T H E S H O R T…
Name: MADEINTYO (MALCOLM DAVIS)
Nickname: MALLY MACK MACKIE
Astrological Sign: ARIES
Born & Raised: Hawaii, San Diego, TX, VA, Yokosuka JAPAN, ATL
Currently Residing: CALI
Five Favorite Things…
1. Japanese Clothing
2. Skate Boarding
3. Moving Places
Top 3 Favorite Albums or Songs:
1. Pharrell Williams – In My Mind
3. MadeinTYO – “I Want”
T H E L O N G…
Where were you born?
Where have you lived?
Hawaii, San Diego, California, Texas. Calem, Texas to be exact. My father was working at the pentagon. My dad was in the navy. He just retired. We go to Texas to upper VA to the middle of eighth grade to ninth grade, I moved to Japan. So from ninth grade to a year out of high school I lived in Japan. Graduated in Japan, prom in Japan.
Do you speak Japanese?
Just a little. Enough to get by. Enough to eat. Enough to travel.
How was that experience?
It was dope. You know, that’s where I wasn’t called MadeinTYO when I was in Japan. I really got that moving to Atlanta and you get so many people like, “Oh, you’re that kid from Tokyo! Yeah, you’re from Tokyo!” So, it got the point where I was like, well I was made in Tokyo. Basically, from ninth grade to a year out of high school, that was like my vibe. I was like in Roppongi or Yoguam like every weekend. So, you got Japan. And then I moved to Atlanta for like four years. Like that period of time where you’ll probably go to college or you’re trying to figure it out after you get out of high school? I was in Atlanta for like four years then just lashed out and moved back to Cali.
How has your experience in Japan made you?
A couple of years ago, I probably would’ve told you, ” Well I like cartoons and clothes out there. But now I feel like Tokyo just being a part of my name, and everything with my brand, it’s like that whole vibe when I went back to Japan, they embrace me so much more now. It’s like “Oh Tokyo! MadeinTYO! I like Mr. TYO.” Like when you have a full, grown, over 30-years old Japanese dude tell you he loves Mr. TYO. So, I feel like they embrace with so much love out there and they’re so nice and humble and everybody shows love to where it’s like Japan is really like… I feel like in a way, people have put their arm around me. Like, “Yo, we rock with him.” So like really that vibe from ninth grade to a year out of high school like when I got in trouble…
Got in Trouble for What?
All types of stuff. I mean, you’re in high school. My mom worked at my high school in my twelfth grade year as an attendance lady. I was late one time and it was the worse. She was like, “So you realy going to do this right now? The day you decide to cut up is at my job?” I’m like this is my school!
How did you get involved with music?
My brother. My brother was doing music heavy. My cousin was doing music. My older brother grew up with me. He was doing music and out in Japan, he started opening up for so many people, he ran into a guy that ended up being his manager at the time. His name is Rizzy. But he changed his name, put out new music, all that stuff. That’s a whole other story. So, I was following around him just being like, “Oh, my brother does music.” If he’s in his room recording music and just to be able to relate or just be able to write music too, I would be like, “What would I write to this beat?” So, it got to that point where like one of his managers was out in Japan, the guy he met, his manager was a promoter who was booking every artist out there, like all American artists Trey Songz and Three Six Mafia… and my brother was opening up for them. To come out, if he sold enough tickets or whatever, he was hustling just to open up every other night.
(Vashtie interrupts, wants to take picture of tattoo on his hand)
So, It says forgiven. My first project is called You’re Forgiven .
Because I feel like a lot of people I’ve met and been around, I feel like a lot of people slept on me. I feel like a lot of people get slept on before people show love or get a chance to even shine. So I felt like this is a ‘me’ reminder don’t be mad at people and just forgive them. Because I feel like me being an Aries, I used to have that anger management problem bad. Now, I feel like a lot of people when they do get on now, they still have that salty note but like me, I’m like it’s ok, it’s fine, it’s whatever …
How do you think your approach differs from your brother? Or does your musical approach differ at all from your brothers?
Our music, I would say, is different. But when it comes to just doing the music, I think we work the same way. That record I told you that I went… like he dropped it on his Soundcloud. Still until this day, it’s on his Soundcloud. And that was a record that he dropped on his soundcloud and it got views and it got on Complex, Fader, everywhere. So, I hit him up one night and was like, “Yo, I need you to like drop this,” and he was like, “ehhhh,” and I was like, “Come on, you’re the only person that probably would give me a shot.” So me putting it out, ten days later it’s everywhere and now I’m everywhere to where my brother introduced me to my manager, everybody. So to that I would say, our sound is similar. That’s my older brother. So sometimes we might make the same type of vibe. But our music is different. We’re different ages. We’re probably like a year and a half apart. So our styles are different.
