MALCOLM DAVID KELLEY TALKS ‘LOST’ ‘MKTO’ & NEW FILM ‘DETROIT’ 112

Back in 2004, the world was gripped by a TV show that saw a group of total strangers come together in an effort to survive after finding themselves stranded on an island following a plane crash. That TV show was Lost, and it truly kick-started the career of a young Malcolm David Kelley. Now, more than a decade later and with scores of other TV and film roles under his belt, Kelley is preparing to share his latest project, the film Detroit, with the world.

Based on The Algiers Motel Incident during Detroit’s 1967 12th Street Riot, a police raid which led to one of the largest citizen uprisings in US history, it’s a hard hitting piece of film-making and testament to just how much Kelley has grown in himself both personally and professionally since first making his first industry appearance aged 5. Here, Kelley chats to ThisIsTheLatest about working with Denzel Washington, his memories of Lost and

TITL: You’ve been a part of the entertainment industry since you were 5 years old and it could be argued that there aren’t many kids who are as ambitious as you were at that age. Do you ever regret getting into the acting world so early or was it something you always knew you wanted to do?

MDK: I was inspired by the kids on TV. I remember it was a McDonald’s commercial that caught my attention, I told my mom I wanted to do it so she found a manager who we took a meeting with and ending up signing with – and is still my manager today. So no, I don’t regret anything it was a great experience and I also didn’t miss out on my childhood.

TITL: You starred alongside Denzel Washington in Antwone Fisher – did he offer/give you any advice about how best to make your way in this ever-competitive industry and what was it like to work so closely with someone who’s regarded as one of the finest actors ever?

MDK: I was so grateful to have the pleasure to work with him. Working and watching him as a director was a great learning and inspiring experience. I didn’t get to speak to him on that but should the opportunity arise again, I will definitely have questions!

TITL: Most people will likely know you for your role of Walt in Lost. What can you recall of your audition for the show and did you ever imagine it’d be as big as it was?

MDK: Playing Walt was a true honor. The Lost fan base is amazing. I remember getting a call about the audition from my team (ESI & AEF). The show was to go out on the ABC network so I did a couple of rounds of auditions and testing for the network. After booking the job, I found myself flying to Oahu, Hawaii  for a couple weeks to shoot the pilot. Then we had to see if what we had made was good enough to get picked up for a season, which it turned out to be and the show took off. Working with J.J Abrams and the team was amazing: he had a keen vision and gave that show life.

We did not know it would be something that would have the longevity to see a ten year anniversary and keep growing even now – with streaming, people who haven’t had the pleasure of seeing it before now can. I have a Walt action figure somewhere –  I saw it at ComicCon when they had us go. It was a pleasure to work with so many great actors and people while being a part of that show and I learned a lot.

TITL: How did the success of the show impact your career plans/progression?

MDK: It took my career to the next level. I was still fairly young and was on a hit TV show for 2 years portraying a person younger than my actual age. Continuing to work in this industry and still being a young teenager at the time, it still didn’t resonate with me that i was building an uprising track record and a career, i just knew my passion to create and tell stories was a once in a lifetime opportunity. I definitely put in the all different types of work I could including taking acting classes but also just experiencing life I think was important. I was a young man finding myself making a career and sometimes, I realised that I couldn’t do it all on my own, so with my team began planning ahead and a lot of those plans worked out. In the end, getting work in this industry is all about staying persistent and I’m lucky enough to have worked hard, as I continue to do, in order to put my self in positions where opportunities can come my way.

TITL: You’ve appeared in Law & Order: SVU, Glee and Bones among others – any highlights or favourite memories?

MDK: It was a pleasure to be able to work on such great shows. I loved every moment they all were iconic in their own right, but I loved working with Mariska Hargitay on SVU.

TITL: Away from acting, you’re also a performer with your Gigantic co-star Tony Oller as MKTO. For those unfamiliar with your music, what genre would you say you fit into?

MDK: I would say the genre we fit mostly into was and is pop but I obviously brought the rap element to it. We kinda took influence in that sense from BOB & Hayley Williams’ “Airplanes.” We built something great and appreciate all the love and support.

TITL: Which of your songs are you most proud of and why?

MDK: I’m proud of all the songs I’ve gotten to be a part of. Obviously to see “Classic” reach platinum status was amazing. I love the whole first album and the second EP we were able to put out was amazing. Also to have a feature with Ne-Yo on our first album was dope and something I’ll always remember.

