Premiere: Malik Ninety Five Drops Playlist #2
Malik Ninety Five is a New Orleans boy born and raised, but his music is peppered with influences that range from coast to coast; dropping in on the scene in Philly, LA, and down south, he’s made a habit of seeking out new sounds with every visit. The pay off? A second playlist, just as lit as the first, that elaborates further on Malik’s skill set while taking its listeners on a fucking blissful journey, effortlessly blending influences of house, hip hop, and rap.
As far as his hometown, Malik has plenty to say, and now he’s finally been given the stage to do it: at New Orleans’ own annual Voodoo Fest. It seems this artist is poised for greatness, and we’re stoked to snatch him right before he takes off. Peep the brand new playlist below, premiering exclusively on Milk.xyz, then keep scrolling for the full interview with NOLA’s finest.
How’s it going?
It’s cool, it’s cool, I’m back in New Orleans. I used to live up here—well, I used to live in Philadelphia so I was always up there, but now I’m back home for a little bit before I make my next little move. So I’m here just hanging out.
I’ve been to New Orleans! I’ve actually been to Voodoo Fest, and I hear that you were just added to the lineup.
Yeah, that shit is crazy! It’s the first festival I ever snuck into—it’s weird, you know what I’m saying? But I love it, cause it’s another step—just trying to keep it going though, just trying to keep progressing with everything.
Well it’s like come full circle. You used to go and now you’re gonna be the one on stage, so that’s pretty cool.
Oh yeah, it’s definitely full circle! It was like a thing where they were like, okay, they respect me and then they were like, “Come through and do that.” I’m very grateful for it, I’m excited.
Yeah! Well we’re super stoked to premiere your playlist on Friday. Can you tell us a little bit about it? Is there a theme or is it kind of just the next four tracks that you want to put out?
I mean it’s pretty much—I was putting out single releases just because I took a break for a little bit—last summer I was living in LA for a little bit and I was out there just recording music and stuff and just hanging out with my friends because we had the hookup on a place to stay and everything. So that was cool. So, I was recording music out there but I couldn’t really get to any—like, none of that stuff is on that playlist. Most of the songs on the first playlist, that stuff, I went to LA and came back and recorded all of those songs. So that’s pretty much what I got out of that trip, you know what I’m saying? So, this stuff is all recorded in this year. A lot of those songs were recorded in the span of like, three weeks, like maybe two or three of those songs were recorded in the span of three weeks. But the only one that I recorded early on was the first one, “All I need”. That was one of the earlier songs I did, but that’s still remnants of when I was living out in LA, just trying to find different vibes. Because you know, it’s just weird thinking about different—I like to move around a lot and get new experiences and stuff like that. So, I can’t really step into a place if I ain’t really down before I make an approach to telling a story to somebody else, you know what I mean?
Do you feel like, since you were in Philly, and LA ,and New Orleans, being in different places inspires you to write differently or in a different way?
For sure, and then with the production aspect of it, too. Because down here we got our own little sound. I say this all the time, like, Philly—and that goes back all the way to the ’90s too, like the house party scene out there. You know, coming from New Orleans, I ain’t even see that life, you know what I’m saying? That was something totally different that I got to experience, cause out there they playing like, the Jersey clubs, they got Philly clubs, all kinds of clubs… And in some of my tracks that I was releasing last year, it has some of those remnants of it, like even some of that stuff even had some jupe influence—that just comes from being around different people and different energies. So, Philly definitely had a big impact on it, and I guess, lyric-wise it’s New Orleans because it’s got dark undertones and stuff, and that just the vibe I get when I’m down here just cause not much positive shit come from here, you know what I’m saying?
Yeah. I feel we hear a lot about new artists coming out of New York or Atlanta but not so much from NOLA. What do you feel makes the music out there different from everything else?
