American duo Malcolm Kelley and Tony Oller, better known as MKTO, have been friends since they met whilst filming for Nickelodeon’s Gigantic. The pair went on to post many covers on YouTube and released their debut single in 2013. Since then, they have released an album and more recently, a four-track EP. We think these guys are superb and definitely one of the most underrated acts around.
The MKTO boys have been quiet recently, so whilst we patiently wait for some more incredible music from the duo, let’s take a look at some of their best songs so far.
1. American Dream
“This ain’t the same summer song that you used to know
‘Cause Jack left Diane thirty years ago
The world is spinning too fast for you and me
So tell me whatever happened to the American Dream?”
“American Dream” was on MKTO’s self-titled debut album and was also released as a single in the US. The song is about the contemporary American Dream as these days it seems as if people just want to be known and are only interested in materialistic things – people are after an easy life where they get everything without working for it. The song starts with the words, “Do something with your life”, encouraging you to go out there and change your life and sometimes the “underdogs rise and the mighty fall”. Malcolm shines as an MC on this song.
“Am I crazy to think that I could be in love?
When it all ends up, it all ends up wasted.
I’d give you my heart, but I’d just f*** it up,
And we’d end up, we’d end up wasted.”
“Wasted” is an edgy piano ballad, which featured on their debut album. It is sung by Tony only and his vocals are beyond soulful – he really gets a chance to shine on this song. Whilst “Wasted” is a gorgeous ballad, it is not the ‘sweetness and light’ that you would typically expect from a ballad.
3. Could Be Me
“What she doesn’t see, is that I just might be
What she’s lookin for, what she’s lookin for,
If you look in my heart girl and I’m on my knees
What you’re lookin for, what you’re lookin for could be me.”
“Could Be Me” is also an album track, co-written by and featuring Ne-Yo. This is such a great pop track, which talks about how a girl is in love with a guy who doesn’t treat her right but stays with him as he’s got money: “She could do better but the money is her drug“. If she could look beyond the money, the right guy for her could be right underneath her nose. The combination of MKTO and Ne-Yo works so well, they really compliment each other.
4. No More Second Chances
“Cos this is my only life, so I’ve got to let you go,
You should have been only mine, so I’m walking out the door singing
No more second chances, no more plastic lies,
No more giving me reasons to make me have to say goodbye.”
“No More Second Chances” is another track from the album and features singer Jessica Ashley. The ballad is about a lack of trust in a relationship, and walking away from the situation. Tony and Jessica’s vocals are great together and Malcolm provides an unusual yet memorable rap.
“Why don’t you close your eyes and we can leave it all behind,
Wake up in paradise where the sunset never dies,
We’ll never say goodbye, goodbye, goodbye,
Don’t ever say goodbye, goodbye, goodbye.”
“Monaco” features on MKTO’s latest EP, Bad Girls. The guys have said that the song is about finding your dream girl, your princess of Monaco and confessing your undying love and devotion for that person. “Everyone is looking for their princess of Monaco – when you find her hold on and never let go” they added. The vocals on this track are just stunning.
6. Afraid of the Dark
“All anybody needs is one light,
I’ll be anything that you like,
Call me if you need it tonight
When you are afraid of the dark.”
“Afraid of the Dark” also features on the Bad Girls EP. Malcolm and Tony really shine on this catchy song, there’s a great combination of singing and rapping. Being ‘afraid of the dark’ in the song isn’t necessarily literal, it can also mean the darkness inside you. The MKTO guys are offering to be your light or anything you need to be comforted.
Thinking I was born in the wrong time
One of a kind, living in a world gone plastic