News & Politics

Carolyn Malachi Went From Making Music on Her Lunch Break to Playing the Kennedy Center in Two Years Flat

Photograph by Derrel Todd.

Carolyn Malachi, Singer/Songwriter

Age: 32.
Grew up in: Brookland.
Now lives in: Ivy City.

Elevator pitch: “As we are the sum of our thoughts, I would play ‘Introduction: I Wish,’ the first song from my new album, Rise: Story 1. The lyrics start, ‘I wish for happiness. I wish for world peace. And shit, I wish for relevance. I want to be ubiquitous. Right now. So I can savor it. Right now. To save my people with it. Right now. I want to be rich.’ ”

The moment that changed everything: “Leaving my full-time job in corporate logistics to work as a full-time artist.”

The surprise of her life: “Finding out I was nominated for a Grammy.”

What the future is like: “I am in love with life and love itself. Anything is possible.”

DC Roll Call

Fave coffee shop: Dolcezza.

Teahouse: Calabash Teahouse & Café.

Bar: Harold Black.

Restaurant: Ethiopic.

Spot: The red pagoda near the National Arboretum’s Asian Collections.

Hero: “Omrao Brown, who for years made the Bohemian Caverns stage available to me to develop my craft.”

Memory: “Yasiin Bey’s concert at the Kennedy Center. Slick Rick joined him onstage. That would have been enough, but then Talib Kweli and Robert Glasper made guest appearances as well. What a magical moment!”

This article originally appeared in the February 2017 issue of Washingtonian.

Don’t Miss Another Big Story—Get Our Weekend Newsletter

Our most popular stories of the week, sent every Saturday.

Or, see all of our newsletters. By signing up, you agree to our terms.
Contributing Editor

Amanda has contributed to Washingtonian since 2016. She has written about the right-wing media personality Britt McHenry, chronicled her night with Stormy Daniels, and come clean about owning too much stuff. She lives on H Street. She can be reached at [email protected]

SIGN UP
We engage readers directly in their mailboxes with topics like Health, Things to Do, Best Brunches, Design & Shopping, and Real Estate. Get the latest from our editors today.
Get The Best Of Washingtonian In Your Inbox!