Malik Polo is an artist that you should definitely have on your radar, we’ll explain why. Malik is Egyptian/Irish rapper, producer and label owner based in South-East London. He enjoyed global success with his 2019 debut ‘Jomo’ and since then he’s toured his native Middle East and linked up with Ibn Itaka in London.
His latest single ‘Change’ is already a certified cult classic bop and deals with the struggles of a young Arab man living in London during a time of upheaval. Delivered with a tone of pure confidence, this genre-defying track has to be on your summer playlist. We hit up Malik to ask him some rapid-fire questions about his latest track, his upcoming collaborative EP and why he was inspired by ‘La Haine’ for the ‘Change’ music video.
HOW DID YOU GET INTO MUSIC?
I first got into music by just rapping with my friends, freestyling and recording freestyles so we can listen to them as jokes and then it just got more and more serious but has stayed just as fun.
CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE BIT MORE ABOUT YOUR FORTHCOMING COLLABORATIVE EP?
This one’s called Echo Chambers and it’s in collaboration with my good friend and talented producer Ibn Itaka. The EP is a journey through different sounds and feelings that our echo chambers have continuously influenced us and how we are always trying to break free from the social boundaries that are set on us and limit our minds from knowing more and different information.
WHERE DO YOU DRAW YOUR MUSICAL INSPIRATION FROM?
A lot of my friends inspire me everyday, the likes of Kamal Williams, Fredwave, Jeshi, Felukah, Freek and loads more…
HOW DID YOU MEET AND START WORKING WITH IBN ITAKA
We met in the summer of 2019 when I went to New York, within 30 mins of me arriving at the studio we started catching vibes. We made a few tracks during my time in New York a couple were on my previous EP. In November 2019 he came to London for a month and we cooked up Echo Chambers and over the last year and a bit we polished everything up and got some talented musicians to play instruments on the tracks we had made.
IF YOU COULD COLLABORATE WITH ANYONE, WHO WOULD IT BE?
I would love to collaborate with Robert Glasper and Nas, I think I could learn loads from them.
THE MUSIC VIDEO FOR CHANGE TOOK INSPIRATION FROM ‘LA HAINE’. WHY WAS THIS?
My good friend and director of the music video Flora Scott came to me with the idea after I sent her the song in its early stages and I loved it as that movie has a special place in my heart. My friends and I can resonate with the youths in that movie and their feelings towards the Police, and how tracksuits and Melanin skin have been demonised by certain media.
DO YOU HAVE ANY PLANS TO DO LIVE GIGS ONCE THE WORLD RETURNS BACK TO NORMAL?
Yes that’s the plan. My last show was in Dubai for Adidas Originals and was an epic experience.
WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE FUTURE AFTER YOUR EP LAUNCH?
The plan is to tour around Europe and the Middle East and possibly a quick one to New York and spread the music, vibes and knowledge.