What do you get when you give 24 Bands, 24 hours, and make 1 overnight success? (By the way, live stream every moment of it online and let the social media world support their favorite band.) You get the hottest band out of Springfield, Massachusetts in Malado! This band from grabbed the ears, hearts, and support of not just the whole city of Springfield, but of many across the nation through the 24 hour band challenge marathon that was, “VH1 You Oughta Know Presents Make A Band Famous”. We caught up with the band, Malado! and got a bit more insight on what makes them truly a group you “oughta” know.


Can you all introduce yourselves, tell us what your instrument is, roles are in the band, and how long each person has been with the band?

Gary “Skillet” Smith – Drummer, been with the band since the start in 2008. Serves as one of the band leaders

Joshua Dodds – Keyboard/ Co- Band leader. Been with the band since the start in 2008.

Keith “Keef Blizz” Blake – Keyboard. Been with the band since 2009.

Shaquille Harris – Lead guitar been with band officially since 2013, but has filled in on bass in the past prior.

Shamari “Shamrok” Stampp – Keyboards Been with band since 2011. Aside from sometimes playing the main keys Shamari also sings back up when needed.

Marcus “Mac Bassick” Stampp – Been Bass with band since 2012.

Steven “Ray Jewell” Williams (Not Shown) – keyboards been with band since 2013.

Kenneth “Kay Jay” Wilson – Rap vocals has been affiliated with band since 2009 using Malado! As his backing band. Officially joined band in 2014. Role in the band is to add the rap vocals providing the hiphop feel.

Jerome “J.R.” Clayton – singer has affiliated with the band since 2012 adding vocals on many Malado! Performance Events. Officially joined in 2014. Role is providing melodic vocals providing the R&B feel.


So, MALADO! why the name?

The band name originally developed as joke after being asked our name at a gig and not having a name. But as time went on our sound spoke for it’s self. So now Malado! Is the one word to express our mixture of styles to create one sound.


Tell us some of the groups accolades prior to “VH1 You Oughta Know Presents Make a Band Famous” because this group isn’t to be slept on, and although the show was 24 hrs you have some notable things on your resume, right?

Malado! Has won two, back to back UMass Amherst battle of the bands in 2009 and in 2010 as our aka name at the time “The Bang Boys”. We have played on many shows alongside artist such as Lupe Fiasco, Ludacris, Big Sean, Wiz Khalifa, All time Low, Wale, Tyga, and more. Individually and collectively we have produced and written songs that if, God willing, the world will hear.


How did you guys handle the demand of 24 hrs of “showtime”? 

Felt longer than 24 hours. We kept focus knowing we could be heading back home in a few hours if we didn’t advance.


What do you learn from participating in VH1 Make A Band Famous?

We learned that there is a lot of talent around, besides what you hear on the radio every day. We also learned how to take constructive criticism to be better artist and musicians.


What were your thoughts through each round?

We took each round at a time. The goal was to improve each round and to go all the way to the end in which we did.


Are there any bands from the competition you see yourself doing a collaboration with?

Yes, Pastele, Tony Memmel, even Fancy Reagan.


What are your thoughts on Fancy Reagan and Chris Ayer?

Nothing but pure talented musicians.


We saw saw you guys talk and say things at the close of “VH1 You Oughta Know Presents Make a Band Famous”, what moments were shared that we couldn’t hear between the bands?

Moments where we had to stay humble as band. That can be hard when we know that we had the gifts and talents to win “Make A Band Famous”. We also shared moments working out how we could improve from our last performance based off the constructive criticism given by the judges.


I was a bit shocked, but were you shocked not to hear your name, it was Fancy Reagan in the end?

We honestly felt we gave it our all and felt we would be the first band to win “VH1 You Oughta Know Presents Make a Band Famous”. Not to take anything from Chris Ayer, but we all knew it was either us or Fancy Reagan, so it wasn’t a surprise at all. They deserved it.


What’s next? What’s in the works?

Honestly we are going to keep pushing so that the world soon knows the name Malado! We are currently working on an EP with our vocalist Kay Jay, and J.R. We just want to keep grinding until we reach the level we know we can.


What’s the vision for Malado? How does it differ from the vision prior to the show or does it even differ?

The vision hasn’t change and that’s to be successful and change lives with our music. We want to be mentioned up there with the greats like, Earth, Wind, & Fire, Mint Condition, The Roots, and more!


Anything else you’d like to tell the world that they should know about you guys?

We would like to thank VH1, All the judges and mentors for the opportunity. We want to congratulate Fancy Reagan on winning and signing to Republic Records. Also for all of our friends in the Western MA area we are performing live for the ones who kept us alive with the votes Saturday July 26, 2014 at Max Cap Chicopee MA. 21+ doors open at 9pm. Tickets will be on sale soon follow @maladomusic on twitter and Instagram for updates.




WEBSITE: http://www.mtv.com/artists/malado-music
TWITTER: /maladomusic
FACEBOOK: /maladomusic
INSTAGRAM: /maladomusic