Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Malachi Rivers Releases His debut single, Love & Music featuring U.K.'s Own Maria Bentley from His Forthcoming album Stereo Sound Escape

Natural gifts of artistic flare are rarely combined into one and allowed such vivid expressions of individuality as with the unique sound of Emcee, Malachi Rivers music. Behind a lion driven force to live out his dreams is the serene humility of a unique and ubiquitous individual.

Having toured the states and Europe with rising and notable Jazz star Marcus Strickland "Twi-Life" Group as the "God Voice" in support of their acclaimed live recorded album Open Reel Deck, Malachi developed the lyrical chops, musicality, and stage presence to hold down two to three shows a night. Working with such barrier breaking talent as Grammy Award winning rapper Cee-Knowledge aka Doodlebug of the Legendary Hip Hop Group Digable Planets, Spoken Word Star J.Ivy (Kanye West, Jay-Z, John Legend), and two breakthrough producers, Jazz trained female drummer turned producer JoVia Armstrong and House/Techno head Brandon Durrette, Malachi's debut album Stereo Sound Escapeembodies musicality, love, lyricism, and the privilege to hear music that crosses borders and not just the charts.

Born Greg Owens, Jr. In Prince George's County, Maryland, a suburb of Washington D.C., Malachi started from humble beginnings with a young mother and step-father who raised him to be a very spiritually aware, confident, and disciplined individual. "Growing up I saw it all drugs, abuse, you name it! However, when I heard music, especially Hip Hop, like Tribe, Digable Planets, Pete Rock & CL Smooth, and Arrested Development it was my escape. I started to feel like there was more to life than some of the things I saw. That's why I took on the name Malachi which means "my messenger" because I wanted to use music as away to get a message across. The last name Rivers came about because I wanted the message to flow like a river, sometimes its rough sometimes its smooth."

Malachi, began to take his love for music seriously auditioning and being accepted into a prestigious performing arts school in Maryland. Honing his craft vocally, Malachi studied Classical voice. "I was always told I had such a strong voice. I would sing Arias and Negro Spirituals all the time. Let's just say I was the young man who loved singing "Ol' Man River". After graduating Malachi, attended the University of Maryland where he developed an interest in spoken word poetry. Malachi, studied the craft, started a group with a female singer/poet and became one of the DMV's most dominant spoken word performers. Winning Slams, and performing alongside or for many outstanding performers including Saul Williams, Sonia Sanchez, Dick Gregory, and performing at the same spot on a weekly basis as R&B singer Raheem Devaughn.

After the group broke up, Malachi began to do some soul searching. Taking time away from the craft, Malachi enrolled in Broadcasting school, graduated, worked hard as an intern at Radio One in the DMV area and within a few months became the co-host of a talk show on a very new at the time XM Satellite Radio - "The Power". In less than a year Malachi was given his own show on XM Satellite Radio - "The Flow" called The "Nu Soul Lounge". The show played "Neo-Soul" Spoken Word, and "conscience" Hip Hop. Moreover, this was the blessing that got him back on track to his musical path. "I remember being behind the mic interviewing Dougie E. Fresh, and started "spittin" for him, being in a hotel room having a cypher with The Nappy Roots, being in a backstage dressing room rhyme fest with Eve and Beenie Man, vibing with India. Arie, talking to Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, John Legend, Q-Tip, and feeling like I never want this to end. So I left it all and moved to NYC to pursue my dreams as a emcee/poet."

Malachi delved right into the New York scene, with only $103 dollars in his pocket and a dream. Hitting up open mic spots and meeting an array of talent. Performing for a month in a musical at the legendary Nuyorican Poetry Cafe, frequenting the "mother of all open mics" Village Underground, and many other spots. "I remember studying what performers did to captivate an audience. By attending these spots it developed me even more as an artist."

Perhaps, even beyond the open mic scene the world of social media has done wonders for Malachi. "I've always been a person to network, so social media was a cinch for me." Through social media Malachi, met the man who he thanks as giving him the opportunity to perform at the legendary Blue Note Jazz Club and to see the world, Jazz star Marcus Strickland. Strickland discovered Malachi on Myspace and sought after his talents for his project. Malachi, was also able to meet U.K. soul singer Maria Bentley, who he has two songs with to date, JoVia the amazing female producer who produced three tracks off his forthcoming albumStereo Sound Escape, including his debut single Love & Music with Maria Bentley, and one of his Hip Hop inspirations Cee-Knowledge aka Doodlebug from Digable Planets, whom has blessed Malachi with a powerful collaboration.

"Working on the album Stereo Sound Escape has been the most rewarding part of my career
so far. To put it quite simply I just didn't give a damn about fitting into any sound. I think the album is more of an introduction of what I have to offer as an artist who uses music and words to convey feelings, versus fitting into any genre. It's all a part of who I am."

Hence, the album's name Stereo Sound Escape. "Traveling the world and performing, I was exposed to different sounds and musical elements. I wanted to be true to the sound that I know I can perform with my heart in it. Not what someone said is hot or the trend right now. I wanted to give myself and my listeners an okay, to step away from what we hear on the radio. If my music charts what a blessing, if it doesn't the blessing is still there because I am doing what I love."

“Through music we are able to find ourselves in some shape or form. We are able to visit a place that has been revealed to everyone. It's a special place that the person in the hood has visited, the rich socialite has nodded her head in, and the poor child looking for food has only imagined. However, it is the one place that we all cross paths, regardless of our life story.”

Malachi Rivers, is what you would call a true artist. As an emcee he is compelling and as a performer engaging. Beyond any musical genre. He performs what is in his heart and that alone is a major hit!


JoVia said...

Great review & interview!

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