Relaxing melodies and nostalgic vibes are just two ingredients MALKY’s soul-pop consists of. The German band made themselves known for their international-sounding music, were shortlisted for the VIA!-Awards for their most recent album Soon and even got the chance to present their material on the MUSEXPO in Los Angeles earlier this year. A few hours before their performance on this year’s MELT! Festival mainstage, NOTHING BUT HOPE AND PASSION met the two guys behind the Leipzig-based duo, DANIEL STOYANOV and MICHAEL VAJNA, to talk a bit about collaboration wishes, inspiration and annoying principles in the industry.
Any favourite album right now?
Daniel: I’m really not good at that because I don’t have many current albums I listen to right now. I like the band WANDA, they have this song called Bologna. That’s a great song and the vocalist is a great lyricist. So let’s make it favourite album.
Michael: I don’t listen too much to current music either. But I like the unplugged album from NIRVANA.
And favourite album of all time?
Michael: Well, it’s always changing because the mind is changing. Spirit changes, emotions, nature. I don’t know. So, right now, it’s still NIRVANA.
David: I have one recording at home, Sam Cooke: Live at the Copacabana, that’s really good because it’s pure passion.
The worst album of all time?
David: Something that you bought and then you realized it sucks.
Michael: Some Bravo-Hits-compilation, I guess. Or THE BEATLES‘ legendary White Album. (laughs)
Which artist inspire you in general or even in your music?
David: I’m inspired by BOB MARLEY, SAM COOKE and even non-musical artists, like MARLON BRANDO.
Michael: Maybe JOHN LENNON? Yes, and some classical composers, like [Maurice] RAVEL, or [Franz] SCHUBERT.
‘I can understand Elle Goulding but she annoys me’
Can you think of any artists who are a bit overrated at the moment?
Michael: The blonde girl who is singing in German, what’s her name again? It’s something with ‘Fisherman’s’…
Michael: Yes. But still, she’s very professional.
David: Personally, I don’t like ELLIE GOULDING. I understand why she’s so successful, but it’s always the same principle. They find a way of doing music that is successful and they always keep it like this. I can understand this but it annoys me.
And are there any artists you would like to see collaborate with each other – alive or dead?
David: PAUL McCARTNEY and KANYE WEST (laughs). Or KANYE and …
Michael: … WILDECKER HERZBUBEN (laughs). Click here if you’re brave enough.
Not bad. And who would you like to collaborate with as MALKY?
Michael: There are a lot… ELTON JOHN!
David: Oh yes, that’s a good one.
Michael: A classic.
David: There’s a lot of things we could learn from him.
Michael: Well, it always depends on a specific situation. On which part you need or which part you would like to have at the moment from an artist.
David: (checks up the line-up list of the festival hanging next to him) Well, RAURY. He’s got this song called God’s Whisper. Also one of my favourites at the moment. I guess he’s got a good spirit. I like him.
Do you have any favourite concert venues you have played already?
David: We had a little release concert when our album was finally finished. We just invited some of our friends in an old theatre, a ballroom theatre in Leipzig. It was so personal, pure and honest. It’s this kind of concert we always like to remember before we go on stage now. It was really special because we played our songs in front of people for the first time. That’s definitely our favourite concert.
And which concert would you consider as the best you have seen so far?
David: Once I saw RICHARD BONA, a bass player, it was in Darmstadt. It was great. Of course it depends on your situation and maybe if I would see it now, I wouldn’t like it. But then I remember taking an atmosphere with me for weeks. It was just really good, you know. He had so much passion, it was great.
Michael: I know that once I saw ROY HARGROVE, it was also in Darmstadt.
David: Didn’t he play in the central station?
Michael: Yes, he did. I don’t know, but he had something. Maybe he was the best musician I have seen so far in this time. It was just incredible.
David: Oh! What’s the name of the SIMPLY RED singer? Mick Hucknall! We saw him on the Zermatt Festival, we were also playing there. Some of his songs might be a bit cheesy by now, but he was like a modern Orpheus. The way he took the mic and sang and then left it. You could feel it was his profession. You could feel him thinking “Ok, I’m gonna take this mic and I’m gonna sing my melodies to the audience”. We loved it, really. I was touched by it.
‘If the gods live on ambrosia, musicians live on hope and passion.’
Tell us your three favourite festivals.
David: Well, the three festivals we played (laughs). You were talking about some blues festival you really liked (looks to Michael).
Michael: The Blue Balls Festival! That’s a very nice festival.
David: Yes, and the one we talked about. The Zermatt Festival. It’s really nice. It’s up in the mountains and the thin air makes you a bit dizzy. You act more impulsive and so you get a good response from the audience.
What does hope and passion mean to you?
David: Hope is to continue and passion is the right way to continue.
Michael: Those are probably the two most important ways to live your life.
David: I always talk about nutrition. It’s the food. If the gods live on ambrosia, musicians live on hope and passion.