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Malcolm Arison

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Malcolm Arison live on stage with The BossHoss
Malcolm Arison live on stage in 2008

Malcolm Arison is a British multi instrumentalist and film music composer, most famous for his harmonica playing[1] for German charting band The BossHoss and through various collaborations including Udo Lindenberg and Samy Deluxe amongst many others.

Life and career[edit]

Early life[edit]

Malcolm Arison was born in Manchester, UK. He started playing the guitar and harmonica when 14 years old, inspired by early pre-war and 50's blues music.

Music being a great inspiration from early on, he would spend his days practicing harmonica and going out to see punk rock shows.

Music career[edit]

Malcolm left home aged 18 to fully concentrate on his music. Travelling throughout Europe, he earned his money busking.

His music, influenced both by blues classics and punk music, was refined throughout his trips which mainly led him to Switzerland and Germany.

Falling in love with Berlin, he settled in Berlin in 1981 and started playing in local Bars.

Working as a session musician at Hanse Studios in Berlin, he wrote and recorded harmonica tracks for famous German artists such as Nena, Ben Becker,[2] Juliane Werding and many others, often contributing to their lyrics, too.

Besides his session work, Malcolm Arison was active composing soundtracks for various movie productions, including „Hände weg von Mississippi“ by Detlef Buck and collaborations with Richard Pappick from Elements of Crime.

This led to him meeting Alec Völkel and Sascha Vollmer in 2005, who had just started a band, called The BossHoss and had successfully released a first major album.

Replacing the original harp & mandolin player for a tour in 2005, he joined the band full-time after the tour for their next album.

Recording many gold[3] and platinum[4] selling albums with the band, other major Artists started recognizing his talent, leading to collaborations with Andreas Gaballier (MTV Unplugged) Udo Lindenberg (MTV Unplugged 2), Samy Deluxe and many more.

He still actively tours and records with The BossHoss as well as composing and recording film music for cinema productions and collaborating with other artists.

Media appearances[edit]

Guest album appearances (selection)[edit]

  • Andreas Gaballier: MTV Unplugged
  • Udo Lindenberg: MTV Unplugged 2
  • Nena: harmonica on the 2003 re-release of the self-entitled album „Nena[5]
  • Mad Sin: harmonica on the album Burn and Rise[6]
  • Ed Czupkay: Guitar and Harmonica on the album „Das Tier in mir“
  • Hagen Stoll: Harmoncia on the album Talismann[7]
  • Giraffenaffen: Harmonica on the album Giraffenaffen 1

Soundtracks (selection)[edit]

  • Hände weg von Mississippi (Detlef Buck)
  • Quatsch und die Nasenbärbande (Veit Helmer)
  • Der letzte macht das Licht aus (Clemens Schönborn)
  • Könige der Nutzholzgewinnung (Matthias Keilich)
  • Was weg ist weg (Christian Lerch): Beagle Brains
  • The Bra/Vom Lokführer der die Liebe suchte (Veit Helmer, 2018)

TV/Movie appearances[edit]

  • Musical Advisor/Side Coach: The Voice (Season 1-3)
  • Musical Advisor/Side Coach: The Voice Kids (Season?)
  • Musical Advisor/Side Coach: The Voice Senior (Season 1)
  • As musician: Sing meinen Song (Season 3 & 4)
  • Voice Over: Rango (Gore Verbinski, 2011)


  • School of Blues Harp (PPV Medien)[8]


The BossHoss[edit]

  • Rodeo Radio
  • Stallion Battalion
  • Do or Die
  • Liberty of Action
  • Flames of Fame
  • Dos Bros
  • Black is Beautiful[9]


  1. "HOHNER Harmonicas: Artist Profile for Malcolm Arison". HOHNER Musikinstrumente GmbH.
  2. Becker, Ben (2011). Na und, ich tanze. Droemer. p. 66. ISBN 9783426275368. Search this book on
  3. "Three times Gold Award for 'Dos Bros' Album". Universal Music Germany.
  4. "Platin Award for 'Flames of Fame' Album and Double Platin Award for "Liberty of Action" Album". Musikwoche.
  5. Kerner, Nena (19 February 2019). "Nena". Retrieved 19 February 2019.
  6. Sin, Mad (19 February 2019). "Mad Sin". Kamikaze Records. Retrieved 19 February 2019.
  7. Stoll, Hagen (19 February 2019). "Hagen Stoll Interview". musicnstuff. Retrieved 19 February 2019.
  8. Arison, Malcolm (September 2012). School of Blues Harp. PPV Medien. ISBN 978-3-941531-97-0. Search this book on
  9. "First week #1 Charts Award". Official German Charts.

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