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Meet Malik Reed of King Radio in Mid-City

Today we’d like to introduce you to Malik Reed.

Malik, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I rep the eastside of Detroit, MI. That’s where I was born and raised. I come from a family of givers and healers, who understands the power of unity. Thus, community became an essential factor when choosing where I would focus my energy. I played football, had a short-term boxing career, joined the robotics team, and ran through a list of various after school programs attempting to find a structure to support my natural born passion. For anyone into astrology, I have a Capricorn rising along with my Venus and Mars placements being in Leo. That is to say I am not only passionate by nature, but also a fire-gutted calculated craftsman. So, sophomore year at Cass Technical High School, I enrolled into a speech class, not knowing my life was about to change. When I was younger, I would consider myself an introvert and quiet spirit so there was always something uneasy about these classes. None the less willingness and graduation requirements lead me through the door of the school’s blackbox theatre. This one speech class initiated what is now my eight-year strong acting career and propelled me into developing an unbreakable bond with my then teacher, the Tony award winning, Marilyn G. McCormick. Alongside Ms. McCormick I was able to work on essential pieces of theatre such as; “Ruined” by Lynn Nottage, “Seven Guitars” by the late August Wilson, and “In The Heights” by Lin-Manuel Miranda. I went on to study at the conservatory of theatre arts at SUNY Purchase college in pursuit of my BFA in Acting.

While at purchase in the midst of classes from 8:30am-6:30pm, followed by rehearsals, and my responsibilities as a residence hall RA, I somehow found time to lay the foundation of what now is known as King Radio. College presented many obstacles including self-esteem issues and seasons of depression, while this was not an ideal state, it led to me developing a deep spiritual understanding of myself and others. I am a Christian who will break out into prayer, burn sage, and rap Nicki Minaj’s monster verse flawlessly all in one sitting. I decided to turn my motivational talks with friends on campus into weekly spiritual check-ins. We fought seasonal depression, the stress of finales, and deep rooted traumas as a community. Upon graduating from SUNY Purchase I’ve been blessed to perform on stages in New York City such as LaMama Experimental Theatre and The Classical Theatre of Harlem, as well as making my TV debut on NBC’s Law Order: SVU. With this being said, I would have to say my most rewarding accomplishments are the live events I’ve held-through King Radio, where I focus on the divine moments of where humanity meets divinity while exposing my audience to creatives and souls of all sorts.

Has it been a smooth road?
The journey had and currently has many ups and downs. I’ve experienced many people in my life transcending in the past few years due to a plethora of occurrences. That taught me that for everything that crosses over, something is birthed into this realm. My body has gone from 315 to 220 pounds. I’ve experienced body dysphoria which required me to develop a healthy relationship to see my body in the present. This taught me to be grateful to my instrument for evolving outwardly as I advance inwardly. I’ve had moments of depression where I felt like I couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, and this showed me that God, the universe, my ancestor, my past lives, all that beautiful energy is always there to guide me. All I have to do is open myself up to receiving the support.

One of the biggest struggles I would have to say is the one I’m currently facing. I recently lost my uncle to Co-vid 19 in April. Between helping to arrange his funeral as well as assisting to take care of his three year old daughter, grief took on a different look than I’m accustomed to. As an artist and creator, I felt lost. I couldn’t create my usual inspirational content and as someone who has a love for words, I was at a loss there of. It’s been difficult for me to imagine how I will be able to balance my artistic pursuits along with my new found responsibilities. This situation is evolving me as a person and artist. My fight has become more scared in the process of protecting my personal peace. I’m learning how to develop and maintain a frame for healthy spiritual hygiene. I’m learning about the art of sharing self through this process. I’m learning that nothing dies. I have the power to breathe life.

King Radio – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
King Radio is my podcast/artist incubator that I host alongside my best friend Camille Thomas. We are dedicated to diving deeper into the intersections of where humanity meets divinity. In addition to streamable podcast episodes we provide people the opportunity to sit, eat, listen to good music, and discuss our roles in eliminating our collective insecurities, premature coping mechanisms for trauma, and spiritual blockage. King Radio is on a mission to push the bar and be the friend that is willing to back people into a corner for them to be their best selves. I started King Radio upon first moving to LA less than a year ago. I’ve hosted two live events in NYC which both sold out. King Radio events feel like having a good ole conversation with your favorite cousin at the family cookout. We laugh, we cry, we sometimes break out into song. It is truly an experience unlike any other. I give people the opportunity to truly be their authentic selves by doing so myself. In terms of further artist incubator events, I work on providing young BIPOC’s with the resources and safe space needed to grow to the fullest of their abilities. In May 2020 King Radio, along with my dear friend and actress Alicia Pilgrim, hosted the first Black BFA Acting graduation for SUNY Purchase via Zoom. Visibility is extremely important, but it’s not just within the information you know that makes someone feel visible it’s also in how you celebrate their wins. I’m currently working on the final edits of the documentary entitled “LEGACY” which examines the process and impact of creating space for unapologetic expression of blackness, which is set to premiere early July.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
I remember my first-time visiting LA. My class traveled to perform our senior showcase for agents and casting. As soon as I unpacked, I called my mom and told her that I feel like I’m supposed to live in LA. Fast forward to August 2019, I decided to visit for my birthday, at the time I was living in Brooklyn. I started thinking about how great it would be if this wasn’t a vacation ,and if I woke up in this city every day. I prayed on it and went to my now church ,The Potter’s House One LA, and received confirmation that exact same day. I made the choice. I then gave away my apartment and things in NYC and stayed. So yeah. My favorite thing about LA is that it’s meant for me to be here. I also love the beach and palm trees. Now the thing I like the least is how expensive it is to live in LA. That was an easy one.


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Image Credit:

Rodney E Jones II
Dion Lamar Mills

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