In the relentless entertainment world, where many egos and high stakes are involved, finding a good publicist that is not transactional and values both the artist and their talent is rare. Thankfully, Deidra J. Malone, better known as Malo, CEO of The Prolific Effect, is charting a path with her agency that manages artists’ talent and personal needs. We recently spoke with Malo about her agency, her approach to working with artists, and her plans to grow her business after relocating to Atlanta.
How did you get started?
I started in 2010. I created a blog during the pre-Instagram, Twitter days. I noticed many of my friends made music, and some of them started getting into fashion and falling in love with the arts. I decided to create a platform for them to showcase their talent. Just because you don’t have a large audience [or] fan base or you’re not “well established” yet, doesn’t mean you don’t deserve to be highlighted. I created Urban Alley, and I ran that from 2010 to 2015. During that time, I discovered and gave artists like Travis Scott, thanks to Ryan Knew, his first platform, who was early in his career while in a group with OG Che$$. Another artist from Houston, Maxo Kream, and Rotimi; we went to high school together.
What prompted your move to Atlanta?
With the pandemic, everything stopped and changed things. However, looking from the outside and seeing how everything was still functioning in Atlanta, I thought I might need to check out the scene. My best friend, Grammy-nominated songwriter Sir Charles, suggested I should come out there. He said, “Come out here and stay for a weekend, check it out, and if you like it, cool; if not, then stay where you at.” I came down and was hooked, so I made the transition.
What type of artist do you take on?
For one, I’m not a yes-man. I stand on integrity, and I’m very straightforward. If you’re not ready to take this thing on, let’s go through the grooming process because I may feel there’s something there [but] you just haven’t tapped into it yet. I look for a passion and people who understand that things are a process, especially as a publicist, because the misconception is that everything takes off when an artist gets a publicist. And that’s not “always” the case. Many artists think publicists come in and wave a wand, and we are not magicians.
What are your future goals?
When our agency comes into the picture, our goal is to make clients more impactful, take them to the next level, and enlarge the capacity of who they’re meant to be. I want my agency to be a one-stop shop. I can’t say what all that entails right now but I do know we will be able to help clients make a prolific impact on the culture!