Carolyn Malachi has my attention. She’s a Grammy-nominated, breakthrough musician with a smooth as silk, soulful voice, a songstress, a spoken word artist, an R&B, hip hop and jazz singer all combined into one. As she told me, “Genres are stereotypes. Music should be free of labels.” Her sound is hard to describe. She’s a mix between Sade and Lauryn Hill with a touch of Yasiin Bey (Mos Def) and Radiohead. She sounds too good to be true. And, oh yes, I am addicted. Especially to "Beautiful Dreamer," a song that reminds people, old and young, that life can be hard, but it does “get better.” Malachi was bullied as a child growing up in the Washington D.C. area. She wants her audience to take away the same message. “They need to hear, beautiful dreamers, it does get better,” she said.
But Malachi is much more than simply a hot, new artist on the scene, destined for great things. She has a vision. Simply put, she dreams of a world where every child, regardless of race, gender, religion or social position has equal access to high-quality education.
She chatted with me recently about her career, social crusading, her urban alternative musical style, her great-grandfather the famous jazz-pianist John Malachi and how her favorite movie, The Never Ending Story, influences her work.
What I immediately noticed about Malachi is her authenticity. She’s real. There isn’t any pretense about her. “A persona gets in the way of the music,” she said. “I can’t talk to people through a filter. I live life. I write about it. I perform it. There is no room for BS’ing people.”
Malachai is an old soul embodied in a 29-year-old woman. She unapologetically dreams big and encourages everyone to do the same. As a self-described “social philanthropist,” Malachi uses her music to lead the discussion.