Local DJ Mallaban Talks About his Travels and New EP

Pete malla
After spending the last year travelling around the world, local DJ Pete Malla tells us about Mallaban music, his recent signing to a Bristol-based record label, and his new charity EP.



How long have you been a DJ and how did you get started?
I first got in to DJ-ing when I was 14 years old. My older brother had a pair of 1210 turntables that I used to practice on and I was immediately hooked. At the time, I worked as a kitchen hand, and that summer I put in the hours to save up enough cash to buy my own pair. A year later, I had a work experience placement in the recording studio at Mount Hawke skate park, and that got me in to producing.

Who are your musical influences?
My brother and I used to listen to a lot of soulful underground hip hop, mostly from the 90s. The Pharcyde, MF Doom, Godfather Don; they influence a lot of the stuff I make.

I also take a lot of influence from jazz/funk; Coltrane, George Benson, Sly and the Family Stone. I love house music too. A lot of the stuff coming out of the UK at the moment is amazing. Anything deep, soulful, melodic, and emotive plays well with me. This is what I aim to create in my own music.

When and where was your first gig?
My friend put a house party on when we were in our first year of college. We hired a 2000W sound system from a local sound engineer and the monster had my tyres burning on the wheel arches the whole journey back. I think the police closed the party down about 20 minutes into my set.

pete malla 2

What is your favourite genre of music to play in a set?
Balearic/ Deep house. Techno is also great.

Who did you listen to growing up and what was your first album?
Michael Jackson. My first album was ‘Bad’ on a cassette tape. I listened to it religiously. It used to always get chewed up in the Walkman.

Where is your favourite venue to play live?
Last summer I played in a groovy little place called Red Bar in Auckland, New Zealand. It has a capacity of about 20 and stays open until the early hours. The regulars are all there for the same reason, and I was free to play whatever I liked which is such a nice thing to have.

What are your aspirations and plans for the next 12 months?
I’m currently trying to make a decision on a job contract in LA for 2 years, as opposed to living in the UK, after my recent 13-month backpacking world tour. Either way, I want to move to a more hardware based approach to producing, and continue working on refining my sound. I’d like to collaborate more with interesting artists, and place a bigger focus on live performances. Having also picked up a guitar (and more ambitiously, a Sitar) while travelling, I would like to start using live recordings in my work and develop more natural compositions.

Last month I was also signed up to Bristol-based record label Banoffee Pies, with my first EP release ‘Ponsonby Carnival’. This release will be on sale sometime this month, with all revenues being donated to UNICEF charity to support aid in India.

If you could play on stage with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?
Carlos Santana

What do you think of the Cornish music scene and what improvements would you like to see?
Dance music culture in Cornwall is pretty scarce to be honest. I saw that Pleasure Principle had a decent line-up last year which I wasn’t able to make. I think that as the thriving underground house scenes of London, Bristol, Manchester, etc. continually evolve, there will probably be a natural spread further afield to places like Cornwall. In my opinion, it requires promoters with the right mindset, and networks to launch something off. More so, a fitting venue that suites the music, and can create unique atmospheres. There’s no use booking in good names if the atmosphere on the night is dead or full of reckless 18-year-olds.

Are there any current Cornish music artists/ DJs you see going far?
I had a listen to Samuel Powell recently, and was impressed by his acoustic talents. We go way back, so it’s nice to see a friend developing and still going at it. Sophie Stoke is another strong vocalist/ pianist.

What is your most memorable gig?
Two years ago, I played this gig halfway up a mountain in a French ski resort to about 200 university students. That was a lot of fun.

Describe your music style in three words
Balearic, Deep, Growing


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