Beyond This Point with MadeinTYO: Staying balanced, manifesting, and not wasting time.
“Follow your dreams,” MadeinTYO says into the mic as he catches his breath from one song to the next. Before him, 10,000 students gather in Boulder, Colorado hanging on to every hook. They wanted hits. They wanted to mosh. And they wanted to capture it all on their phones. They craved attention; when only three years ago the roles were reversed and MadeinTYO hoped for their consideration. “Yea I got standards…” echoed and cut through the mountain air as thousands put their hands up, all in unison as the rapper delivered “Ned Flanders.” And for 50 minutes longer, he kept them in this reverie. Malcolm Davis, better known as his stage name MadeinTYO, could have never guessed that viral and him would ever coexist in a sentence. But when “Uber Everywhere” quickly circulated in 2016 from streams, radio play, to a double platinum certification from the RIAA, he shouldn’t have expected anything less. Ever since, MadeinTYO has consistently stayed atop of singles and charts, has been featured in countless records, and is currently supporting one of the biggest tours of his career.
Content creators and music artists worry about the cadence of their output, but MadeinTYO is an example of how being consistent isn’t primarily about relevance but a technique in how to sharpen your craft. The king of hooks and contagious melodies, MadeinTYO is able to feel the pulse of culture and capture it into a song. Using today’s digital space as tools to build his passion — Instagram and Twitter as his trend radar and streaming platforms as his launch point — MadeinTYO comes from the group of forefront Soundcloud artists who have crossed over to discover mainstream success. But it takes more than just uploading a song into Soundcloud. It takes persistence, patience in growing your talent, learning from your surroundings, and being open for the ride.
“It would be a shame if you were wasting your time, not chasing what you want to do.”
Artists these days have to be able to change gears from their online presence to their irl persona, and enter a mode of entertaining thousands then shift to a creator’s mind filled with artist isolation. And for MadeinTYO, even from the quick conversations exchanged, his self awareness through every component of his life as an artist, a father, and a human is sharp. Reflecting on your past and understanding where you come from is just as important as manifesting and dreaming. An hour before he hit the TikTok Main Stage in Boulder, MadeinTYO explains to me the real power in self expression is controlling your own look versus what the world expects of you. And I knew right then, that a person with this level of sense of self transcends to colossal energy onstage. It’s no wonder MadeinTYO’s ability to rile up the crowd also caused for him to interrupt his set to calm them down — a nod to a proper master of ceremony.
Charlie Kane of FYG: You’ve been busy. How do you keep balanced from traveling, performing, and recording?
MadeinTYO: I don’t know. It’s a hobby, it’s a job. It’s what I love doing. At the same time, it gets me tired [chuckles]. At the same time, it makes everything move around. Life motivates me. My son motivates me. I guess that’s how I do it — I’m motivated.
FYG: So for kids and students these days who are multifaceted and working really hard to attain their dreams, what are some tips you can give them to balance everything out?
TYO: Do what you really want to do. Don’t waste time. Sometimes you might feel like, “Oh I’m doing this job” or “I’m doing that” but there’s always [a reason]. As long as you have your eye on the end goal and you’re doing everything to chase towards that, I feel like you can be saying in your head mentally that you can be [currently] there and be happy with your life. There’s so much messed up things going on in the world, it would be a shame if you were wasting your time not chasing what you want to do. I feel like that’s what makes me want to live and do the things that I do. Even when I didn’t get paid for things I love doing, I was still trying and still putting in job applications. And luckily I have people around me to help me, but I didn’t always have it; so I appreciate those moments. It’s really motivation. Because if you really want it, you can get whatever you want. Like you can manifest it. There’s always like a storm and there’s always a sunshine afterwards. So it depends how you want to move with it. It depends how you want to manifest your situation.
FYG: What were you manifesting right before “Uber Everywhere” became a huge viral hit? Did you even imagine yourself performing at all these festivals and traveling like how you’re doing?
TYO: So I always wanted to like rap — years before I even dropped “Uber Everywhere.” I feel like when I changed my name to MadeinTYO, when I started running with that, [things changed.] I took a break for awhile from rapping, started making beats, and started dropping stuff under MadeinTYO. I got a new love for music and there was a moment where I was just trying to be the guy who has all the bars and wanted to rap some deep stuff to make you feel a way. And then, making beats changed it up for me. It changed for me because I started listening to the beats, listening to what part do I like from it — and asked what part of the song does everybody like? And it’s mainly the hooks. It’s mainly the melody. And I was like, as long as I can learn how to make a melody sound like a hook, then everybody’s gonna jam. And that’s basically what I started doing. I put out “I Want,” then 15 days later it was on Fader. And it went from there to Complex to every other blog I can think of. They kept capturing all of my content for almost a year and a half. I ended up doing shows with them and getting all types of promo and “Uber Everywhere” ends up getting 2x platinum, “I Want” goes gold, and the rest is history. Like it just grows right in front of you. You never know exactly how, and you want to be successful. I could never tell you how big my mountain is gonna be, but I know I’m climbing it. And I know we’re not staying still. It’s an amazing feeling to know you’re doing something that you love doing and you can chase it. I’ve never pictured it to be where it’s at, but I definitely believed in myself. Even when I was down, people were around me telling me, “One day you’re gonna have your shot.” And it’s kind of weird to even hear that. Because it feels surreal. It gives you chills when one day you do have your spot. I really feel like people should believe people what they say to them — and manifest, stay on top of it, and be like “You’re right, I am going to get it.” So I feel like that’s what happened for me. It’s a blessing. God doesn’t make mistakes. And I’m moving.
Follow FYG U Fest presented by Prime Student at fygufest.com to catch MadeinTYO at your college campus this Fall 2019.