SU Spotlight: MLKMN Mixes Mexican Heritage With American Upbringing for a Unique Sound All His Own + Track With Diplo on the Way

SU Spotlight: MLKMN Mixes Mexican Heritage With American Upbringing for a Unique Sound All His Own + Track With Diplo on the Way

With a debut album with Universal Latin under his belt, MLKMN is eager to continue to craft out a sound all his own.  Born in Mexico and raised in Texas, MLKMN has mixed Spanish and English together for a unique sound. The producer turned rapper is currently preparing for his sophomore release, “Soy Milk,” as he turns the heads of many in the industry.  Gaining serious attention with his single “R.I.P.” featuring Mila J, MLKMN recently sat down with us for an exclusive SU Spotlight interview.

You just dropped an amazing video for a track titled “R.I.P.,” what was the inspiration behind it?

 It was also inspired from “Pulp Fiction” and I guess more than being inspired by a movie or show it’s more of that we all go through that. It’s like in a moment where we have a relationship or whenever you’re trying to bring your life higher or trying to be the best dude for your girl. It could have been a jewelry store or something like that. But the thing is that my grandpa was a big burger guy, he used to have this burger restaurant in Mexico so that’s why it was in a diner. It’s pretty much just playing around the whole idea that everyone has thought about robbing some place but it’s just like a fantasy or a dream.

How was working with Mila J on the track?

She’s cool man, I’m thankful to have her on the record. Her voice is so dope, she adds on to the song and I like that. I love that it’s just the hook and the little bridge. It still feels like a MLKMN track and it’s welcoming. For “R.I.P” I really needed that angelic voice that she has. She was down to do it and it came out super dope and I’m just thankful and blessed that she jumped on the record.

So you were born in Mexico and raised in Texas. Who were some of your influences?

To me it was just crazy, being a Mexican kid I lived the whole experience of where your parents say, “hey, let’s go to the states and live a better life.” As a young kid I had Mexican music as an influence from my mom but then my dad was big into rock and hip-hop. When I turned 12 he gave me “Bad” from Michael Jackson and “I’m Bad” from LL Cool J, while my mom was giving me Selena records or Emilio Navaira records. When you’re a kid in Houston everyone is jamming to Bun B or UGK. In Houston everything is so slowed down and it’s always been like that. It was just a mixture of everything for me. When I was 13 I played in a punk band so I was influenced by music in general. My dad being such a lover of music, he would take me to school and we would listen to Dr. Dre. So I could tell you I was inspired by UGK, Biggie, Selena, Nirvana, Weezer, Deftones, all these mixtures of sounds. I guess that’s why I started producing before I started rapping because I was listening to so many different styles of music.

You make music in Spanish and English, do you think you can depict different emotions using different languages at different times?

Yeah totally, whenever I rap in Spanish I get in a different zone. My Mexican culture is big, you know what happened is when I moved back to Mexico when I was 19 it took me a while to understand what was going on. I lived the strongest years that shaped me as a kid in the U.S. and it was such a different way of seeing things and everything was right there. I was able to see how different both cultures are but at the same time how we can connect them and how much we are so alike.

Now it seems like every rapper wants to be El Chapo you know? But I don’t think they would be down to be living in a forest hiding out, the lifestyle is not what people think sometimes. But what I’m saying is that we’re so connected, we just exchange so much culture between us. So yes when I rap in English it’s a totally different emotion from when I rap in Spanish. Probably because it’s harder for me to write in Spanish, but when I finish a song that’s 100% in Spanish I get a different joy too. I feel like I work harder to get it right so it’s so dope to see it all come together.

What can we expect from your upcoming album?

I’ve been working on a song with Diplo that’s badass, it’s called “Speedy Gonzales.” I’m rapping on the song like it’s a trap beat but it’s not really a trap beat. When I dropped “Milkstape” I was producing so much so I when I was producing for someone I would hold one of the beats that I loved, so that project was a mixture of sound. The new album will be titled “Soy Milk,” so kind of introducing myself in Spanish. It has a sound that I’m proud of and I’m just being me and I love that. I heard the whole album last night from top to bottom and it just clicks. I think it’s very minimal, my last album every song was filled with like a million sounds, on this one every song has like 4 sounds or 5 sounds at the most plus the rapping. Then I have songs that I won’t have drums for like the whole song except for like a little part of the hook. I just got to be me; Angie Martinez and the guys from Universal were like, “do you, don’t look our way just do it.” So that was dope, I didn’t have anyone be like, “nah, you know what, no.” I haven’t heard a single negative comment and I’m happy about it.

You can check out the new video for “R.I.P.” below and make sure to stay tuned for any new releases from “Soy Milk.”

From Central Minnesota to London and back. Music and media addict contributing my thoughts and ideas in the form of blogs and features. Catch me on Twitter and IG: taylorlovaas

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