This is an appropriate time to remember Malakai Paul’s moving audition on Britain’s Got Talent 2012. On 30 April 2023, just over two months ago, Paul released his first single in years. It’s called Madman and, released without fanfare, it already has 9.2K views. I suspect that Music Man readers will boost the numbers as it’s a great track.
Back in 2012, 9-year-old Malakai Paul won hearts around the UK when the boy’s nerves got the better of him and he broke down in tears as he sang Beyonce’s Listen for his BGT audition. His mother rushed out on stage to comfort him, followed by judge Alesha Dixon. Consoled, the brave lad decided to restart the song from the beginning.
Malakai Paul received a standing ovation from the audience, with many members visibly moved and wiping tears from their eyes. Paul was roundly praised by the judges who commented on his star power. He was through to the next round. In the semi-finals, Paul elected to sing Alicia Keys’ No-One. Again he did a great job and was deservedly praised. Unfortunately, his run on BGT ended when the judges chose dance group Nu Sxool to go through.
After Paul’s audition performance, Children’s Minister Sarah Teather, jumped in. “The welfare of the child must always come ahead of the drive for ratings,” she said. Paul’s mother would have none of it. She said her son pestered her to be allowed to go on the show. She said, “He is benefiting from what he is doing. He is not being exploited at all. If a child has a voice like him, why not let people hear what he has got?” Now let’s have a look at 21-year-old Malakai Paul’s release, Madman:
That’s a classy, emotive song, isn’t it? Under the video, Malaki Paul comments “My first single back, it’s been a long time coming!”
Soon after his BGT Run, Malaki Paul won a role in the West End musical The Bodyguard, which starred Heather Headley. Subsequently, Paul has continued to work in the film. television and music sectors. Notably, between 2019 & 2020, he had a regular turn on Idris Elba’s In the Long Run, a Sky comedy drama series. In several episodes, including the 2019 Christmas special, Paul is credited as Singing Boy.
On 19 Jan 2019, Paul released the audio track Type Of Way on his YouTube channel. Eleven months later, on 9 December 2019, he released a video and single titled Shy featuring rapper FarrdaT. Madman is his first music release since then.
Looking at the footage of Malakai Paul in his videos for Shy and Madman, it is hard to believe that he is the boy who broke down during his BGT audition. He is now a strapping, handsome young man and while Madman, in particular, evokes vulnerability, one can see that he has moved on and grown up. Also, his run in The Bodyguard on the West End must have greatly eased his tendency to stage fright.