You may not have heard of Oliver Malcolm yet, but that’s all about to change. And while the 20-year-old producer may not yet be a household name, you’ve certainly heard his music already. That’s because Malcolm already has a slew of high-profile production credits to his name, including work with Joey Bada$$, Jay Rock, MF Doom, AlunaGeorge, and Cee Lo Green. Now, the young producer is planting his own flag, signing with Interscope/Darkroom—the same team that broke Billie Eilish to the world. Ahead of Oliver Malcolm’s impending breakout in 2020, we sat down with the emerging beat maker to learn a little more about him and what makes one of music’s next torch carriers tick.
Currently, which musicians inspire you the most and why?
“It really depends on what I’m listening to each day. One day I’ll be listening to the Clash and be super inspired by them, the next I’ll be inspired by Jimi Hendrix and the next by Kendrick Lamar.”
Is there a single moment or event that made you decide this was the career for you?
“Yeah, I mean when I was twelve or so I picked up some DJ decks to teach myself how to spin and that was sort of my introduction to really finding my love for music. But becoming a producer and eventually wanting to be an artist, I remember downloading a cracked version of Logic and once I was in that it was game over.”
In the first few years of your newly emerging career as an artist, what would you say your primary goals are?
“I want people to just feel something with my music, that’s all I want at the end of the day. I’m really excited to start playing shows and want to do this full band set up. I have so many ideas, it’s going to be crazy. Other than that man, I just want to see what happens once I put my own music out there.”
What made this the right time to launch your own project after working with such recognizable stars?
“It just felt right, man. I mean I love producing and will always be down to collaborate and produce for others, but I hit the point over the last year or so I’d say where I was like, ‘Why don’t I just put out my own shit? I have something to say and can do it 100% myself.’ So it just felt like the right evolution.”
If you weren’t producing music, what else would you be pursuing? What interests you outside of music?
“Honestly man, music is it! When I was in school, I would just think about music and wasn’t interested in much else. All I would want to do is get out of class and be cooking in the studio. If I had to pick something though, it might be something in fashion or photography. Something to do with art, because at the end of the day that’s what I’m here for man, the art.”
Is there a genre or a musical niche you feel is under-represented in pop culture? Do you intend to change that?
“I don’t know if there’s a musical niche or a genre is under-represented but I do feel like culture can change at any moment and I want to be at the forefront. I just think there’s an intersection between what is out there pushing boundaries as well as music that is more digestible and popular and I want to be at that point where they collide.”
Look at your Spotify/Apple Music—what is currently in your personal rotation?
“Oh man, definitely anything Eminem. He has always been such a massive influence on me. ‘Jimmy Jazz’ by the Clash. ‘Ghost Town’ by the Specials is essential. In terms of songs right now, few that come to mind are the new FKA twigs “sad day”, Dijon’s ‘CRY BABY,’ the new Frank songs, tons more.