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Producer and multi-instrumentalist Mal Sharp, also known as M4LA, lands on Beyonders Music with more of his expressive musical explorations.

We have had the pleasure of interviewing him and this has been the result.

• Hey Mal, hope you’re good and welcome to Chromatic Club! What have you been up to over the first few months of 2024?

A bit of reflection and a bit of looking to the future.There's a huge amount of material that we've built up over the last few years in the Beyonders camp. Much of which we hope to share with the world. There are a few gems in there that perhaps we overlooked, so we've been making lists of songs to revisit, rework or just re-engineer. Also continue to work and collaborate on new music.

• At the end of March, you’re dropping a brand new EP on Beyonders Music, ‘Hoult’. What can you tell us about the release as well as your involvement with Beyonders? 

As with all our E.Ps, it is a collective effort from all the Beyonders, but the musical flavour on this one is more heavily influenced by me.

Hoult brings quite an interesting melody, I think, over a pretty solid rhythm section. The songs name is a tribute to one of Nos' friends who sadly died.

Diaspora started with a bassline I wrote and took on a life of its own once it worked its way around the other guys.

Violin track is literally the first thing I have played on violin in over 20 years. I hit record and just started playing, then kept recording more and more layers. In many ways it sounds quite amateur, but it captures a vibe that I love, and that is the soul of the song.

• We’d love to know more about your background as a multi-instrumentalist and how you use these skills to experiment sonically.

I started playing piano and violin from almost as young as I can remember. I started playing guitar, which is my main instrument, at around 9. Then, drums and bass a year or 2 later. In terms of experimentation, I love the idea of starting from a simple base, but seeing how I can get with harmony and melody before it starts to get over the top. For me, it is about being on the edge of what is musically palatable, while maintaining a familiar core to anchor everything to.

• Loving the sounds of ‘Hoult’! Are there any notable pieces of kit that you tend to use when producing?

Hoult was pretty much all virtual instruments apart from the bassline. I don't like to faff around too much when choosing a patch. I prefer to treat things as though they are physical instruments. So I'll be like, ok so this is how this instrument sounds, let's see what I can do with it. I don't really obsess about gear that much. I've been down that rabbit hole before and it is just a distraction to the creative process. I reach for the simplest thing to get the job done and whatever sounds pleasing to my ears. That said, I love the dynamic EQs in Cubase, my main DAW.

• Outside of the studio, what do you like to get up to in your spare time? 

I became a father 4 years ago, so pretty much all my spare time is consumed doing stuff with my kid. I love it. I get to release my inner child all the time.

• Why do you think its important to push boundaries and experiment?

Whatever you are doing in life, I think it is always a good and exciting place to be if you are on the edge of your abilities.

• Do you have any other projects planned for the rest of the year that you can share with us? 

There's a whole load of music waiting to burst out of Beyonders. More EPs, and an album for sure. Keep your eyes peeled for news on that.

Aside from Beyonders, I've been working with The Jungle Drummer, co-writing and arranging music for his project.


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