It’s not really the music because, I mean, down here, I feel like it’s a lot of people doing the same thing. I can honestly tell you why you haven’t heard of any, it’s because nobody really provides you an outlet. I had to go somewhere else to get that knowledge and then come back and then tell you how it would even get to you. Down here, there ain’t really that much—everything down here is really a bubble. There’s so much culture, there’s so much influence down here, but there’s no way to get the new generation of it to be seen, you know what I’m saying? Everything is still off of the old—even like, in popular culture today, it’s all old, stuff that they see is our influence. It’s still very relevant, but as far as who’s bringing something new to the table down here, it’s hard to get seen because there’s still that bubble. Like in Atlanta, those people hold each other up; down here, it’s not really that mentality. Down here it’s a—which a lot of people say about their cities and stuff—but it’s a real bandwagon type of thing. Ain’t nothing wrong with that, I think of it as more of a show-and-prove improve situation. You gotta really be on your shit before you hit a stage down here, or even sell some tickets, you gotta really be somebody—and I respect that. That’s just what it is.
So, with the playlist, this is gonna be your second one, but why do you drop playlists instead of just individual singles?
That was just something new that I came up with, before people called crazed with the idea of playlists. I had the idea already set in place—still people are doing it, but they’re not doing it right, because they don’t understand. Like, you have to keep doing it—it can’t just do it once. You have to keep rolling with it, you have to provide different things. Still, I guess the major label thing—I guess you’re not big if you don’t have a major label releasing your stuff. People are still adding, like, 15 songs, 16 songs, but it’s like, the internet moves so fast. This is how I look at it: keeping up with the times—just be the future. I don’t want to keep up with the times; I want to make the times. So, I think that’s where it is, because I know I don’t wanna sit through a whole project. There’s just a formula that I’m trying to implant.
It’s crazy to me because people want instant gratification. Like, as soon as someone comes out with a track, the next day everyone’s on Twitter like, “Where’s the new music?”
But then, at the same time, they don’t have the patience to listen to an entire album.
Exactly. Everything’s gotta be spoon-fed. Yeah, you’ve gotta spoon-feed it. It’s an interesting thing now, because especially for new artists, you have to be able to be innovative. You can’t just come with the same thing, you have to be innovative. So, this is like my little bite at my first little bit. I’m trying to be innovative, you know what I mean? I’m trying to predict what’s next.
Yeah, and then as far as producing all your music, do you do that solely so that you can have all the creative control? Why do you want to do it by yourself?
I mean, some of my prior stuff, I was working with people and stuff like that, but even still- that music is cool, but I felt like, as you say it, creative control is now everything to me. I want to be able to fully dictate what I do. Everything that you hear now, I can’t take none of that back. Because that’s literally how I felt in that moment in time, and if it made it through that test of like, “Alright, this was good to go,” then we keep it going. It’ll stay. So yeah, I like the idea of creative control, and that’s all I’m about. Because now it’s like, it’s just weird now because I want to be able to not take anything back.
Do you think you’re gonna be headed out to different cities, after this comes out, to keep writing? What’s next for you this year?
Yeah! Actually yeah, cause I’ll be heading over to London in August and I’m gonna be traveling out there for a little bit, just trying to find that vibe—same thing. Just trying to find that vibe and just work with some people out there. I was actually working on that last night, trying to hit a few radio stations to hopefully visit that are already playing my music out there, so I’m getting in touch with them. And you know just travel—same thing, find that vibe, just on a whole different level. So, hopefully I’ll be able to do that this time and record, and hopefully next time I’ll be able to do a show or something like that.
That’s gonna be fun.
Yeah, I’m excited.
So, I’m curious, do you think you’ll ever drop a full album? Or are you gonna keep going with the playlist?
Oh, yeah! This is how it goes, this is all working up towards—everybody wants to debut, you gotta get the debut. This is how you get there! And some people never get there, some people do. I think of it as like—not to go too deep into it—but it’s like stock, almost. Not to say that I look at myself as stock, but it is what it is. It’s like, you wanna be able to get in so hot to a point where they just want this product and they’re willing to keep investing in this product. So, that’s how I’m looking at it, you know what I mean? This is just all me selling myself and keeping it innovative, trying to have people invest and see what they like.
Well, you give people a taste and then they want more.
Way more, exactly.
Images courtesy of Malik Ninety Five
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