“I can do it
For the record
I can go out where I want
I can do it
Feel no pressure
Baby, I don’t need no mask
Libre, Libre, Finally free
Libre, Libre, I can be me.”
As a singer-songwriter, I’ve come to realise that working on your original music and having something you have written and composed recognised is just liberating. Finally Free (Libre, Libre) has been one of the most fun songs to record as well as shoot. The word ‘libre’ means free in Spanish and French, and the reason why I chose to use this word was because I love using different languages when it comes to my music (I also sing in five languages), but mainly because it sounded so full and happy.
I still remember talking to my parents, wondering where we should shoot such a video. I wanted the video to look empowering and happy, and give the feeling of being free. and I wanted the video to compliment the vibe of the song. We eventually shot the video in NYC.
Finally Free gives out such a strong, positive message and I believe that’s the reason why it has received so much love. To be able to be free and enough is a very empowering feeling, be it in any situation. Most of us feel and believe we aren’t free, we can’t do what we want, can’t say what we want to, and I feel this song negates that myth. It tells us that you are enough and don’t need anyone else, it boosts self-esteem and self-respect. We all need to be set free and not bound by others opinions, what they think of you, or what they think you need to be.
I personally believe that freedom, or the feeling of being free, is so important not only in general but also for one’s mental health. It’s often mistaken to be something that needs to be given to us by someone else, but honestly speaking, what I’ve come to realise is that it’s all in our own control. The moment you decide to set yourself free from a situation, you will be free. And that feeling alone makes you feel complete and happy, and liberates you.
Finally Free is a song I wrote because that’s how I felt when I was writing it. I felt free, enough, happy and I wanted to put it out there. The basic storyline behind the song is about being free from a relationship/long standing love, but the song means so much more than just that. Back then, Finally Free was to be released as a single and not as part of an EP. I shot the video the morning of the day I was to begin my songwriting course at NYU, and I was so excited about these two things aligning. I had some of my friends from my course hear the song and they all said how relatable they all thought it was, in so many other ways beyond my imagination.
Taking you back a little, I wrote and released my first single War Solo in 2016. The song talks about one-sided love and having to fight the war, solo. The year after, I wrote and released Flame Is Gone, which is about exactly what the title says — the flame is gone and all the feelings are on their way out. Flame Is Gone was reviewed by music critic Alex Faulkner, who compared it to Adele’s Someone Like You. That was an unreal feeling and I feel humbled to be titled Adele of Mumbai by a leading international media platform.
These songs were released, but unofficially at the time. When I heard Finally Free again after I received the final master, I saw the connection. When I linked together the songs, they felt interconnected and gave the feel of Chapter 1,2,3. They connected to formulate a story, a story of a girl in love, one-sided love, which eventually led to her emerging victorious and loving herself. That’s when I knew these songs had to be part of an EP and the name Evolve felt right and real, but still incomplete. Evolve is a story, a story of a girl in love, at first with someone else, and eventually with herself, and that’s how I came up with the tagline ‘The Story of Her’.
I love marketing, I have studied marketing management at the Harvard Summer School, and I really wanted to market and promote the EP in a different way; I wanted it to tell a story.
The most powerful line according to me would be “Libre, Libre, I can be me”. The line connects with so many people. It portrays self-love, which, in my opinion, is so important. Self-love is the answer to so many questions and saves many from depression and self-doubt. Everyone needs to be able to love themselves selflessly, to be able to get through every single day.
In times like this, when 75% of girls with low self-esteem reported engaging in negative activities including cutting, bullying, smoking, drinking or disordered eating, self-love is imperative.
Every girl goes through phases in love, I’m sure boys do too. One thing I hope is for teenagers to maybe hear my EP in the order it is in. Even though I can’t change the way they’d feel or fall in love, what would be important is for them to know that even if they’re going through a not-so-great time, things will change for the better, and how loving yourself is the most important thing in the long run. But this isn’t only a message for young girls, it’s for every single soul. For those trying to figure out who they are, what they want, and for those who feel lost, Finally Free should make them feel complete and happy and enough, and that is the end goal.
Listen to Mallika Mehta’s single on Spotify here.