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MKTO hoping for "Classic" success formula

Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

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Tony Oller promises that MKTO is not a "Classic" case of actors wanting to be musicians.

He and Malcolm Kelley met while both were part of the Nickelodeon's "Gigantic," and they have plenty of other TV and film credits on their resumes. But Oller says their musical partnership "just kind of organically came about" and resulted in the hits "Classic" and "Thank You," a debut album that came out in January and a headlining tour that kicks off this weekend at the Royal Oak Music Theatre.

"Music is something we both always wanted to do," says the Houston-born Oller, 23, who showcases his singing while with the Disney Channel`s "As the Bell Rings." "We just vibe off each other and we love doing music together. It was just about finding the right team and the right timing.

"The interest in acting will always be there, but this is really where our focus is at right now."

After posting cover songs on YouTube, Kelley and Oller were taken under wing by hitmaking producers Emmanuel Kiriakou and Evan Bogart, who handled the lion's share of the "MKTO" album. The duo has done particularly well in Australia, where the album was No. 1, and New Zealand, where it was Top 10, but with "Classic" hitting the Top 20 in the U.S. Oller is confident the group is ready to make some noise at home, too.

"The response has been as well as we hoped if not more," he says. "You never go into anything expecting. You hope for the best, expect the worst. But I think with the response to 'Classic,' we're doing something right. It's just overwhelming at times to see how much it's grown in just two years. It's incredible.

"We definitely didn't expect it, but we're very excited and happy it did (succeed) and we're excited for more to come."

MKTO, Action Item and Tiffany Houghton

Friday, June 27, at Saint Andrews Hall, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit

Doors open at 6 p.m.

Tickets are $19

Call 313-961-6358 or visit www.saintandrewsdetroit.com.

Web Site: www.saintandrewsdetroit.com

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