Chaquis Maliq contains multitudes. She describes herself as the “EccentroSoul 1 Woman Band,” and she is just that: singer, songwriter, producer, guitarist. Seamlessly threading the sounds of her soulful voice and myriad instruments together onstage, Maliq is a poet, and a presence.
A Charleston transplant by way of Maryland, D.C., Virginia, and San Francisco, Maliq is not one to rest on her laurels. “As a one-woman band, I’m always trying to add new instruments. If I start to get bored with what I’m doing, I figure other people will be bored too.” Which means that, as of 2017, you can add filmmaker to Maliq’s resume.
“The idea to do a documentary just came to me out of the blue,” says the artist, “I just started working on it.” Resilience Eludes Death: The Making is a behind-the-scenes look at Maliq’s November 2016 album Resilience Eludes Death. She already had footage from when she was promoting the album, so Maliq figured, why not tie these videos together and present them as a more in-depth project.
The documentary is only 17 minutes long, but Maliq says that “for it being my first documentary, I didn’t want it to be some long movie.” She’s testing the waters, and if this goes well, she may venture further into the filmmaking world, creating documentaries that capture the music-making or touring process.
Maliq plans to present the film in a multi-medium and sensory setting, with the premiere taking place Sun. July 23 at Eclectic Cafe & Vinyl. “I want to give people a more intimate setting, instead of only doing festivals, I want to give them a listening room and reception,” she says. “After showing the film there will be a Q & A and I can answer questions, provide more insight that maybe wasn’t revealed in the film.”
Maliq will play songs from Resilience Eludes Death, and she’ll be surrounded by art that was created while she was working on the album. “I have something created out of vinyl, and things I used to create the album as far as electronics. Some things may turn out to be photos, some will be actual objects, all with descriptions letting people know what happened.”
The only details about the documentary exist in a 30-second promo teaser that Maliq released on Facebook. Maliq didn’t want to share the documentary before the July 23 premiere to encourage people to actually come out and enjoy the entire experience, instead of mindlessly skimming the film on the couch at home. In fact, Maliq hasn’t even shown the documentary to close friends.
In the teaser we see a closeup of Maliq, head tilted, hand moving quickly over a notebook filled, ostensibly, with lyrics that would comprise Resilience Eludes Death. “Letter to My Life,” the first song on the album, plays as the camera zooms into perfectly looped cursive running across the lined pages of Maliq’s notebook. “I’m on my way/ To my destiny/That was written just for me” Maliq sings on the two-minute track, her smooth vocals and delicate, intermittent tambourine tapping transforming what could, in the hands of another, become an overly saccharine protest into a casual mantra. It’s this confidence in her music that allows Maliq to keep her next big project hush hush.
“Some of the secrets [about the album] will be coming out,” Maliq says of the screening. And, since the documentary will not be available online until “maybe the end of the year,” you have to be there to hear them.