performance/Song for “Beautiful,” the lead single from Mali Is , and Urban Contemporary Album for the album. "Beautiful" touched the Billboard charts in the top 10 and pushed Mali into the mainstream.
While Mali Music is renowned for his inspirational lyrics and uplifting themes, his latest project explores everyday matters in life and love through a fresh sonic lens. The first track, Harmony Samuels-produced “Bow Out,” comes in with powerful percussion and strong vocals. Mali notes, "It was the way I was feeling at the time," getting his emotions across with lines like, "Whoever you want me to be is out there somewhere. Whoever you're trying to see, you can probably find on Twitter. But I'm yours right now, we're partners..."
The lead single "Gonna Be Alright," lands as a solid motivational song to keep on pushing when life gets rough, and the already-released fan favorite "Contradiction" featuring Jhene Aiko, got a spot on the album as well. The two sing about lovers who have parted ways but leave space in their heart for reconciliation, with lyrics saying, "If you say that it's over, I won't die."
Another standout piece on the album is the song "Loved by You" featuring the talented Jazmine Sullivan. The sultry record finds Mali and Jazmine soulfully weaving in and out of each other’s romantic charm. Detroit musician Maurice "Pirahnahead" Herd commissioned an orchestra to play strings on the record— which in Mali's words, "took it to a whole different level."
The up-tempo “Dolla” is on the surface an easy going record about provocative behavior but inevitably a commentary on reckless behavior and how the love of money can be the destruction of an individual. Lines like, “You know she’s moving like a hoochie mama” and repeating “making money in this crazy, shady world” drive home the dangers of living too “fast.” His signature rhymes at the end remind fans of his lyrical prowess and depth of message.
Mali considers the sweet "Still" as a classic record based on "the format, the feel, the sentiment, and the way that I'm singing it." On the song, he croons, "You hold a light to me. You say what's for my heart. That's why I'll always be in love with you. Still, through it all.”
Mali gets real about his frustrations in “My Life” singing, “Sometimes I got nowhere to go. My days get dark and my nights get cold.” Hip-hop production with hard percussion and cinematic instruments coupled with raspy, almost angry vocals shed light on Mali’s versatility to push himself vocally beyond romance.

Appropriately, Mali ends the album with the impactful "What You Done," drawing attention to his spiritual roots. In the song, Mail’s sings, "All in the world, all in the sky, all in the water, power resides with my
king," with a conviction that brings listeners back to what matters to him above all.

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