Music has always been a major part of Mike’s life. From the age of five when he began lessons on piano through high school where he was a founding member of the percussion ensemble, performed in the Wind Ensemble, picked up the guitar and the nick name Mal. Studying music and liberal arts at Slippery Rock University and Chandler Gilbert Community College brought him to creating an alternative rock-reggae band “The Morning After” in Tempe, Arizona. TMA played for a few years all around Arizona opening for many of the then up and coming reggae bands like Iration, Tribal Seeds, The Supervillains, Mike Pinto and Collie Budz. When the band broke up in 2011 Mike took a year off to figure out some direction in life.
Early 2012 saw the beginnings of “Mr. Mal” which is a kind of abbreviation of his name, Michael Ray Maleckar, as well as a tribute to his father, the original Mr. Mal. Within the frame of one year Mal, paying solo gigs with the help of his boss rc-20 looper, grew his cover song list from 40 songs to over 200 to prepare for his work on Carnival Cruise ship “Ecstasy”. Since his return to land Mal has released his debut EP Rest to the world, currently available on iTunes, Spotify, and most online music websites. This EP was recorded at Willow Disc Studios in Phoenix, Arizona; it features Mal with only his guitar and loop station. M.R. Mal has also been featured on multiple recordings such as Scattered Melodies’ sophomore album “Modern Repair”, Torn at the Seam’s debut single “The Love Around You”, and the compilation album “Begging his Graces; a tribute to Pat Macdonald.
Mal is currently making a living playing cover songs at bars, restaurants, weddings, and other events around Arizona. Mostly playing by himself although you can often find him singing with Laura Hamlin(Two People Singing), or with The Mr. Mal Band, taking pride in his diverse song list which is nearing 1000 songs, and varies from The Beatles to Lizzo, Frank Sinatra to Taylor Swift, 2Pac to Hank Williams.