Malika (Making the Band) Malika Ubaka isn’t an over night celebrity just because she is one of the three remaining girls from Making The Band Season 2 that made it to Season 3. She has always been very active in the entertainment scene including dropping her 1st LP produced by A-Team (Full Force), winning various contest and talent show, and modelled in various magazines as well. Check out what Malika has to tell WHO?MAG.
Interview by Rob Schwartz
WHO?MAG: What did you feel is your biggest personal challenge dealing with “Making the Band”? Malika: The dancing was one of the biggest challenges for me. On the first season when you saw me do one of those dance scenes, I was so nervous and that was one of the most challenging parts of the competition to me.
WHO?MAG: What was the biggest improvement you have made through the trainers on “Making the Band?” Malika: It was with Doc Holiday. He taught me a lot on how to use my voice. A lot of techniques for warming up and how to breathe better. My vocal techniques were one of my biggest improvements.
WHO?MAG: What differentiates you from the rest of the competition? Malika: I’m a very original person. I’m not a follower. Me being just comfortable with myself where as I notice that a lot of girls just follow the lead of somebody else or just do what they think they need to do instead of them being themselves. For me, me being me and holding true to myself separates me from the rest.
WHO?MAG: What do you hope to gain from this experience? Malika: Just being able to make a comfortable living doing what I love to do. I don’t have to be rich beyond control, but I just want to be able to solely make a comfortable living off just my music. If I can do that, then that’s an accomplishment. That would be perfect to me. Right now, I still have to do hair and do other hustles to make ends meet. If I can just truly live off of my music, I would be happy.
WHO?MAG: Tell us about your first album “You Don’t Know”. Malika: My first album was put out by myself and A-Team Records. That album actually has me doing half and half. I actually rap as well. On there, I am showcasing the rapping and the singing. It did pretty good. I had a few sales in Japan going on. I want to explore that area a little bit more. It was just a chance to really get out there and expose myself heavily rather than just perform here & there. That was cool. It got me a little more recognition in the Bay Area. I have done shows out in Atlanta, Birmingham, and New York. It was a good tool for me to get started and just let people see what I am doing as a solo artist. Prior to that , I was in a group. After the group broke up, it was a great way for me to break out and just do my own thing. It was a cool experience to finally see my face on a CD and my name opening up and on the credits. It felt really good.
WHO?MAG: What advice can you give upcoming singers trying to get recognized? Malika: I would say continue to do what you do and continue to practice and stay true to yourself. Never let anyone tell you you can’t do something. Like I said before, originally I was rapping and what really inspired me to start singing was that I saw a lot of these female singers that were coming out that I felt were just “ok” singers. For me I feel like I sing cool, I wouldn’t put myself up there with a Whitney Houston or a Patti LaBelle. I used to think you had to sing like that if you wanted to sing. Then I was like “wait a minute! I can sing as good that Ashanti now! I know I can sing as well as someone like Mya.” I’m just saying all that to say if you feel you want to do something, then give it a try. Don’t let someone tell you can’t because there were so many people that told me that I can’t sing and just considered me a rapper. I was like “look, I can hold a note and I am going to keep working on it and you go ahead and be quiet!” Then I tried out for Making the Band and here I am returning and doing the next season. The main thing that I would say is to remain focus and true to yourself. You can listen to what people say, but don’t take it to heart. Do what your heart tells you to do.
WHO?MAG: In your opinion, what are some of the advantages and disadvantages to reality TV? Malika: I would have to say the misconception that when people see you on TV, people think that you are just instantly rich. A lot of people notice you now, but I can tell a lot of people think that I have a lot of money now. That would be one of the biggest misconceptions because you see me kicking it with P. Diddy and I’m on MTV every time you turn it on now, you think you can charge me extra when I’m still out here hustling and trying to make it happen. The advantage of course is all he exposure that you get. The exposure is priceless. Now I can say I am Malika from “Making the Band 3” and even if you didn’t see the show, just the credibility of working with P. Diddy and being on MTV, you can look into it. It won’t be hard to find out who I am now. For that I am thankful. For me, it’s just another stepping stone.
WHO?MAG: Explain your experience winning the Ruff Ryder’s “Go Hard or Go Home” competition. Malika: That was cool. A lot of people have called me and told me about that competition. Actually somebody else entered me and I just went and performed and ended up winning that day. I wouldn’t say that I didn’t think I would win, but there was a lot of good talent there. Nothing really ended up coming out of that competition, although I did get to meet the owner of Ruff Ryders and get some things going on, but nothing really came out of it, but it was a nice experience. I still got the big check, you know those really big fat fake checks that they give that really aren’t real. It just looks good on the resume. I have done so many competitions, people continue to ask about that one because it was with the Ruff Ryders.
WHO?MAG: How did you hook up with the A-Team? Malika: I was looking for somebody who had Protools and another gentleman told me about them. I went over there and the first day we worked together, it was great chemistry. When I went home, I was like “wow, they were really cool to work with.” We got in there and got to the point and got to work on some music, I was thinking they can help me finish up this whole project. I was halfway done my project when I came to them, but I funded all that on my own. They called me and we started talking afterwards and we were kind of on the same page. Ever since then, we started working together.
WHO?MAG: What’s next in store for Malika? Malika: With Malika, you never know. I really want to be acting, hosting, and getting into movies, but you never know. You might have seen me in Jet as the Beauty of the Week, you might have seen me on Blind Date, you might have seen me in the King Magazine, you might have seen me giving out food to the homeless people. I’m just trying to do it all, so you really need to keep watching. Of course I have a website called www.malikaent.com.