In what is the first to come of MANY exciting and unique exclusives to Multidimensional-Music.net, I bring you our very FIRST interview on the site! It’s none other than Jessie Malakouti of one of the most exciting artists of 2011 Jessie and The Toy Boys. Fresh off the premiere of their debut music video, this two part interview dives into who Jessie is working with on this album, new track titles and descriptions, as well the possible inspiration for her unique sing/rap vocal approach. Check it all out below:
Jessie: Hi Jeff!
M-M.net: Hi Jessie! Thanks so much for coming to talk to us!
Jessie: No, thank you. So how you doing?
M-M.net: I’m doing great. I’m really excited to talk to you. You are Multidimensional-Music’s first interview and I’m so excited to have you!
Jessie: Oooh, good!
M-M.net: So Jessie, you yourself and not necessarily new to the scene, but Jessie and The Toy Boys are kind of this new revamping of Jessie Malakouti, and I’d like to give you the first words on how you’d like to introduce and describe what this is all about.
Jessie: I don’t know if this its the revamping of Jessie Malakouti, I feel like this is just a whole new project. I have ADD, and I get bored creatively. I just always need to be creating. I just wanted to do something new. So that’s why I started the band.
M-M.net: For those who weren’t aware of you before, I want to place you in terms of other artists just to start out with. You worked with one of Britain’s biggest hit factory production teams, Xenomania, you opened for one of their biggest girl groups, The Saturdays, are these a good indication of what people can expect from Jessie and The Toy Boys?
Jessie: No. Jessie and The Toy Boys sonically is a huge departure from my time with Xenomania. I’m going much more…well the best word to describe it I would say is grittier. It’s grittier, it’s a lot more dub step influenced. It’s kind of dub step meets alternative rock meets pop. I call it “alternative pop,” if that makes any sense.
I’m a huge fan of the 80’s, I’m working with David Gamson from Scritti Politti. It’s great to work with some from one of my favorite authentic electronic 80’s bands and he can bring that authenticity to the production side of things. He uses Casio keyboards from 1983! Everyone today is using the computer, but it’s cool because I can play the synth part on a piece-of-shit Casio, but I think it just sounds better. It’s a lot more 80’s influenced, its grittier, it’s a lot more dub step; it’s what I want to do. Not to say I wasn’t doing what I wanted to do with Xenomania, but at the same I was a part of, like you said, a hit factory. And they have a certain sound so you learn to mold to their sound and I just got tired of that and I decided to just rejuvenate my individuality.
M-M.net: One of things I really pride myself on with the website, is appreciating those authentic sounds like the authentic synthesizers, and actually drums that are missing from music today. Just as a music fan, thank you for bringing back those elements, it’s really exciting to hear.
Jessie: Oh totally!
M-M.net: Moving on with your career and you, we know we have Tony Canal from No Doubt on “Push It.” Can you give us anyone else who is working with you on the album?
Jessie: I’m working a lot with Nellee Hooper, who is one of my favorite producers of all time. He did a lot of my favorite records. He produced a song called “Flashback” that has a real dubstep vibe to. It’s really cool. It’s almost a ballad, over some nasty bass; static dubstep track. And I rap in it too though so I go from rapping to really singing. It’s really good. I can’t wait for everyone to hear that song.
Jimmy Harry, who did Tony and I did “Push It” with. I did “Valentine” just Jimmy and I. And David Gamson. Mainly those three, I work with so many producers, but those three are shaping the album.
M-M.net: Your vocalizings, I’m literally fascinated by it and I wanted to ask about this aspect of your art. We hear some really interesting rapping/vocalizing on tracks such as with “We Own The Night.”
I look at vocals as an instrument as well. I try to write songs and use it. When I lay down vocals I think of it as an instrument, there’s moments where you want to be really staccato and percussive, I think that’s what you’re referring to in “We Own The Night.” You know then it gets dreamy.
I think people don’t realize, we’re recording artists. The first word is recording. It’s the art of recording. There is an art to it. It’s take a long time to figure out how to layer your vocals. I’m at the place now, and I’m so grateful to be in the music business for 5 years now, since 16, and being in the studio and being able to experiment and figure out how to make the vocals sound the best they that they can sound. That’s something I’m really good at now after my practice. I love getting in the booth and being like ‘we need to work and layer for an hour’ and I do all kind of crazy voices If you strip down my songs and you listen to a lot of layers, sometimes I sound like a slow-motion Chinese man or something. It’s weird; there are a lot of layers. It’s the art of putting it all together, and making it sound like candy.
M-M.net: That’s fascinating, and I don’t think a lot of people realize it because in the end we just hear this mastered track.
Jessie: It’s a cool art ya know? With the rapping, like in Shut Up Stella which was my rock/rap band, I just always naturally have rapped. I think it actually started in elementary school. I would literally get into rap battles with people. It’s funny, I would write them during class. And then I’d go out to the playground, and I’d rap battle people. I have really good memorization skills, and they’d think were freestyle—they totally weren’t, I preplanned them!
M-M.net: And who would have known that would end up influencing your art in the end?!
It totally does! I’m always thinking about the rhythm of things—that’s probably the dancer side of me too.
“Push It” (above), its remixes, as well as two tracks “We Own The Night” and “Valentine” are all available worldwide now. (iTunes)