Fifteen years ago, two parents enrolled their 6-year-old boy into Merit School’s music programs to find something for him to put his creativity into. He quickly learned to master classical violin, where his love for music first budded and assisted him with growing into the artist he is today. Fast forward to 2022, this same kid is now 21, making amazing rap/hip-hop songs for the public to hear.
King Melik is a musical composer who started his career from humble beginnings. Growing up on the South Side of Chicago, he was homeschooled from elementary school all the way to high school. He often played violin at his local church, Trinity United Church of Christ. Here he would be able to use his skills he learned at his music program and perform beautiful songs that spoke to all of the congregation.
Nearing his teenage years, he decided it was time to try something new, and started experimenting with rap. He posted a few of his songs to SoundCloud, but did not think they would gain too much traction. In 2017, at 16 years old, King Melik went to an open mic night. Little did he know, Chance The Rapper would really like his performance and take interest in him. King Melik performed one of the very first songs he ever created, called “Superpowers.” He recalled that the idea for the song was pretty simple and eventually the crowd would sing along, including Chance. He said, “That moment was surreal to me because Chance is easily one of the best performers in the game, and here he is vibing to a song I made on my iPhone.” Chance and King Melik have developed a mentor-mentee relationship, which has helped King Melik grow into the versatile rapper he is today.
True Star landed a one-on-one with this young musical composer to really dig into the mind of the artist. Here are some facts about King Melik, his musical career, and some deetz about his newly released album, Sanctuary.
TrueStar.Life: Who was your biggest role model growing up?
King Melik: Definitely my family as a whole. We’re all so talented and inspire one another to be better.
TSL: With many pursuing their desired career, it’s always the goal to go above and beyond. What is your definition of success, and how do you plan on achieving that?
KM: Financial freedom. I feel like once you can live comfortably without working another day of your life you can claim success. That and a Grammy.
TSL: You mentioned playing violin as a child, and now you create rap and R&B. Off of that scale, what has been your favorite piece of music you’ve performed?
KM: I would have to go with a classical piece with my brother, “Brandenburg Concerto 3.” It’s a very fast and upbeat tune. It makes Bruce (my brother) and I feel fancy!
TSL: Where do you wish to be in the next five years?
KM: I hope to be a well-established touring artist. Hopefully in talks for the Grammys and booking major festivals. Retiring my parents and the rest of my loved ones.
TSL: Who would you like most to collaborate with?
KM: From an artist standpoint, Travis Scott or Tory Lanez would be a very fun collaboration.
One day I’d love to work with Kuk Harrell on my vocals. His vocal production is incredible.
TSL: Give us a brief description about your new album Sanctuary.
KM: Sanctuary is essentially a chamber of emotions. When you lose peace of mind there are many stages of grief. Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. I think I embodied each one of those stages quite nicely.
TSL: Following the last question, what was your main inspiration for the Sanctuary album? What was the creative process like?
KM: There were a lot of vivid personal experiences. It hasn’t been the easiest year dealing with love, COVID, and growing pains of an adult. The ability to capture those moments in writing is therapeutic for me.
TSL: If you could go back and talk to your younger self, what would you say?
KM: Don’t be afraid to stand up for what you believe in. You’re not different for being special, you’re special for being different. The mistakes will be worth it in the end.
TSL: For our last question, what advice would you give to young musical artists?
KM: Keep the faith. It’s easy to get discouraged in this industry, especially when talent isn’t as important as clout/meme media. But real music wins every time. Stay focused and keep grinding!
Sanctuary is available on Apple Music, Pandora, YouTube, Spotify, and SoundCloud. The album is bomb. I really like the concepts presented and the musicality. Plus it never hurts to listen to something out of your niche. Make sure to follow him on Instagram @TheKingMelik to get updates about future events and new drops.
By Jada Strong, Freshman, Whitney Young Magnet
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