At 22 years old, producer/rapper/songwriter Malik is maneuvering himself though life in way not unlike his peers. But where others may find solace in illicit activities and immoral vices, the Austin, Texas, talent chooses to sequester himself in his recording studio.
Throughout his childhood and adolescent years, Malik transitioned from homeschool, private school, and eventually public school. The move quickly altered his adolescent experience and, inadvertently, his future. As one of few
African Americans at his school, he struggled to find his identity. The ability to create was one of the few things that allowed him express these frustrations and work through them.
In two full-length albums, The Principium (2015) and The Awakening (2017), Malik reveals his experiences with racism, struggles with faith, and bouts with temptation. Local publications, such as The Austin Chronicle , praised The Awakening , claiming, “[he] has pitched his trajectory upward[…]on these well-purposed chronicles of a young soul teetering in the balance.
As a follow-up, Malik experimented with his vocal range and production skills via a string of singles from a demo series he labeled Spectrum . The collection of songs garnered a premiere and Spotify playlist placement with Pigeons and Planes , who noted that his lush single “Red,” “feels of a piece with much of the swung, post Sa-Ra soul that popped up on the internet in the height of the Tumblr era…[it] feels like an offshoot of The Internet, stilted and soulful, a break-up given shape over stumbling drums and fuzzy synths.
In January 2018, Malik found himself in Los Angeles producing for acts like Mac Miller and Dreamville’s J.I.D. and Earthgang. The month-long collaboration session soon turned spawned a record deal with Capitol/Motown subsidiary SinceThe80s. Since then, Malik has found himself spending time in Los Angeles as well as his hometown, carefully constructing the sound and vision for his debut album Suburbia.