When Toronto rapper Malachi arrived in Los Angeles Thursday, June 13th his first priority was to make it to a local bar to watch his beloved Toronto Raptors clinch the NBA championship against the Golden State Warriors.
“It was all last minute, we were surrounded by hordes of Golden State fans, but it was great that we won,” reflected the 21-year old Whitby Ont. native. “I think there were two other businessmen in attendance who were Toronto fans but being in Los Angeles and watching the Raptors clinch the championship in California was magic.”
The strong connection between rappers and basketball is not lost on Malachi, drawing a reference to the likes of Beyonce, Jay-Z, Snoop Dog and of course Toronto’s own Drake. “There’s something about athletes wanting to be rappers and rappers wanting to be basketball players, it’s just natural respect they have for each other.”
Son of a father who was a Trinidadian reggae star and a mother who loved R&B artists like Mary J. Blige and Destiny’s Child, Malachi was singing in his local church choir by the age of four and during his teen years knew he was destined for a singing career.
“I knew that I had the potential to be a recording artist,” Malachi noted. “I had a lot of self-confidence and it just grew from day-to-day.”
A mutual friend connected him with Chris Smith and his L.A based 21 Entertainment company which led to a three-year stint working on his songwriting and refining his studio skills. The result of which has been a couple of singles followed by the newly-released seven-song `Bread Winner’ mixtape on the 21 Entertainment/Universal Music label.
Malachi feels the resulting Mixtape shows the versatility of his songwriting potential. “I am taking one step at a time but I like to think that I’m unpredictable, I want to take my writing in different directions and challenge myself.”
An oddity in the seven tracks featured on Malachi’s `Bread Winner’ are two songs devoted to former Raptor Chris Bosh and celebrity chef, Rachel Ray. “Chris Bosh was my childhood Raptor hero. I was a big fan of his. I had his sweater when I was a kid, it was way too big for me but I still loved it.”
And as for Rachel Ray, “She epitomizes my love for cooking,” noted Malachi. “I like to think that I’m cooking in the studio and I’m cooking in the kitchen.”
The rising star rapper is aware that Toronto, in particular, is a hot spot for international rap stars with the likes of Maestro Fresh Wes and Kardinal Offishall laying the foundations, and Weeknd and of course Drake establishing an international identity for Canada’s Rap scene.
“It just takes one artist to make that international breakthrough and put this city on the map,” enthused Malachi. “He has set the stage for artists like me to follow”.
Malachi has already made an impact touring U.S college campuses with a number of top U.S up and comers and is boastfully predicting the best is yet to come. “Global touring, that’s the next step baby!. The U.K, Europe, hey Paris, I’m coming for ya!”