Set to perform at this year's American Music Awards, Machine Gun Kelly is stoked to be a part of the festivities, and to be the one who brings back the music that he loves to the mainstream stage.
Speaking backstage at the awards show he admits, "getting to perform at the AMAs and do something that, not just me but the scene that I came from, getting to do that on a mainstream platform when it feel like it was a little bit tucked for like a decade is the coolest thing ever. Not having to force a collaboration... essentially just go up and do what I do in my bedroom. That is so sick, and props to the AMAs for booking me and trusting me!"
Working with drummer Travis Barker on his latest record and now in a live setting is one of those full-circle moments for MGK.
"I texted Travis when I woke up today. I was like, 'Kobe and Shaq... let's go!'"
"I started out as a fan, obviously, of blink and of Travis," Kelly says, "but over the course of our 11-12 year friendship I've just been grateful to have him as a friend. Take yesterday for example: I was just hanging with Trav just to hang with Trav, and we were jamming just to jam. So, coming on an award show and getting to do that is sick. But look, my answer stops at 'Kobe and Shaq.'"
The crossover success of Kelly's pop punk leanings could cause one to forget that he's well known for his ability to spit bars. This year, with the expansion of Latin and Hip Hop categories during this year's ceremony, he says it's been a long time coming.
"I'm super proud of Hip Hop getting the cultural recognition that it should," he says emphatically. "Because it's responsible for everything going on right now, it's so significant. Even in 'My Ex's Best Friend...' that's just so centered around Hip Hop production. And as far as the Latin community getting that shine too, it's like 'duh, they've been going off!'"
"The power is in the people... I feel like this isn't corporations making these decisions, it's the people forcing these decisions."
Regarding his own musical style, Kelly says he simply wants the freedom to express himself in any way that he sees fit without boxing himself into one specific genre. "If you do something well in multiple facets," he explains, "why not do it?"
"This is my view: You should give as much to the world as you can. Just like I've given aggression and angst to the world, I also want to give love and happiness to the world. If I have a message to give to my fans... you are responsible for why I'm here today because that album making the impact that it did, and charting at number 1, and having the accolades behind it is what convinces all of these people to allow me here."
The 2020 American Music Awards air live this Sunday night at 8PM ET/PT on ABC. Catch exclusive world premiere performances, first-time collaborations and “can’t miss moments.” Hosted by Taraji P. Henson, the 2020 American Music Awards will broadcast live from the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles on ABC.