TITL: You’re currently on tour – how have the shows been going and are there any plans to bring your music over to Europe?

MDK: We have done press in Europe a couple times. We love Europe and can’t wait to come back and actually perform. I have also taken trips to Europe myself and and I’m excited that my new film, Detroit, directed by Oscar winner Kathryn Bigelow, has a U.K. Release so hopefully I can come over there for that.

TITL: If you could play any venue in the world which would it be and why?

MDK: It would have to be the 02 arena in London. That place looks amazing and it’s so iconic; I would love to be on that stage.

MDK: Are there any other plans or projects in the pipeline you can tell me about?

TITL: I’ve another movie due to come out in September and I’m figuring out the next project seeing as how people are now sort of realising I’m back – even though I felt as I never left! Also, there’s new music we want to put out so hopefully that will also be happening very soon.

TITL: To what extent would you say the entertainment industry has changed over the years since you started out and how much of that change do you think is down to the boom in social media? How socially interactive are you as both a person and an actor/musician?

MDK: I think the industry has evolved in a good way, especially with social media; it has created more opportunities to showcase your talents which I think is amazing. I know some people have been frustrated with the rapid rise of social media stars but I love it. To have the control to build your own brand and a fan base and have networks and brands want to buy into your brand just off of your thoughts and creativity is something pretty special. However, everybody has a different story and social media doesn’t work for everyone. I myself try to be as socially active as I can and continue to how to use social media and all it has to offer to my advantage. I think it has been great to have a platform to inform and connect with people that appreciate things I do from acting music producing and other things.

TITL: Finally then, where would you like to see yourself, 5 and then 10 years from now? Are there any career goals you’ve yet to achieve and what would you have to do in order to feel completely fulfilled?

MDK: In the next 5 years I see myself with a lot more knowledge and I want to have directed and produced a couple of projects. Also, I want to still be making music and still being able to tour. I can’t wait to embark on this new chapter in my life. I definitely see some kids with in the ten year part but at the moment, I’m enjoying life and I want to keep working to spread knowledge and, in whatever ways I can, give something back to the community and the kids coming up so that they can have more opportunities.

Check out the trailer for Detroit below and for more information on and to keep up to date with Malcolm David Kelley. follow him on Twitter.

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STOLEN CITY TALK NEW SINGLE “LAST NIGHT” & ARTISTIC INSPIRATIONS 66

With Ireland’s globally successful music history – here’s looking at you, U2 and The Script – you might think that up and coming Dublin trio Stolen City would be feeling the pressure. Instead, the three friends, Sean, Dave and Ian, are paving their own way in the industry. With big plans in the works for the coming year, ThisIsTheLatest caught up with the band to find out more about their musical influences, their thoughts on social media and their dreams of touring the world.

TITL: First of all, please introduce yourselves and tell us a little about your role in the band.

Stolen City: We are Stolen City, we consist of 3 members Sean, Ian (Bailey) and Dave. Sean is the lead singer and rhythm guitar player of the band, Bailey is the drummer of the band and Dave plays rhythm guitar and mandolin.

TITL: How do the three of you know each other/how did you meet?

SC: Sean and Dave met in college in Dublin where they were both studying music, performance and production and formed an instant friendship that they never thought would turn into what it has. They started performing together as a duo early into the year and with continued success decided to form a band. They invited Bailey into the band and have been together since.

TITL: Which bands and artists are you most inspired and influenced by and how do those artists impact the music you make?

SC: We have so many different influences and bring so many different styles into our music. Sean`s influences mainly come from singer-songwriters and solo performers such as Foy Vance, JP Cooper and Gavin James. Dave’s influences are mainly bands such as Mumford & Sons, The 1975 and The XX. Bailey brings a style that mainly comes from his favorite band, Green Day, and he also loves Swing and big band music.

TITL: What would you say is your unique selling point as a band?

SC: Our unique selling point is our music. There`s nothing like it in the market today and it`s something completely unique to us and we are so passionate about it.

TITL: Is there a story behind your latest track “Last Night”? Can you recall where you were when you wrote it?

SC: “Last Night” is a song we wrote in early 2017 to put on our EP but when we recorded it and heard it back it was too special to us to just release it on our EP so we saved it to be released on its own as a single.

TITL: Have you an album in the works and if so, is there anything you can tease us with about it?

SC: We can`t say exactly what we do have in the works but there is something coming towards the end of this year. However we can tell you that we are spending a good amount of time in the recording studio and writing music this year.

