In a blossoming hip-hop hotbed of talent, Malcolm “Mac Miller” McCormick is next up out of Pittsburgh, PA. A graduate of Taylor Allderdice High School, Mac caught the eyes and ears of Rostrum Records, inking a deal in July 2010.
A multi-talented musician who can play numerous instruments and a young novice of the freestyle/cipher/battle circuit of his hometown, Mac has been paving his way to superstardom in his blue-collar hometown for years. 2011 also showcased Mac’s selling potential as his debut Rostrum EP, On and On and Beyond, sold over 60,000 copies digitally alone. Mac has also sold over a million singles total with little to no radio airplay. His debut LP Blue Slide Park was the first Independent album to go No 1 in the USA since 1995 (selling nearly 150,000 copies in the first week). We caught up with Mac Miller fresh off a plane from the States, as he gets ready for his first ever Australian tour.
aahh: How was the flight out from the states?
Mac: It was long, but it wasn’t that bad actually, flying first class on Qantas was heavenly.
aahh: You hail from Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, tell us a bit about the city of Pittsburgh?
Mac: It’s a great place man. The best thing about Pittsburgh is that it kind of has a bit of everything, its one very chill place. There’s not a lot of stuff to do, so there’s a lot of kids running around. It’s a very imagination brewing city.
aahh: This is your first time out here in Australia. Did you have any perceptions about what Australia would be like leading in to the tour?
Mac: All my friends told me great things, so it was all positive expectations. So far they are right, it’s a beautiful place, and the people are really friendly. I can’t wait to see more.
aahh: You have been travelling quite a lot lately, you’ve recently performed in Japan and Austria, how were those shows?
Mac: They were great, you know to perform in japan and see that the people over there know who you are, it’s a crazy experience and it’s definitely a special moment. Same with the shows Austria. The crowds were great, you know I’m not pulling 70,000 or anything, but it’s great for where I am at the moment.
aahh: What should the australian crowds be expecting from a Mac Miller show?
Mac: A lot of energy. It’s basically like hanging out with me for an hour. I want the crowd to get to know me a little bit better.
aahh: Your debut LP, Blue Side Park reached number 1 on the US Billboard200 chart and was the 1st independently distributed album to do so in the last decade. How did you feel about that?
Mac: It was cool. I don’t think initially I freaked out as much as I should have. Some of my friends were like ‘hey man, this is a big deal’. It was cool to see a lot of people get behind the album and show their support.
aahh: We hear you’ve been working hard on the new album Watching Movies With The Sound Off. How’s that process going?
Mac: It’s great, it’s been a very creative process. I have a studio at my house now, so there’s no limitations. I can do whatever I want. It’s fun and exciting to go on a little musical journey.
aahh: I guess that provides you with a lot of freedom, having the studio in your house?
Mac: Yeah for sure, you can wake up in the morning, play 3 notes on the piano, take a shower play another 3 notes, have some breakfast, play another 3 notes. It’s hard to get out of the studio sometimes, which is a good thing.
aahh: The title of the album Watching Movies With The Sound Off, is an interesting title can you explain the concept behind the name?
Mac: It all stems from… well, it’s a literal title in that it’s what kind of goes on in the studio. We watch movies with the sound off, and we lay over new soundtracks. It’s deals with a lot of stuff, it’s very complicated but basically it’s a visual experience through music.
aahh: You’re currently working on a number of projects, one of which is under your production moniker Larry Fisherman, producing Odd Future affiliate Vince Staples’ upcoming EP, Tales of A Stolen Youth. How did you become involved in this project?
Mac: Vince came over with Earl one day to the house, he is a very very talented rapper, he is incredible. I was getting really serious with beats and production and this idea came up to do this EP, and its exceeded both our expectations with the level of quality on the record. We are both really excited to put this out.
aahh: At the end of last year you were announced as Complex’s ‘Man of Next Year’, does recognition from outlets such as Complex mean a lot to you as an artist?
Mac: It’s really nice you know. You sometimes see this thing from artists who say ‘I don’t give a fuck what some magazine or journalist writes about me’ or ‘I don’t care’ but at the end of the day, it’s nice to have that acknowledgement and respect from people whose job is to write about music is cool. You can say what you want but at the end of the day it’s great to see your work being appreciated.
aahh: You made music news headlines here in Australia mid to late last year when you became involved in a lawsuit with Lord Finesse. Is that situation close to resolution?
Mac: It’s all resolved now man, and it’s something we’ve both moved on from. Now it’s just a thing of the past.
aahh: We’ve just heard that film clip for the track ‘Donald Trump’ recently cracked over 75 million views. Looking back to when you did the track, did you ever predict this kind of success?
Mac: I didn’t, but my friend Q did. He said oh yeah, this records was going to be my first records that was going to go platinum. In the next couple of weeks, with how sales are going at the moment this should be my first platinum record in the states.
aahh: Another project we want to ask you about is the mixtape ’92 Til Infinity’ with DJ Jazzy Jeff, is that project still happening?
Mac: Yeah man it is, it’s all about timing and not throwing too much at people too fast. Me and Jazzy have been talking about that for while now and we both agree. It’s been in the works for a couple of years now, but we both have had a couple of records that we’re working on. This project means a lot to me and it’s an inspiring project and deals a lot with where I came from as an artist.
aahh: The last thing we want to asks you about is the new tv show that’s about to air titled Mac Miller & The Most Dope Family, can you tell us a bit about the show?
Mac: It’s a reality show and it’s just about me and my friends in California, hanging out and just having a good time. I’m really interested to see how it’s received. It was a lot of fun and something different, that at the time I was so focussed on my music that I needed something that I could focus energy on outside that, so it was. California is great, I love it out there.
Mac Miller & The Most Dope Family, premiers next week. Watching Movies With The Sound Off is due early this year.