Meet Malakai M Bayoh, a 12-year-old member of the Schola Cantorum of The Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School in West London. He made his Royal Opera House debut in November 2022 where he sang alongside seasoned operatic stars “Lisette Oropesa” and “Mary Bevan”.
He was also invited to duet with national choral treasure and Classic FM presenter “Aled Jones” in St Paul’s Church Covent Garden. They performed a simply stunning version of Adolphe Adam’s carol ‘O Holy Night’. Bayoh’s performance wowed the audience and visibly impressed Jones, who was also a former teen choir singer.
The Golden Buzzer is the dream of every contestant on Britain’s Got Talent. For thirteen-year-old Malakai Bayoh, it meant even more than normal as it was a vindication after he was booed during a performance at the Royal Opera House.
In this video, which has been viewed 5.3 million times in just nine days, we see Malakai singing a superb rendition of Pie Jesu for the Britain’s Got Talent judges. It is an inspired song choice, after all, it’s the one that launched Charlotte Church’s career many years ago.
As Malakai sings, the camera cuts to the judges and audience regularly, and you can see everyone wiping away tears as Malakai sings. He touched everyone in the room in some deep place in their heart and soul. It’s a miraculous performance and one that everyone must wish they could have seen live. Malakia’s skill and beauty of tone are obvious but there was clearly a very special atmosphere in the auditorium and it would have been wonderful to have experienced it.
This sentiment is confirmed by one of the commenters on YouTube. They were lucky enough to have been there that day and described the experience, “I was there when he performed and trust me… I’m not the kind of guy who gets impressed easily, but after his performance, I literally shed a tear because it was so heavenly. The atmosphere suddenly changed”
Naturally, at the end of the performance, Malakai received a standing ovation from the audience and judges and even a wink from Simon! The camera cuts to his very proud mum in the audience who is crying and can hardly breathe. Malakai could never have guessed what would happen next. Simon smiled and announced there was only one word to describe the performance, “Golden”. With no discussion with the other judges, he hit the coveted Golden Buzzer and Malakai was through to the semi-finals. You should check out the video below to see Malakai’s competition.
Even among the exemplary Golden Buzzer winners, Malakai is something special. He already has a musical background thanks to his mum who encouraged him to join a choir when he was seven. Maybe she had already spotted his star quality and exceptional voice? Malakai has had the distinction of singing as a chorister at St George’s Cathedral and as part of the Schola Cantorum at his secondary school, Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School.
That’s impressive enough for a boy who is barely a teenager, but there’s more. He has also performed a stunning duet with singer and former child star Aled Jones. He has sung the party of Oberon in Handel’s Alcina at the Royal Opera House. This is the performance when an idiotic and uncouth person began heckling him from the audience. Sadly, the person’s name has never been released as they should be publicly shamed for such unacceptable and unkind behaviour.
Happily, this unpleasant event has not stopped Malakai from reaching for the stars. As well as appearing on Britain’s Got Talent, he performed at a sold-out Classic FM concert held in the Royal Albert Hall. Whatever happens for the rest of the series we have to expect big things from Malakai. If you would like to see more from Malakai Bayoh, you can follow him on Instagram.