TITL: If you could collaborate with any other band or artist, who would you choose and why?

SC: Oh god, that`s a really hard question to answer there`s so many incredible artists out there at the moment. We all have different answers Sean would love to collaborate with Gavin James, Dave would love to collaborate with Mumford & Sons and Bailey would love to collaborate with Green Day.

TITL: Of the shows you’ve played so far in your career, is there one that stands out? If so, which is it and why is/was it so memorable for you?

SC: Dave and Bailey`s favourite show was definitely a festival we played in Co.Mayo Ireland called “Band on The Strand” there was a crowd of over 4,000 people where we played a set of our original songs and got an incredible reaction and had the crowd so interested in the show we put on.

Sean`s favorite show was a more intimate gig we played on the main stage in Whelan`s Dublin. There was a sold out crowd on the night and we were the headline act. We played a full set of our original songs and had the crowd singing them back to us it was amazing and unforgettable.

TITL: For those who haven’t seen you live yet, how would you describe a Stolen City show?

SC: A Stolen City show guarantees to entertain – it`s full of surprises and fun. We are extremely energetic and really know how to get a crowd going. Trust us if you miss a Stolen City show, you are missing something special.

TITL: If you could play one venue, anywhere in the world, with three artists/bands living or dead, where would it be and who would be on the bill?

SC: Oh this one’s easy we would love to play Red Rocks Amphitheatre and on the bill would be Queen, The Beatles, Ourselves and Thin Lizzy.

TITL: Will you be hitting the road again later this year?

SC: We will be hitting the road again this year if all of our plans fall into place but we can’t say dates or venues yet.

TITL: You’re earning yourselves a considerable following on social media, notably Twitter. To what extent has that impacted/boosted your career?

SC: Social media boosts our listeners, fans, friends and also opens up opportunities for us all around the world because it has such a broad spectrum and such a wide reach it really is incredible and drives us to work harder and harder every-day.

TITL: Given the success of Irish bands such as U2 and more recently, The Script, do you ever feel any pressure to ‘have’ to follow in their footsteps and achieve the same levels of popularity and success they’ve earned over the years? Or, are you more a ‘let’s enjoy the ride while it lasts and see where it goes’ kind of band?

SC: We don`t feel any pressure at all to follow in the footsteps of other bands because we`re so different. We really believe that what we do makes a difference not just to us but to others and that’s all we can ask for. We work harder than anyone out there we push our limits and we are not afraid to take risks and we will hopefully make our own pathway to success.

TITL: Finally then, where would you like to yourselves 5 years from now? What’s the long-term objective for the band and what would you have to achieve in order to turn to one another and say ‘We’ve made it.’?

SC: In 5 years’ time we would love to be touring the world and we would love our music to be reaching millions upon millions of people. We are confident in what we do and we know if we push ourselves and if we work hard we will someday get to where we want to be. For us to say “We`ve made it” we would have to play a sold out show to thousands of people who know every word to every song, that`s the dream and that`s what drives us.

Check out the video for Stolen City’s new single “Last Night” below and for more information on the band, give their page a like on Facebook or follow them on Twitter.

Y.O.U.N.G. OPEN UP ABOUT NEW SINGLE “EXPOSURE” & SOCIAL MEDIA 61

With an array of artistic and musical influences between them, Manchester quintet Y.O.U.N.G. don’t quite fit into any particular genre, but they certainly don’t seem to mind. Having earned themselves a considerable following throughout 2017, largely thanks to their impressive live performances, the band are starting 2018 on a high – one that’s set to continue when the group release their debut album later in the year. ThisIsTheLatest caught up with rapper and keyboardist Ben to find about more exactly to chat about how the band came together and what fans can expect from them in the coming months.

TITL: How do the five of you know each other/how did you meet?

Ben: Jamie and Chez actually worked at a music studio. I met Chez’s dad when at a film festival with my uncle Wiggy, who did choreography for Take That and 911. He invited me down to meet the boys. We connected as mates and gave a few tracks a go. It felt great, but looking back these tracks were awful. Haha! We all agree! Eventually there came a time where we needed a drummer and a bassist, luckily for us we knew the two lemons for the job. Grae has known Chez from primary school, same with tom. We’d all worked for the company teaching kids drums in schools, all of a sudden we we’re all playing in the same building we all trained. It was like some fate shit.  We jammed it felt good, more energetic, so we became, officially a 5.