Do you have an idea of what you want people to feel or is it like your own expression?
To be honest, when I first started I didn’t care. And I feel like, and there’s probably a lot of artists that wouldn’t say it, but I’m just so 100 to where it’s like now I don’t think I care much as far as the fans but I got a group of people around me and before I put anything out it goes through them. Like I don’t have yes men around me. Everybody around me is very 100. Theres times I’ve been in the studio and people told me, “Yo, nah.” So, theres times I will say that there is and then there’s certain times where it’s like I don’t think… Like I think every artist does think that but at the same time it doesn’t. Like with my girl being a visual artist, she tells me sometimes like when you draw I don’t know what people are going to think. Like with me, I overthink some things sometimes but I got the crew around me, so.
But I feel like because your music is almost like instant hits, which I feel like they’re crowd pleasers, right? And that to me, a lot of people work their whole career to try and get that and they don’t necessarily accomplish that. So it’s interesting from my perspective to hear the songs you have put out…
People don’t believe that though. People around me when I ask them, “So, what do you think.” They be like, “You know this alright!” It’s to the point where now I put so much music out, I have so many records right now that I don’t know what I want to put out. To where it’s like I’ll play stuff on Perioscope and see what my fans say and they be like, “DROP DROP!” And a lot of stuff I’ve done that before. Like “Uber”, I sent it to all the bloods before I put it out. I dropped “I Want” and I got everybody’s contact after that that showed me love because I was like, “Yo, you showed me love and I ain’t really have people showing me love.” So, like these are my friends now. Like people that done wrote up, we done had conversations to where I sent “Uber” and everybody had it in the offices in New York. And they were using uber and they were like, “Yo, this song is going to be everywhere. I just got into a uber. I just took an uber here to the Fader office.” The way I move is, I like to have a couple of people in the studio with me.
How old are you?
I’m 24. How old did you think I was ? Because I know I’m short. I always get the “Ehhh”, but then people see hair on my face and then be like, “Mmm. I don’t know how old he might be.”
Where do you see the future of your music going?
It’s funny that you say that when you’re listening to the music, it’s like an instant hit. It’s funny because I write those records. I write records that soon as like the first 10 seconds, if its not jamming I want to turn it off. Because I want people to still get that vibe of when you first ever heard a MadeinTYO record. So, if you don’t get that same feel, I’m like, “Nah, turn it off.” And with that question, honestly, I just want to make jams. I just want to create dope stuff. I didn’t really care too much if “Uber” was on radio or if it was on like that. I really recorded “Uber” because it was just my vibe at the time. And like I see myself doing the same thing. Whatever my vibe is creating dope stuff, if it’s clothes whatever. I just want people to know that MadeinTYO does what he wants and he does creative stuff. I just see myself creating dope stuff and continue doing that. I’m a student of music and I follow some of my favorite artists moves that they made. Like as far as collabing with clothing brands or different things. I was a fan of when Cudi did something with 10DEEP, and that’s the reason I did a collab with 10DEEP because it was something I wanted to do.
Like, I listen to Big Sean’s music, back when like Finally Famous, first project, all of that to where its like, I wanted that feature. To where its like I like Tity Boi, “Duffle Bag Boy”, all of that, so to get him on the song was like off the check list. I still look at my phone sometimes and be like, “These my homies?” A lot of the stuff is I’m just doing a check list of the things I wanted to do when I was a kid. I told people I wanted to meet Pharrell. And I was like I didn’t really want to meet a lot of artists. I just like Pharrell’s music.
There’s a lot of artists that I’ve met. And I wasn’t as excited. I don’t really get too excited about other artists I meet. But it’s like that’s the check list. I feel like it’s like this, as an artist maybe you have a bucket list of things you want to do. Like I could say I’m going to go to Japan and people are not going to hear from me and I’m going to go off the grid and I’m just going to create things and randomly post things here and there and be a mystery. And people are gonna be like, “Yo, we don’t see TYO no more!” And I’m just going to raise my child.
How do you feel in today’s day in age with everything that’s going on in the world?
Me and my girl talk about this. I’ve tweeted some things that probably people haven’t liked. I’ve said things to where I’m not realizing that it’s TYO now where like I used to tweet things and nobody used to know and it would just be whatever. So, like I would say I really don’t say too much about stuff because I tell people this, if you don’t know that much about political things, you shouldn’t be talking about it. I always say I need to educate myself more before I sit there and write this. No, TYO didn’t vote but at the same time too, I’m like because I don’t know who I would want to vote for! Like I feel like I tried to catch it at the end of it and I remember watching a debate and I was sitting here laughing more than taking it serious. I was like they’re really like just joking on each other. Right when I finally want to take to political stuff ….
Transcribed by Kelly Jinks