Meet Malachi: The 20-year-old riding a unique trap-soul wave to the top of the charts with his debut EP, Wicked Romance

We’ve had a whole lot of kids just powering into the scene recently – and it’s just as well with the amount of fresh perspective they’re bringing.

Twenty-year-old Malachi (real name Tanaka “Malachi” Shereni) is Zimbabwe-born and South African-raised, and just dropped his long awaited debut EP Wicked Romance. Let me tell you, he’s pushing the low-key trap envelope into his own territory.

That being said, he’s also got more than enough classic – even cliché – influence thrown in there to give him room to grow. Heavily channeling his influences, which include the likes of Drake and Tory Lanez, his debut offering is a low tempo collection of soulful trap beats, with an effervescent dose of R&B thrown in there.

“We Move” is a piano-rooted ballad of an trap song and arrived as the lead single off the EP a couple of weeks ago. Produced by his long-time collaborator Jordan, it hardly scrapes the surface of the project.

At its core Wicked Romance finds an articulate balance between genres, turning grinding trap beats into a solidifying backbone for his otherwise mellow tunes. Soulful and crooning, he charts love — for the most part – against a percussive, synth-laden backdrop. He gets angsty and self-assured (“Wicked” and “Made A Fool”), ventures down a sexy path in “Knock You Out” and even comes to terms with taking things slow in “Tryst”.

It’s girl-centric and we wouldn’t expect anything less – what we didn’t expect was the calibre of production which sets this EP a whole head above the game. We’re keeping a sharp eye on this guy.