TITL: What would you say Y.O.U.N.G’s unique selling point is?

B: The combination of musical elements. I don’t hear rap on guitar like I want to hear it nowadays. Every rappers trappin’. Of course guitars and rap isn’t new. But the way in which we do it, I believe is unique. Come watch us I’ll show you!

TITL: How different/similar are your personal music tastes and how have you been able to bring those influences to the table in order to create your sound?

B: We like a lot of the same things, but it’s evolving all the time as we listen to new things. It’s not always what you think. For example, recently Chez has been listening to lots of reggae, whereas I have been jogging to Slipknot. Our sounds are slowly merging over each other over time. For an idea to get into a song we generally just go on the strength of the idea; you can’t turn up to rehearsals and start playing folk and talking about the Norwegian charts….but if the bassline gets me, then I’m in, wherever it came from! We all have to feel it or we don’t do it. It’s actually quite easy to bring our influences to the table, no one’s getting a guitar thrown at them for trying something in practice. We just try bring strong ideas to rehearsals, some things work, some don’t. The songs are coming together nicely at the moment though, I believe they always will.

TITL: If you were to say you sounded similar to any band or artist, which or who would it be?

B: I’ve read Lethal Bizzle vs Twenty One Pilots – I’ll take that, although I prefer to think of myself more rap-wise as a young Method Man with a sprinkle of Will Smith. Just a sprinkle. I can’t act.

TITL: Tell me a little about your latest track “Exposure.” Is there a story behind it?

B: It’s just about outing people who need outing. We all feel it.

TITL: Which song do you wish you’d written and why?

B: I don’t wish I’d written any song, that belongs to someone else. I’m sure we’ll have ours.

TITL: You’ve toured fairly extensively this past year – any favourite shows or highlights?

B: We did a Sofar sounds acoustic gig in a front room somewhere in South London. That was an experience, insence and Jeremy Vine sat cross-legged in the front row. We even got him on an improvised ”oooops there it isssss’, as we decided to do a song which I haven’t even done a rap for yet. Give me time fellas!

TITL: You’re heading back out on the road in February and March. For those who have never seen you before, what can they expect from a Y.O.U.N.G. show?

B: Energy, moments of madness, chaos, the proof of practice, all undercut with some off the cuff light hearted tongue in cheek.

TITL: You’ve also got an album coming out. Is there anything you can tell me about it? Any favourite tracks perhaps?

B: Just that we’re all very proud of it. Happy to be a part of it. Every moment in each of our lives leads us right to our first album release. Deeep! I’ll be weeping like a baby if it does well! My personal favourite track is “What I Gotta Do”, because the rap is easy to shout, and sometimes on Monday mornings, I like to shout.

TITL: What impact has social media had on your career so far? Do you think you’d have the following and support you do without it? How big of a part do you think it’ll play as you move forward?

B: It impacts it greatly. It’s nice to have a platform where people care what you say. But for me, it’s just a pathway to attract people to the music. If I wasn’t in a band, I’d really be trying to cut it out pretty much all together; when you are on there you aren’t here. It’s all about the moment for me, and sometimes social media can help you miss that. I know at least me and Chez wouldn’t mind being born with no phones and no internet. It’s nice on some levels, fans can connect easier, and so maybe it’s easier to feel part of something. However, it’s hard to say if the number of followers would be the different with or without social media. If people were still coming to the gigs I like to think word of mouth would spread. There’s almost too much for fans to look at now, everyone’s someone, everyone’s verified. I wouldn’t mind if it was just like, I won’t update you all what I’ve been doing all week, I’ll see you and 10,000 others on that park at that time and we’ll all talk about it then.

TITL: What’s the ultimate career goal for you guys as a band? Whose career would you most like to emulate and why?

B: We want to have enough money own a zoo together, with big giraffes and lions. Or maybe a coffee shop in Amsterdam if we can’t afford the zoo. Jay-Z and Beyonce. We 4 can be jay z, and Jamie can be Queen B.

TITL: Finally then, with so much new talent around, as we head into 2018, if you had to give music fans one reason to listen to you rather than your many counterparts, what would you say?

B: FREE FOOD FREE FOOD FREE FOOD. Now I have your attention, LISTEN TO YOUNG, the music will do the talking.

Check out the video for “Exposure” below and for more information on Y.O.U.N.G., give their page a like on Facebook or follow them on Twitter. Header photo credit: Carsten Windhorst.