MKTO: Say “Thank You” to your bullies

MKTO's Tony Oller and Malcolm Kelly join LSY reporter Jessica Wojcinski at 98PXY's Summer Jam. (Photo by Tim O'Shei)

MKTO’s Tony Oller and Malcolm Kelly join LSY reporter Jessica Wojcinski at 98PXY’s Summer Jam.
(Photo by Tim O’Shei)

What could possibly be more fun than performing in front of thousands of people with your best friend? Probably not much, and that’s what MKTO gets to do every day. Not only that, but they’re sending a “thank you” to all the people who ever tried to stand in their way, and encouraging their audiences to do the same.

MKTO actually stands for both the names of the guys in the band (Malcolm Kelley and Tony Oller) or “Misfit Kids and Total Outcasts.” Tony opened up to LSY! about being bullied in high school, something he says most people probably wouldn’t guess about him.

“We’ve both had our share of hazing. . . but it’s all about the fact that we love doing what we’re doing right now and we’re just happy to be here,” he said. “We really just want to set ourselves to say you don’t have to follow the norm. Do whatever your heart desires, put in the hard work and it can happen. And that’s really what the Misfit Kids and Total Outcasts is about.”

For example, in their hit song “Thank You,” MKTO sends a message to school bullies “Don’t tell us how … to live our lives.”

Malcolm and Tony want their audience to know that they got past bullying, and their fans can too. Consider these lyrics:

Thank you for the times you said, “Don’t make a sound.”
Thanks for the ropes you used to hold us down.
Cause when I break through I’ma use them to reach the clouds.
We ain’t comin’ down, we ain’t comin’ down

Malcolm has been acting since age 5 and Tony, since age 9. They both have been in many TV shows and movies, including the Nickelodeon show “Gigantic,” which is how they met. They formed MKTO and though it’s been a lot of hard work and as Malcolm said, more waiting than people might expect, they choose to focus on the passion of it and to always have fun. Their best advice to other musicians trying to make it in the industry is to take advantage of all social media, especially YouTube, which is what led to MKTO signing with Columbia Records.

“YouTube is one of the things that really got us found. . . you never know who’s gonna get their eyes on it,” Malcolm said.

“Yeah, we wouldn’t have gotten signed (to Columbia) without YouTube,” agreed Tony.

So have fun with your music, or whatever you’re doing. If it’s not fun, don’t do it. If you’re trying to market your talents, take advantage of social media, especially YouTube. Though waiting is a major part of the process, if you are passionate and willing to put in the hard work you will make it in whatever you set your mind to. And finally, say “thank you” to all of the haters. You may not have made it where you are today without them.

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