How often do you get a chance to witness the rise of a legend in the making? Anyone roaming the underground music scene in Atlanta, knows the name “Mal Gato,” aka Bad Kat.” Here’s the catch, he is not your typical Atlanta artist. “Mal Gato,” is wowing audiences, with what a mixture of reggae and hip-hop, known as “Regg-Hop.” He’s providing a refreshing switch from the regular sound you hear throughout the ATL, and the music industry, in general. We predict he has global success, and makes a huge impact in the music industry. Meanwhile, check out what Mal Gato had to say in our latest interview.
1up Atlanta Examiner: Who is Mal Gato, and what does the name represent?
Mal Gato: I consider myself as a Regg-Hop recording artist, songwriter hailing from St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. The name Mal Gato derived from my original artist name, which was “Bad Kat,” standing for brave, assertive, determined, knowledgeable, and true. As an adolescent growing up in the islands, my neighbor (Bobo) used to call me Kat (pronounced Kyat), which is a moniker in the islands for a Don, “don dada.” After my very 1st show in Atlanta, going by just Kyat, this Jamaican guy came up to me screaming “Kyat, you a Bad Kat,” and it stuck. Upon gaining fans in the Latin community, they would call me Gato. While reinventing myself, I converted Bad Kat, to Mal Gato.
1up Atlanta Examiner: How would you describe your music?
Mal Gato: The music I do, I brand it as, Regg-Hop. It’s a mixture of Reggae and Hip-Hop. It’s like Reggae with a lyrical Hip-Hop swag. It’s also has a Soca influence, with international appeal. Growing up in VI, I was exposed to all genres of music, by being in a US territory. Picture a vibe of Tupac, Biggie, Bob, and Shabba, all in one.
1up Atlanta Examiner: What are your short and long term goals, as an artist?
Mal Gato: For the most part, anything I love and dedicate myself to, is for the long haul. I would say, my short-term goal was to master my craft and skill set, which for the most part, I’ve done, although, I re-tweek and upgrade as I go. As for a long-term goal, I’m just trying to leave a legacy within my music. Everything is on Jah Speed. I just enjoy the process.
1up Atlanta Examiner: We all know the positive influence Peter Tosh and Bob Marley had in the music industry. In your opinion, are there current Caribbean artists making similar influences?
Mal Gato: Yes. There are definitely a few Caribbean artists pushing the positive culture at a high level. As with anything, people gravitate to what they gravitate to. I find that the mainstream media pushes certain music to the forefront.
1up Atlanta Examiner: Being from “The Virgin Islands,” please let the readers know the difference between Saint Thomas, and St. Croix.
Mal Gato: I was born and raised in St. Thomas VI, in a place called Ras Valley / Annas, on a road we call “The Treshold.” I also have deep rooted family in Tortola British Virgin Islands. The US Virgin Islands consists of the three beautiful islands. St. Thomas, which is the capital, St. Croix, the largest, and St. John, the smallest. All three islands contain great heritage, culture, cuisine, and excellent beaches and scenery.
1up Atlanta Examiner: Do you consider yourself a Pan Africanist, or a student of Marcus Garvey? If so, please elaborate on how being Pan African influences your music. If not, do Pan Africanist have any influence in how you create your music?
Mal Gato: I think both have a direct correlation to each other, but the teachings of Marcus Garvey touches to the core.
1up Atlanta Examiner: How do you navigate the music business and still be true to your art?
Mal Gato: I just try to align myself with people and situations that are comparable to my musical outlook, vision, and beliefs within my musical career.
1up Atlanta Examiner: Who would you like to work with in the future?
Mal Gato: This is one question I always get, and I say the sky’s the limit, because there are so many great artists in different genres, that I would love to, and can see myself working with. When it happens, I will let it be known, I’ve always wanted to work with each said artist. Jah Speed.
1up Atlanta Examiner: Where should the readers go to purchase previous and new musical projects, and how can they contact you if they are interested in booking you for performances, or public speaking engagements?
Mal Gato: They can go to the Itunes:
Bad Kat aka Mal Gato| BackUp BackUp| Official Video
MGgears Merch: www.paypal.me/MGgears