CHEK UPSIDE: 11-year-old Duncan musician earns high praise from James Taylor

CHEK UPSIDE: 11-year-old Duncan musician earns high praise from James Taylor
CHEK
WatchAfter hearing just a few notes, it's clear to even the average music consumer that Malakai Robson was born with a gift.

After hearing just a few notes, it’s clear to even the average music consumer that Malakai Robson was born with a gift.

“I remember him being a little baby and crawling along the floor to the keyboard,” said Lisa Tate, Malakai’s mother.

By five years old, he could play piano, guitar and saxophone — following in the footsteps of his musically talented father, Ferris Robson.

“He just inspired me,” said Malakai. “I wanted to be a musician, and I was like ‘I wanna grow up to be a musician like my dad'”

“He was a very good guitar player and a beautiful songwriter and singer,” said Tate, Ferris Robson’s widow. “He passed away when Malakai was seven.”

Whether he knew it or not, music became Malakai’s way to cope with the devastating loss of his father. He found his outlet at the Duncan Showroom.

“There was a time when Malakai showed up, four years ago, for our children’s open mic and he blew us away,” said Longevity John Falkner, owner of the Duncan Showroom.

The showroom became Malakai’s second home. The staff became his extended family. The 11-year-old has attended shows and performed their countless times over the years.

“He never sings the same song the same way twice, he has emotion,” said Falkner, who’s watched Malakai progress through the years.

And that emotion recently caught the attention of one of Malakai’s idols, James Taylor. The five-time Grammy Award winner took to social media to re-post Malakai’s rendition of the classic Taylor song, Steamroller.

“It was mind-blowing,” said Malakai, on his reaction to Taylor’s social media post.

“It was really nice, yeah, it was a lovely gift,” added Tate.

Thanks to Taylor’s large online following, Malakai’s melodies have heard tens of thousands of times — something he knows would’ve made his father very proud.

“My dad, when I was little he used to play tons of songs for me and one of the songs was James Taylor’s Fire and Rain,” said Malakai, fighting back tears.

After gaining a new fan in James Taylor, Malakai’s more motivated than ever before.

“If I could make a career out of doing music, oh my god, that would be, like, incredible,” he said.

His mother is all too happy to be front and centre — watching her son continue to honour the man who showed him the way.

“I remember when I was expecting Malakai, we sat down and imagined all the best qualities we would want for him and he got every one of them, and one of them was his dad’s musical talent,” said Tate.

Malakai’s music can be found on his Instagram page: @malakaimusician.

 

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Kevin CharachKevin Charach

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