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Interview: Virginia rapper Young Malak talks recording at Timbaland’s, influences and his love of fire poi!

In Interviews by Alasdair Kennedy

Check out our interview with Virginia rapper Young Malak

Young Malak interview: You’ve got a really distinct sound. Who are some of your major influences?

Thanks, honestly I’d have to say I’m influenced by a lot of different artists. During my early days I was listening to 2pac, MJ, Nirvana, Rage Against the Machine, and really just the entire 90’s era was super big on me and stuck with me forever.

As I got a bit older I got into other music then just hip hop – I started to become influenced by more legends of the past like John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath, Rush, and so much more began to influence me to step out of the norm of what was cool at the time to my peers.

People like Pharrell Williams, Kid Cudi, Lupe Fiasco, Kanye West, Tyler the Creator, Dr. Dre, and Eminem are hands down are all game changers simply by making the music they want. I believe myself and “The Keyz” are among that list.  

What can listeners expect from your upcoming mixtape?

Expect to hear lyrics of madness on top of some sounds never used in hip hop tracks until now. This is my first self produced project as well. Conscious yet aggressive, smooth but hype, thrash but peaceful, every song has a message and can be interpreted a million different ways. I may have written a song about something I was thinking of, but a fan might have their own meaning to it which is cool too. So check it out. (links at bottom of interview)

You’ve worked in Timbaland’s studio. What was that like?

Inspiring but also reassured me that when you work hard and humble yourself to meet new people and network that anything can happen. On my way there I had no idea what studio I was going to. I guy I know named Trevor Hale asked me if I could possibly come help him record a song that was for a charity fundraising event.

I decided I’d go help and check out a new studio but when we showed up to the building for one I knew was no regular studio. But when I got inside he let me know quickly where I was and what id be doing. I was super stoked!!!!

After working in studio A, once we were close to being finished him and Timb’s right hand man Larry Live gave me a tour around studios B and C. So many albums and songs from all types of artists had been made there and you instantly feel the energy.  Just one of those things that lets you know you’re headed in the right place and working hard, taking chances, and networking will get you further then you can imagine.

What’s the Virginia Beach hip hop scene like at the moment? Any other names people should know about?

To be honest there’s not much of a music scene at all in Va Beach. Last ones to come up from here were people like Pharrell, Timbaland, Missy Elliot, Pusha T and his brother Malice, But recently only news from here has been last year D.R.A.M. with ‘the cha cha song’, but other then that its a rough scene out here. Its not like the big cityies at all. Va is full of Talent and music geniuses but its so low key of a place that in order to make it big most of the time you have to leave from Va to get any forward progression.

Radio stations don’t play Va music anywhere in Va and if they do its a rare song from 10-15 years ago lol. But all that will change soon. Va slowly is becoming noticed. But the entire DMV area is a fishbowl full of talent and a new wave is happening with us indie artists arising, shows you that You can make it anywhere. But also from Va Beach, check out Live Shameless, Breezepark, as well as DKG Beats. 

One of your interests is fire poi. How did you get into that?

I’ve got a lot of new age hippy friends out here in Va Beach lol and we get into all types stuff. A few years ago I saw somebody spinning fire and I was just amazed to say the least. I had to try it myself and fell in love with the motions of it.

Any exciting future plans?

The Keyz and I are in the process now of setting up our own US Tour and later on a separate Tour overseas in the UK and other countries.

The mixtape is available for free online at