- 18 May 20
With a surge in streams and Spotify listeners over the past month, Malaki is beginning to make a big impression, everywhere from the UK to Australia on one side and the US on the other. And with the release of the third of a planned five collaborative tracks, things could be set to get even better again.
The Dublin rap artist Malaki looks set for a major international breakthrough. That is the considered verdict of music industry insiders, watching the progress the 19 year-old Dublin artist has been making with the Cocoon collaborative collection – a lockdown initiative which started out with a plan to release five tracks in a ten week period, with one being launched every two weeks. However, the reaction to the initial releases has been such that the last two will be more staggered.
Hot Press premiered the lead track ‘Fair Play’ – a collaboration with the wonderfully talented Lucy McWilliams – in April and it has gone on to perform superbly across a variety of different platforms. The track pushed Malaki onto a number of influential Spotify playlists, including New Music Friday, Evening Chill, Boho and Lush, Fresh Finds etc with combined followers in excess of 3.5 million.
Malaki is Hugh Mulligan, who works in partnership with his confidante and producer Matthew Harris. Matthew was name-checked as collaborator on the second release in the Cocoon series, 'Baby Bubblegum’.
“It’s been amazing,” a spokesperson for Malaki told Hot Press. “Over the past 28 days, Malaki has had over 360,000 streams and what’s really interesting is that the numbers are sizeable not just in Ireland but in territories like UK, USA, Germany, Canada, the Netherlands etc. ‘Fair Play’ took off and it's already over the 200,000 mark. It is getting about 10,000 daily streams – and it's not slowing down. At this rate it is easy to see the Cocoon project hitting the million mark – and, hopefully, sailing on. All the signs are very positive.”
The spread of the countries in which Malaki has started to hit home is impressive. The biggest number of listeners is in the UK, closely followed by the US and Germany. The rapper's fanbase is also growing strongly in Australia, Canada, France and the Netherlands.
“”His appeal is properly global,” one promoter told Hot Press. “Some Irish acts can find it difficult outside their home base. But you can see from where the streams are happening that there is an audience for this guy in all of the big markets. He just needs to scale that up. But you can see it happening. He has the energy and the originality that makes all the difference."
Over the same 28 day period, Malaki has increased his monthly listeners on Spotify to over 150,000 – and rising. That’s an increase of 420%. No wonder the consensus in the business is that this lad is doing something very right.
The third track in the Cocoon series has just been released. Titled ‘Cavalier’, it is a powerful collaboration with Jeorge II, which has been getting a great reaction from radio as well as online.
“I know that a lot of people are finding things very difficult in music, but we're feeling very positive right now,” the spokesperson said. "There is a real feeling of momentum around Malaki. It’s very frustrating to have had a load of gigs cancelled, but Malaki has responded to the challenge – and the opportunity – of Covid-19 in the best way possible. Right across the industry, we’re getting the kind of response which suggests that the support for what we’re doing is there.
“It is organic. I’m really looking forward to seeing what the next 12 months is going to bring.”
And so say all of us.