Oshawa-based rapper, Mallokay (aka Brannon Kasthuriratne), the skilled lyrical architect of Sri Lankan descent, comes through showcasing his incredible talent for balancing his style with a dash of mainstream appeal with his new single, "Before Time."
Mallokay has organically surpassed major industry milestones with virtually zero marketing initiatives with nothing but ambition, drive, and an ear for great music. Wanting to foster a sense of community in his hometown, he opened the doors of his studio to local youth with musical aspirations.
In his latest single, "Before Time," featuring Cappadonna & Keenan, Mallokay introduces us with his voice where he expresses lyrics like "always looking so lovely and gorgeous, always done up" and "You the reason that the sun comes up," and it immediately takes us back to a time we missed. Then, he talks about how beautiful the woman he wants is and what he would do to win her heart.
Mallokay expresses his feelings in a 90's old school way where the lyrics flow effortlessly, and the beat so boldly complements the record. Everything he mentions is so relatable, and with the touch of Keenan, she brings her eccentric, fulfilling, and emotional voice to life as she sings the chorus so freely. As we are almost at the end, we listen to Cappadonna as he mentions how he would do anything to keep his woman and not lose her to petty situations. This record is a match made in heaven as we got everything we wanted and more
Mallokay continues to release music and attract the attention of major players in the Hip-Hop game, keeping one hand firmly affixed to his personal goal of worldwide recognition for his music while lifting the hip-hop community with the other.
Welcome to BuzzMusic Mallokay. We are thrilled to have you here with us! What was your inspiration for this record, and how did you end up choosing the features you did?
Thank you for having me. When I first started brainstorming for this record, I knew I'd be taking an old-school approach to it. Cappadonna's verse was already set, and it wasn't until after I heard it that I started writing. It's not my style to do the whole "This girl is perfect, I want her" thing. So instead, I decided to draw from personal experiences and flip the coin, creating a level of contrast to Cap's verse, talking about the experience of thinking this love/relationship/situation is perfect until things go bad. As for the hook, that was the last thing added to the song. I knew it needed female vocals, and I had a general idea of how I wanted it to sound, so I asked my friend Keeana, who I went to college with for a semester, to come up with something for the hook. As soon as she sent over the first draft, we scheduled a time to record it in my studio, and that was that.
"Before Time," tells us a story that we can relate to. What did you want your listeners to take away from it?
I wouldn't say I have anything specific I'd want my listeners to take away from it. I think it's more like, "this is what I experienced. Make what you will of it". There are some lessons though people can pay for the takeaway from it. The biggest one is probably just to focus on yourself before anything, as cliché as it sounds. Also, chill out on the lovey fantasies, lol. Just look at everything for what it is, and you'll be fine.
As a rapper, what are some of the most challenging things you've encountered? How have you dealt with it?
In no order: A lack of money (at least not having as much as I'd like) for marketing/videos, etc., not having a mentor/team, and still being in the process of developing my sound. Having a lack of money isn't the end of the world because there're ways to build a buzz without breaking your budget. You just have to be smart and/or creative. Money can speed up the process, especially if you know what you're doing. A lack of a mentor can be difficult sometimes because having one would save me a lot of time from learning through trial and error when I could just have them tell me, "Do it like this, don't do that," etc. so that I can just focus on writing and recording the whole sharpening those skills. But oh well, I can figure things out pretty well now. As for still having to develop my sound, I can tell my style is still in the infancy stages, so I'm trying to "level that up" as quickly as possible. I don't wanna put out 100 songs that I think are all garbage next year.
How do you always stay creative and on top of your game? What kind of advice would you give to another artist just starting?
A proper attitude can help a lot in every situation. I don't typically like to "take on a character" because it's a little delusional, but when you lack a sufficient amount of focus, bringing on that fighter mentality can save you from an unproductive, inefficient day. In terms of creativity, I've been finding lately that it's good to pace yourself, kind of like how you do sets when working out. Otherwise, you'll just burn out and waste time. Also, exposing yourself to different environments can spark something in your brain. I could go on, but these few are from my more recent experiences. For advice that I'd tell new artists, I'd tell them that if you want to do this, you have to act as you want it. If you're tiptoeing it, just quit now and save yourself the time. This world and this business don't owe you anything. Being a casual player is okay if you're okay with fine results. But if you want to make it the way most people talk about when they daydream about what's at the finish line, you need to be cutthroat, smart, aware, consistent, and talent helps. Talent, good or bad, will probably make up 20-30% of what drives you to a higher stage in your career, while the rest is all the skills I just mentioned before (at least at the beginning of your career). I could go on forever with this, too, but I'll leave it at that for now.
What's next for you?
It's an album, and it's going to have my absolute best work on it that I'll genuinely be satisfied with. I'm aiming to release it this year, probably in the fall. Other than that, scaling my brand, numbers, and everything else upwards. Whether or not I get a record deal, I can see that making a living off this is within reach now, so I'm confident regardless of the outcome.