MALLOKAY: Recording Artist at 6IX8 Studios
Joe Letizio Arts and Entertainment editor
What are your plans for the future?
Right now I plan to release as much music as I possibly can to build up my catalog. I’d like to also get signed to a record label in the near future, but after I’ve done all my own ground work and built my own base. I want a solid foundation before I make any big leaps.
Where does your inspiration come from?
I get inspiration from all sorts of angles of my life. It can be things as simple as wanting to have the money to explore the world, to wanting to earn the respect of the people I’m influenced by, to wanting the power to shape the world into a better direction. I guess the basis of everything though is the fact that I have one life, and I don’t want any aspect of it that I can control to be mediocre.
How has Durham College Helped Shape You As An Artist?
I only went to Durham College for one semester before I dropped out to pursue music full time, but I did technically get the opportunity to open at the Obie Trice and Rich Homie Quan shows through Durham College. This was because of my programs Facebook group that I was in, where one member shared a post saying that someone was looking for rappers to perform at a show (not much info beyond that) which is where I took the opportunity and emailed the promoter. I did also learn some perspectives about the music industry like the fact that the music industry is a lot smaller than you think, and it’s a lot more tight-knit than most people would expect. Everyone is connected to someone in some way in this business.
What does style and entertainment mean to you?
Style and entertainment is definitely a fun part of the business, although the superficial stuff doesn’t mean anything to me. I don’t get sucked into that. What draws me is the real, raw, authentic things in this game. Everything else is a bonus.
How did you learn how to use Adobe Photoshop and Premiere Pro?
I learned how to use Photoshop and Premiere Pro in some of my media classes in high school. However, I don’t use either right now. I currently use Canva for my cover arts if I don’t hire a graphic designer, and I use Davinci Resolve for video editing.
What are your strengths and weaknesses?
My biggest strength is not giving up. There’s never been a time where I officially quit rap. My mindset was always “I’m going to be a famous rapper” and that was pretty much it. My resilience is another strong suit of mine. When faced with adversity, I never back down. My biggest weakness is probably my habit of procrastinating. However, I continuously try to overcome that by catching myself procrastinating when I would typically not even realize it.
How do you respond to working under pressure?
Working under pressure is just a challenge to me, and every time I beat a challenge I just feel myself “level up”. The more I level up, the better and faster I get when it comes to my work. That means more quality work in shorter amounts of time, and more results. I take rap really seriously too, so working under pressure with anything that has to do with this is all too natural to me.
Describe your experience as an artist.
I’ve been rapping since about the age of 11 (I’m 21 now) and began when I was casually freestyle rapping one day and realized I wasn’t too bad at it. This developed into a hobby which I took more and more seriously over time. I wrote raps about anything I could think of, for school assignments, talent shows, etc. Right now, I consider my lyrical capabilities to be above average as I’m a big perfectionist when it comes to that. I currently record and write as much as I can to build my catalog and be ready for whatever opportunities find me.
What would be your dream collaboration?
My dream collaboration would be with Eminem. That’s how I would know I really made it in my opinion, especially considering I feel I’ve grown this much as an artist because of what I’ve learned off of him and how I’ve been inspired by him over the years.
Do you have any mentors?
My only mentors are the influences that I study off of. Pretty much anyone that’s successful and inspires me, I see what they do and take from them the points that stick out to me. Pretty much characteristics the majority of people don’t have. For example, Eminem’s dedication to rap or 50 Cent’s work ethics. The list goes on, of course.
How do you develop songs?
The way I write is pretty much: Listen to the beat, hear what melodies pop up in my head that sounds the nicest, and write according to that. It’s pretty much as simple as that. The hard part is writing lines that meet my standards. A lot of times you can find me rhyming entire verses together with rhymes in between each line while everything flows and makes sense. Things like that.
How do you go about overcoming writer’s block?
If I have writer’s block, (which I don’t think I’ve actually gotten in a couple years), I just won’t force myself to write. Sometimes I’ll find a different stream of inspiration and build off that. A lot of times I’ll just come back to it when I feel mentally ready, or I’ll find a different beat to write to that comes more naturally.
What is your favorite venue to perform at?
I’ve only performed at one real venue before which was the JMW Lounge in Whitby when I opened for Obie Trice in 2018 and Rich Homie Quan in 2019. I really enjoyed getting to perform at both shows!
How do you market new singles? Do you use Zire?
I don’t use Zire. Although, I have multiple other ways I market singles and continuously come up with new ideas. My first and most important method is by getting as many of my friends, family, and fans to share my song on it’s release day as possible and let that translate into a wave of shares. I’ll often experiment and change up my marketing strategy for each single, but I’ll use tools like Facebook Ads often, or other forms of promotion like hiring an Instagram page to promote my music.
What are your thoughts towards social media?
Social media is dope since it gives anyone the opportunity to “make it”. There’s definitely pros and cons to it but I think the pros outweigh the cons. It’s definitely helped me get my music to people all over the world.
What’s an average day look like for you?
I start my day with breakfast, then I work out, shower, and start my work. That’s pretty much all I do. My work consists of recording, writing, marketing, and other music related tasks.