OneTribe Exclusive Interview with Producer – Cracker Mallo
Cracker Mallo, born as Ayodeji Olatunde, is an independent music producer, singer, and songwriter. He describes his sound as a fusion of a wide variety of genres that stems from Afrobeats. In an industry where it is often easy to overlook the role that producers play in the making of a hit record, Cracker Mallo is gradually making a name for himself in his own rights. He has produced some of the biggest songs released in the first quarter of 2019, and he’s even preparing to give us some summer jams. Afrobeats is increasingly becoming a staple in the global music industry, as it is steadily gathering momentum and getting recognition from top artists all over the world. More credit should be given to producers like Cracker Mallo because a producer’s role is ever so crucial in hearing your favorite song and instantly dancing along to the beats and lyrics. Cracker Mallo has worked with some of the hottest artists in the game, and is looking forward to solidifying himself as one of the best producers coming out of Lagos, Nigeria. We recently sat down with him and talked about his life, goals and musical inspirations. Check out our interview below:
Who is Ayodeji Olatunde?
Ayodeji Olatunde Olowu is a Nigerian music producer, singer and songwriter. I was born on the 18th of August 1996. I’m from the Lagos Island region of Lagos state, Nigeria. My sound comprises of a fusion of a very wide variety of genres built on Afro Beats as the foundation.
How did you come up with “Cracker Mallo”?
Cracker is short for CrackerJack, which means an exceptionally good person or thing. Mallo on the other hand means Victorious or Winner. The Origin of the name Mallo is Hawaiian.
How did you get into production?
I got into production right after I finished high school. I developed interest in production after listening to a re-fix of a popular song, which was created by a friend of mine. I used to DJ in high school, so production seemed like an extra skill to acquire. It turned out to be my major focus from then on.
What can you say makes you different from other producers who have been in the game longer than you?
I’m certain I’m different from the rest of my colleagues in the game. What makes that difference, I really can’t explain. We’re all different individuals with different ways of expressing our emotions. I try not to emulate other producers, I could learn a thing or two, but I’d always express music how I feel it within me.
What is your creative process? How do you get inspired to make music?
My creative process is dynamic. By that I mean it doesn’t come the same way all the time. Sometimes I get a single melody, a chord, or a drum pattern, then build on it. Other times I hear the whole music in my head before I even start producing it.
What’s your favorite D.A.W (Digital audio workstation), and why?
My favorite D.A.W is FL Studio. It has a more flexible interface which enables me to interpret my thoughts exactly how it is in my head. It’s what I started with. I tried other software like Logic Pro and Ableton Live, FL Studio’s still my preferred option for making beats.
To you, what’s the best and worst thing about being a producer?
Above the money, and the name, I’m most fulfilled when I work with very talented artists and create great music. The worst thing, for me, is having to work with people who really can’t do justice to the music.
Who would you say are the Top 5 producers in the game right now?
Apart from myself, 5 other producers that I really respect in the industry are Sarz, Phantom, Maleek Berry, Killer Tunes & Young Jon.
I first noticed your production on Mayorkun’s, “Sope” and on FireBoy’s hit single, “Jealous” and was instantly intrigued. How did those collaborations came about?
“Sope” by Mayorkun wasn’t exactly planned for. Initially, I made the instrumentals for Naeto C. He wasn’t feeling it so I just kept it. A couple of months later, I had a meeting at the studio with Mayorkun. He heard the beat, loved it, and we recorded the song on the spot. I remember the night I recorded “Jealous” with FireBoy. I was supposed to have a recording session with Mr Real and Burnaboy, for some reason it didn’t work out. Fireboy, on the other hand, also had a session on that same night that got cancelled. So we decided to link up, and it was the fastest session I’d ever had with anyone.
You like to use the “shakers” a lot on your records. Is that your secret weapon?
The Shaker is a key element that adds groove to Afro percussion. It’s really not my secret my weapon, I just really love the groove it adds to the music.
Thoughts on the current Afrobeats scene and how it’s shifting the music culture internationally, especially here in the U.S.?
Afrobeats is gaining acceptance around the world thanks to the work done by musicians like Wizkid, Sarz and BurnaBoy. There’s been a number of afrobeats fusion by Artists in the U.S. like Drake, and Janet Jackson amongst others. I believe it’ll get bigger even, with time.
Who are your dream collaborators?
My dream collaborators are Wizkid, Pharrell Williams, Rihanna, ASA, Chris Brown and Timberland.
Interview by Lare
Article Cover collage by AAAStudio