MKTO brings their ‘Classic’ style to the music world

Tony Oller and Malcolm Kelly of MKTO with LiveStarringYou.com co-editors Catherine McDaniel and Noelle DeFabio.

Tony Oller and Malcolm Kelly of MKTO with LiveStarringYou.com co-editors Catherine McDaniel and Noelle DeFabio.

By Noelle DeFabio   

A couple years ago, if someone would’ve mentioned the name MKTO, you probably wouldn’t have known who they were talking about. Today, the pop act consisting of singer/rapper Malcolm Kelley and vocalist Tony Oller are one of the biggest duos in the music industry.

Their first big single “Thank You” earned them radio play around the country, which led to MKTO opening for Emblem3 and their longtime friend Demi Lovato. Malcolm and Tony also performed on shows like “The View” and “Good Morning America.”

Now, with their summer hit “Classic” making them household names, MKTO is on their own headlining tour.

“They work really hard, they have a very interesting style,” says Jud Heussler, music director at WKSE-FM in Buffalo. “Tony is an amazing singer and Malcolm can really rap … They play off each other very well in their songs.”

We sat down with the guys at WKSE’s summer concert, where they shared the bill with acts including Austin Mahone and Jason Derulo, and got a big reaction from their very dedicated fans.

“We’re just flattered and humbled and very happy to be where we are right now,” Tony said.

The road that led to MKTO’s success actually begins on the set of the television show “Gigantic.” Both Tony and Malcolm were actors on the Nickelodeon show. They played best friends on screen and continued their friendship off screen, writing music together. The two continued their acting careers with tony being on the show “As the Bell Rings,” (where he met Demi) and Malcolm was on the ABC show “Lost.”

Tony explained in an interview last year with us that he would get bullied in school because of this. In fact, it was the motivation behind their song “Thank You.”

In January 2013, these two got their big break by being signed to Columbia Records. After their debut single “Thank You” seemed to explode, this duo seemed to get bigger and bigger over night. In June 2013, the duo released a song that would become a summer hit, “Classic.”

“When they came out with ‘Classic,’ I think that’s when they sort of exploded,” Jud said. “It caught on the radio, they did ‘The View’ and the ‘Today’ show and that ignited their career path.”

As their fame is rising the guys are staying humble and enjoying everything that this job has to offer. They continue to work together and have fun as well as work.

“Working together is easy,” Malcolm said, “you’re traveling the world which is cool and just experiencing this great whirlwind.”

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