When preparations began for the First Annual Absolute Best of Tulsa Music Awards, here at Urban Tulsa we knew we had to do things right. We started by letting our readers pick the nominees, so there's no dispute. Then it was a matter of picking a venue, which came easy as well: after all, could there be any place more fitting than Cain's Ballroom?
Afterward came the challenge of finding a host. Sure, we could always call in a few favors and draw on our local talent pool bringing in any (or many) of our local morning guys to share duties. However, with ABoT Music we're hoping to create something new and different, so we searched for someone who could set the event apart and provide the evening with an added air of credibility.
After a few calls and some convincing, we finally found our man; local musician, writer and producer Zac Maloy agreed to preside over the event. He has a substantial music background, solidified when his Oklahoma-based band, The Nixons, scored a national record deal and toured the world; his current gig consists of writing for and with other artists and performing occasional production duties. As a result, Maloy has experience on both sides of the music industry: as a rising local artist and as one who's now on the inside of the big machine.
Maloy was eager to share his enthusiasm for the event. "When I was originally approached to do this, I said 'I'm not a host.' I'm really excited about this, though, because I see the impact of Oklahoma on music, and I see it in an emphatic way."
While Maloy has scaled back his involvement in music production during the past couple of years, he's been increasingly involved in the writing process, helping co-write with and for other artists, specializing in the lyric and melody department. Recent collaborations include James Blunt and Raine Maida of Our Lady Peace, but Maloy's Oklahoma roots have continued to grow as he worked with David Cook, Carrie Underwood and One Republic's Ryan Tedder.
"I'm continually blown away by how many good, talented people there are in the music business from Oklahoma," Maloy said. "Of course, I've worked with David Cook and Carrie Underwood...She's a very good songwriter and was really open to pushing her boundaries and trying something different. I was particularly impressed by Ryan Tedder, he's just that talented."
On the music awards, Maloy said "I've seen the list of bands that are nominated and I'm familiar with a few of them. Bands like Stars Go Dim--I expect great things from them, but this is important on all levels, not just for those who have succeeded and moved on. These awards are really for the people who are right on the edge, to encourage and inspire them to keep going and move forward."
"You know, plenty of times people have told me I should move to L.A. or New York, but my wife is from here, my kids are in a really good school here and I like it here," he said. "Raine Maida, of Our Lady Peace called and asked me to come out to L.A. to write with him and for some reason I couldn't make it, so he came to Tulsa. He spent two days in town and stayed at the Ambassador Hotel, and I took him out to dinner and stuff and afterwards he said 'I totally get it now.'
"This is a great town and has a great vibe and is someplace you can decompress," he continued. "Cities like New York are so frenetic all the time, it's hard to just relax. Tulsa's a great family town, but I think there's also something about it that allows people to push the creative envelope and try something new. By the way, the song we wrote made it on to the new Our Lady Peace album and is the current single, so I'm really proud of it.
"Tulsa's got so much going for it, like DFest and the Cain's Ballroom... We could talk for two hours about all the great things and musical history we have here in town," Maloy said. "I'm really looking forward to this. Everything plays a little part of the whole Oklahoma scene: the local bands, Urban Tulsa, The Cain's Ballroom, people like David Cook and Carrie Underwood and The Flaming Lips. I'm proud to be a part of that."
Make sure not to miss the ABoT Music Awards at the Cain's Ballroom on August 8. Tickets are $15 in advance and Zac Maloy will be hosting the evening which will include performances from our five bands of the year nominees: Callupsie, My Solstice, Vandevander, Dead Sea Choir and Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey. Until then, make sure to go online and vote for the best artists in each category at www.abotmusicawards.com.
Share this article: