Made up of actors-turned-musicians Tony Oller and Malcolm Kelly, MKTO proves that old-school pop isn’t quite dead yet. Full of catchy choruses bound to linger in your mind for days, MKTO’s self-titled and mostly self-written debut album is one of the best debuts for a pop act that I have heard in recent years.

In terms of songwriting, MKTO really do hit the ball out of the park with this one. There is a level of sarcasm and wit that comes with each song, something you’d come to expect from two young guys in their early 20s.This is a band who are comfortable in their sound and not trying to be anything other than who they are.

It’s always refreshing to hear an artist or group differ from typical pop love songs and create something that is ‘directed to the people.’ For example,  MKTO aren’t afraid to challenge the ideals and values that the world hold today, evident in their songs ‘Thank You’ and ‘American Dream.’ Debut single ‘Thank You’ in particular, works as an anthem for all those ‘misfit kids and total outcasts’. Every song is relatable in some way, from the playful ‘Forever Til Tomorrow’ to the sorrowing ‘Heartbreak Holiday’.

While the album has a generally upbeat feel, heartbreakingly beautiful ballad ‘Wasted’ strips it all back and showcases just how strong Oller’s vocals are as he sings about a relationship gone wrong.

With such a strong debut album and a unique blend of pop, R&B and hip hop, MKTO are well on their way to becoming serious game-changers in the music industry.


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