WPGM Commentary: MALIKA On Her New Mixtape ‘The 90’s Made Me’ – Track By Track


My name is MALIKA and I have something for the R&B heads to help you get through this isolation period, delivering the quarantine inspired The 90s Made Me mixtape – exclusively on Soundcloud.

This project revisits a hand picked selection of some of my best loved tracks from the era, with a refreshed and contemporary spin on each hit. Here, we walk you through the inspiration behind each single, while you get to know me a little more on a personal level..

“Intro”

The 90s Made Me intro is purely a collage of different staple TV shows from the 90s with a mix of cool ideas. The mixtape only has 6 songs and there are so many great things about the 90’s and this was another way to include other familiar themes from the era. I added shows like Moesha, Doug, Kenan and Kel – anyone who grew up in the 90’s will listen to this intro and instantly have a nostalgic feel.

“You Don’t Know” (Produced by !ntalekt)

“You Don’t Know” is one of my favourite 702 songs – what they did at the time not many people were doing. Not many American R&B artists were doing that Garage/European sound, the Stargazing Remix is what inspired me to pick 702 and that particular version was one of my favourites.

“Candy Rain” (Produced by Bearcubs)

Bearcubs and I were working together on some original music at the time and I asked him if this is something he’d be interested in doing. He was keen on giving this remix a try and absolutely nailed the soulfulness of the track while including a mix of the electronic, R&B and futuristic sounds. Bearcubs is really good at capturing the nostalgic feel so I’m incredibly proud to have worked with him on this!

“Are You That Somebody” (Produced by KZ)

This one I was nervous about because Aaliyah really is untouchable. KZ and I approached this song with so much respect and caution because this original song is a great Aaliyah record. Aaliyah’s legacy is not only important to R’n’B and the culture, but what she, Timberland and Missy did back then musically definitely emphasises the 90s.

“Can We Talk” (Produced by Hoost)

“Can We Talk” is absolutely one of my favourite songs ever! The track was co-written and produced by Babyface and is one of the songs I grew up on – my mum played a lot of Tevin Campbell in the house.

With my rendition of this track, I especially love what we did with the bridge/breakdown where we mixed in the sample of “Say My Name” by Destiny’s Child – just the perfect way of adding in another key ingredient which is 90s inspired.

“Where I Wanna Be” (Produced by !ntalekt)

I am THE biggest Donnell Jones fan, his self-titled album is just phenomenal! I’d already worked with !ntalekt on ‘You Don’t Know’, so I knew he was going to absolutely smoke this track!

The decision to play with the tempo – having some parts of the song faster and some other parts of the song a little slower sonically worked really well together. The track is just so so different from the original but I hope it pays homage to how great the song really is!

“I’m Sorry” (Produced by SG Lewis)

Personally, I don’t think it would have been right to do a project and not incorporate a song which was one of the biggest tracks in the UK from the 90s period. Again I just had so much fun reimagining and playing with these songs.

The best part about remaking this song is that the original artist’s wife reached out to me to say they really loved this version! Which I don’t think, there is a bigger compliment.

Words by MALIKA // Follow her on Twitter + Instagram

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