Nigerian singer, songwriter and producer Cracker Mallo has just released his five-track EP A Friendly Introduction to Saund. The artist took a few minutes away from the studio to chop it up with us about the EP, his inspiration and love for music, afrobeats, and working alongside some other up and comers like Fireboy DML and Tiwa Savage.
What’s something you want listeners to take away from A Friendly Introduction to Saund?
I want them to understand that music can be done in so many ways. To get the meaning, there’s so many combinations that can work. We don’t have to stick to one general thing, we can do so much with music.
What inspired the title of your EP?
Saund is my general music. That’s on my journey in music – its sound. It doesn’t have a particular vibe, a particular type of beat or melody but it has a type of vibe that you feel in every sound you get. This EP is just an introduction to that world of music I have coming.
Why is now the right time to present your debut project?
There’s no particular reason why this is the time, it just happened to be. I just felt that I was ready to work on this and I started and it took me a while but now it’s ready.
What was it about “Wickedest Wyne” that it made it the right record for you and Fireboy DML to reconnect on?
It was just right. Once you hear the sound, you just know that everything was right – from the emotions and the lyrics it was just perfect for the emotions of the music and the instrumentals, everything was just right. Once we did the song, we always knew we had to release it. This is not one of those songs you just forget.
What is more of a challenge for you, writing or producing? Why?
To me, both of them are on the same level. But writing music is smoother. Once I hear the right sound, the right beat, you get into it. Writing for me is so easy it’s just very smooth.
Who are some of the artists you grew up listening to?
I grew up listening to everyone from Michael Jackson to Celine Dion.
You’ve been influenced by many genres, including trap and dancehall. What has shaped your sound the most? Why is that?
What has really shaped my sound the most isn’t really the genre. Because what I can make is basically me recollecting the music and musical information stored in my head over time. What has really shaped me is the stuff I’ve learned – things like chords and progressions and production techniques – these have really shaped my sound.
How did you end up working on Tiwa Savage’s latest single? What was the experience like?
I got a call from Mr. Kareem and he invited me over for the camp. And I got to the camp and we just made “Dangerous Love.” It was very chill. It was calm and nice. She was really open and could vibe. She’s a really good singer and her vibe is easy going so it was pretty nice.
Did you always know Fireboy DML’s “Jealous” would be as successful as it has been?
Yes. On the night we made the song, I told Fireboy like ‘bruh, this song is gonna win an award.’ I just knew it was special.
What are your thoughts on afrobeats crossing over to America?
I’m really happy that it’s happening like this and that our sound is now accepted globally. It gives us room to be able to create fusions and new sounds that people haven’t heard before. Now everyone wants to do afrobeats. We can make a plan to use afrobeats with whatever genre – we can make it with grime, with Asian music, with any type of music – we can fuse it together and create something dope.
How has COVID-19 impacted how you create?
At one point, it affected my work a lot because I always have to make beats from home and send it out to people. But now I’m back in the studio creating music personally with people.
Now that A Friendly Introduction to Saund is out, what’s next for you?
Now that I’ve dropped the EP, I’m working on the album which is Saund. Now I’m gonna be collaborating with a lot of artists, producing other people’s music. I’m gonna focus on that now too.
Stream the new EP below.
Photos courtesy of Cracker Mallo’s PR