Artist Feature: Udoka Malachi

Planetary Group took some time to get to know Udoka Malachi…

Planetary Group: Tell us about your latest release. How did you come to create it?

Udoka: My self-produced debut Palace Lumumba is now streaming everywhere. Very excited about it. 

I started working on Palace Lumumba in May of 2020, around the time the pandemic first hit. Prior to that, I actually had not been working on music for nine years. So when I started again in May of 2020, the first beat that I made off Palace Lumumba was the beat that eventually turned into Purple Sky Sunday – Purple Sky Sunday was the first single that we put out, so that was a really special moment for me. 


PG: Share a bit about your musical journey, from when you first started making music until now.

Udoka: I had started working on music in high school as a rapper. And then decided I wanted to be a producer, because it was easier for me to have more control if I could make the beats. I started my own group called The Brotherhood; that was a group of nine MCs. That was something that was real special to us, cause it was something that we had done on our own: we burnt CDs and got shows without promoters all while in high school. 

After that disbanded, I went to college and I continued doing production for local Seattle acts here and there. But unfortunately, I wasn’t progressing in the scene like I wanted to; I didn’t feel like I was getting the opportunities that I felt I had worked for. So I put music aside and decided to go back to school. 

I finished school, moved to New York City, started a new career. Music just wasn’t on the forefront really until the pandemic started… but during some of that time, I picked up guitar and found free lessons on YouTube. So when I actually got back into music in May of 2020, I decided that I would have a new approach and try to have my music be more guitar-based.  


PG: Let’s talk about the music that you love. Pick one album for each category below & tell us a bit about it!

  1. An album you grew up listening to:

Udoka: There were a lot of musical influences for me when I was a kid, but one that really stands out is Nas’s Illmatic. That album was pivotal for me because prior to that album, I actually didn’t even know that hip hop could sound like that. I really only consumed hip hop through MTV, (You know what I’m saying?), BET and songs that we downloaded on Kazaa and Limewire. I really didn’t know that there was this whole boom-bap underground scene – that album really exposed me to it. And I could really see New York through Nas’s storytelling. So that was huge for me and my songwriting. 

  1. An album that inspires you as an artist (I’m sure there are many, but pick one of your choosing):

Udoka: An album that was influential for the creation of Palace Lumumba would definitely be Jimmy Hendrix’s Electric Ladyland – the fearlessness and the innovation in sound on that album really drove me to do the same thing with Palace Lumumba, and explore different ideas, sounds, rhythms and cadences. 

  1. The album you currently have on repeat:

Udoka: Cleo Sol’s Mother album. The production on that album is phenomenal, her vocals are very raw and real, her songwriting is incredible… just a perfect album to me. 


PG: What do you want people to take away from your music?

Udoka: What I want people to take away from Palace Lumumba and this process is that it doesn’t really matter what your circumstances are. If you have a passion, you can find time to make it happen. It may not happen overnight, but if you continue to put the work in every day, you’ll eventually get there. It’s just a state of mind. I feel like that’s cliche, but you know, it couldn’t be more true. 

What’s next up for you?

Udoka: We have a show coming up in Seattle on June 8th, looking forward to that. But you know, more music production for local acts: I’m trying to make sure that I have an opportunity to work with some artists out here in New York. 

I might drop an EP next, might drop an instrumental project next, I don’t really know. I’m kind of just taking it day by day and playing it by ear.


Thanks to Udoka for speaking with us! Watch the video for “Witching Hour” below.