ATP! Interview: MKTO
The band started after Tony Oller and Malcolm Kelley costarred on the Nickelodeon show, Gigantic, where they became close. “He’s one of my best friends,” Malcolm says. “We were making music videos, putting them up on YouTube, just having fun and we actually got signed.” One of the songs they really loved was “Airplanes” by B.O.B. and Hayley Williams because it had both the rapping and the pop hook that MKTO wanted to incorporate. “This first album is so diverse and it gives us a chance to do something else we love; make music and tour the world. At first we thought we were shooting for the moon, but everything just started to fall into place. Great things started happening.”
Malcolm is just excited that so much is happening for the band and their dreams are coming true. “Our album is just about to come out in the UK so we were over there doing some promo which was just awesome. We have a headlining tour and then the tour with Lovato. It’s just taking the cake each time. We started doing radio stuff but we’re back a year later where they’ve actually been playing the record and it’s going platinum and we’re performing with people like Jennifer Lopez and Timeflies. The radio shows are awesome.” They know what it takes to be able to reach those dreams and goals, and they’re willing to do anything to keep the good things coming. “You don’t get a lot of time off doing what we’re doing but it’s okay, you gotta make those little sacrifices.”
Malcolm is also pumped to go on tour with Demi Lovato. “It was kind of always in the air, it was just all about getting the right timing. When our management called us to do the Demi Lovato tour we were so excited to do that and Tony and her had that relationship from before [on the Disney Channel show As The Bell Rings] so it just kind of worked out.” He likes watching other artists perform and gathering what he can from them. “You learn a lot from other artists, watching them perform, watching their craftsmanship. We’re definitely looking forward to see what Demi does and how she handles it.” This also gives MKTO the chance to extend their music to some fans they maybe haven’t been able to reach yet. “We’re just excited to be on the tour and soak it up as much as possible. The main focus is just to have a good time, that’s what we like to do, just perform on stage for the fans.”
As amazing as this year has been for the band, Malcolm still has plans for the future. “I think after just coming from doing promo in London, touring there would be pretty cool. Just seeing the fans out there at the radio stations when our album isn’t even out yet just shows you the power of YouTube. I just think that’s really cool and London is just such a legendary place. There is so much good music coming from there and venues I would love to play in.” Don’t expect to see MKTO slow down until their catchy tunes have taken over the globe.
Words by Lauren Jones
Dates for MKTO's "American Dream" summer tour can be found here.