The seven years since Sanjaya Malakar’s polarizing stint on season six of American Idol have seen plenty of ups and downs for the singer. Whether co-starring in an Off Broadway production (as he did in 2011, an adaptation of actress Julianne Moore’s children’s book Freckleface Strawberry) or busking in a New York City subway (as was widely reported in 2013), Malakar has always been busy making music one way or another.
His latest efforts can be heard free of charge on Bandcamp, where he’s posted an album’s worth of home-produced covers. As stated on his page, any donations received for the set of 15 songs will be applied towards an in-progress album of all-new material. He continues to perform live whenever possible. Though he now makes him home in New York City, Malakar has been gigging around his native Western Washington this summer. On August 24, 2014, Malakar will perform as part of a free event, Jamming for June, to benefit the cancer support community Gilda’s Club Seattle (all donations collected will go to that charity).
Having recently caught an off the cuff gig with singer-guitarist Justin Kausal-Hayes at Seattle’s Celtic Swell pub, I can confidently state that Malakar’s singing has matured strikingly since the Idol days. On everything from Tracy Chapman’s “Give Me One Reason” to Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition,” he wailed like a possessed bluesman. That same seasoning can be heard throughout his downloadable covers. Among the 15 selections are contemporary pop cuts like Lorde’s “Royals” and Pharrell Williams’ “Happy,” as well as older classic rock and R&B classics like Stevie Wonder’s “As” and Tom Petty’s “Free Falling.”
For more information about Sanjaya Malakar’s August 24, 2014 performance at The Triple Door’s Musicquarium Lounge in Seattle, visit Gilda’s Club Seattle. This is the second time Malakar has performed to support the charity, the previous occasion having been in 2011. In a press release issued at the time, Malakar explained the importance of supporting an organization that provides free support and services to those dealing with cancer, stating that personal experiences have made it “really close to my heart to be able to participate.”Powered by Sidelines