Get to know MALIK! He is a 24-year-old Grammy-winning Austin producer. He’s recently signed with No I.D.’s ARTium Recordings. They met when Malik was producing for Ariana Grande (“Better Off” and “Make Up”) and JID/ Earthgang.
TODAY he released his latest project ‘Spectrum (Demo).’ It is an epic sci-fi journey through his emotions, each feeling being unique yet still related to each other – like all the colors on the spectrum.
Check out Malik’s music here: SPOTIFY
Learn more about Malik in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time, Malik. Given everything that is going on in the world today, how are you staying sane and continuing with your music?
Of course, thanks for having me! And well art, and by extension music, are things that keep me sane really. Being able to purge my thoughts and emotions, and analyze them is integral to my growth and maintaining my mental health. Beyond that, being with my family and limiting my intake of media when it’s necessary is everything.
How has this pandemic changed your day to day life? Is your city starting to open up more now? Have you been able to get out and work on your music much?
I don’t know if it’s affected me in any ways that are unique from other people, but I’m just at home 95% of the time now lol, and then when I do have to leave the house, I’m always doubling back because I always forget my mask the first time. The city is sort of open, but the people are pretty much out at this point. I’m pretty much just creating from home right now.
Do you feel like social media has become even more important these days? How are you trying to stay connected to your fans?
Important is tricky. I’d say it’s become more integral to our lives but I don’t know if it’s any more important honestly. It’s just finding that balance. Using it as a tool that doesn’t overrun your life. But as I say that, social media definitely has been the main way I’ve been connecting with fans and supporters.
Let’s talk about your upcoming project, “Spectrum.” How did this collection come together for you? How would you say that it compares to anything else you have released?
It came together SLOWLY. Through the last couple years, Spectrum has been my way of exploring with no real purpose but to express how I feel in a dope way. Only way I could compare it is by saying it’s better than any of my previous work and it feels more like me.
What does it mean to you to be signed with No I.D.’s ARTium Recordings? How did this come to be? Why do you think this is the right place for you and your music now?
It means everything. It means someone I have so much love and respect for believes in what I’m doing the same way I do. I met him in a studio session with JID. I was working on some production for JID and there was a break in the session where I got to play some music for him. He liked what he heard, so throughout a process that took a little over a year we built a relationship that led to me becoming apart of ARTium.
How do your already released tracks “Yellow” and “Red” prepare listeners for the rest of “Spectrum”? What was the inspiration for these songs in particular? Can you elaborate on the emotions colors have for you?
Yellow is about connection. Reconnecting with yourself, a loved one, God etc. I felt so disconnected from everything when I wrote it, so this became my way of rebuilding those relationships. Red is about anger. Just feeling how you feel, processing it and moving forward. Don’t suppress and don’t linger. The project as a whole is my own case study on emotions. So instead of being so on the nose and naming each song after an emotion, I decided colors reflect them better because they’re a bit more fluid and usually fade into other spaces as well.
I am curious to know what it has been like making your music after working with others for some time and producing music?
I don’t think it’s really changed in an obvious way. I’m always working on my own music so there wasn’t a clear “before and after” in my mind, but I did learn a lot. I learned to pick and choose my moments with purpose. If you want to be simple, be simple. If you want to be complex or abstract, do it. Everything doesn’t have to be everything at once. At that point it becomes nothing if that makes sense. With that you get to play with contrast. Like, right after this really high energy, fast paced song, I’m going to put the slowest song on the project. Now they both do their job that much better because of the relationship they have with each other. Green and Blue.
Since we are all desperately missing live music, what has been a favorite show of yours from the past and a favorite show that you attended? What about some of your favorite venues from around the world?
Yeezus tour is probably the most incredible show I’ve seen (not in person). Favorite show I’ve attended was probably J. Cole when he was touring for Your Eyez Only. It was the first time I saw him live and also the first time I was ever able to be backstage at a show with an artist of that magnitude, so it was a moment for me. And I don’t feel like I know enough venues around the world to have a sufficient answer. (lol)
How have you been affected by this incredibly necessary and overdue Black Lives Matter movement? How do you think it will affect future music?
That’s a tough question. At times it’s beautiful, at times it’s heartbreaking. At times it’s empowering and at times it’s exhausting. I don’t know if it really is going to affect future music though. Hopefully it affects business, but for the most part, music hasn’t changed a whole lot. I’m not saying that’s a bad or good thing, just an observation.
If you could get into the studio with absolutely any artist today, who would it be and why them? What artists have continued to inspire you two and the kind of music that you make?
There’s a million but on this exact day, I’m going to say Donald Glover. I’m curious as to what his process is like. I’d say Kanye, Frank, Tyler, Gambino are the main ones for Spectrum. There’s many others sprinkled around as well.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers about yourself or your music?
It’s very good, please lend me your ears!