His audition: Malik Heard, 18, of Dallas, Texas, auditioned with “Chains” by Nick Jonas. He earned chair turns from Pharrell Williams and Christina Aguilera before he even hit the chorus. Christina complimented him on the “accurate, amazing runs” during his performance. Malik decided to join Team Christina.
Update: In the battle round, Malik went up against Bryan Bautista. They performed “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World.” Bryan was declared the winner, but Malik was stolen by Pharrell Williams, meaning he’ll advance to the knockout round as well. Their performance wound up being the most popular of the night on iTunes, sitting at number 104 on the Top 200 singles chart 24 hours later.
His background: His parents come from an athletic background. His mother played basketball in college; his dad was an All-American in track. Malik started off following in their footsteps. “I’m thankful that they put me into sports,” he says. “It showed me work ethic. It showed me how not to give up. But my sophomore year, I decided to move on to something else — music.” His parents have been supportive of the switch. Malik says he was in a youth group in high school, performing R&B, rock and pop music. He got a partial scholarship after high school, but put that on hold to try out for The Voice.
What the show didn’t show:
Malik played football and was on the track team until his sophomore year of high school when he said a “crazy conflict” in his schedule forced him to choose between music and sports. He picked music and says that “it was the best decision I have ever made.”
He was a member of the “Fire House” choir at his church, which led praise and worship services and performed at youth conferences. The youth department is part of a mega church called The Potter’s House, Malik explained.
While attending Sachse High school, he was also a member of the acapella and chamber choirs and was part of a school-based pop group called Mane Attraction, which included five guys and five gals who had to audition to earn those roles. Mane Attraction performed at civic events and events throughout the school district. Malik said Mane Attraction performs music from a wide range of genres.
As a solo artist, Malik says he’s done “some gigs” at local coffee shops and restaurants. He was named best teen in the winter of 2013 in a Actors, Models and Talent for Christ national competition. And he performed the national anthem at his high school graduation.
Malik credits his dad for introducing him to soul and gospel music and he says he loves Stevie Wonder, Donny Hathaway and Whitney Houston. Other inspirations include more current artists, like Sam Smith, Bruno Mars, Adele, Beyonce, Justin Timberlake, Usher, John Mayor, Chris Brown and Brandy.
He said he picked “Chains” for his blind audition because he likes the style of Nick Jonas’ music. “I believe that when following your dreams you will get a lot of ‘no’s’ and it makes you feel as if you are chained. Therefore, all it takes is just one ‘yes’ for you to break out of those chains,” Malik added.
Malik is now a freshman at Texas A&M University at Commerce, majoring in vocal performance.
Chloe Kohanski became the first female rocker to win The Voice in Season 13. She became the sixth member of Team Blake to win the show. To read what Chloe has to say about her musical future, head here.