INTERVIEW: Eleuthera’s Malikah Pinder Reveals All On Her Road To 242Untapped: “I was probably one of the last people to discover that I had singing potential”

Lutra girl going gospel: Malikah looks like she could make it all the way
Lutra girl going gospel: Malikah looks like she could make it all the way (Photo courtesy: 242 Untapped)

I was first introduced to the gorgeous Pinder girls in my youth, as our fathers were friends on the island of Eleuthera, Bahamas (think the place where Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon got married with my uncle presiding as the minister – another story for another day). They were beautiful petite girls with bright eyes and the twins who were the oldest, always seemed to secure their spots at the top of the class. Having known her since she was a baby, it’s safe to say Malikah had a little something different about her. Fast forward to about 20 years later, and that shy girl is not only out of her shell, she’s gone national as one of the fan favorite’s on V-Mac’s 242Untapped. I got a one on one with the up and coming Lutra girl for The Eleutheran newspaper (yes, I still take pride in contributing back to where this crazy amazing career all began and at home). In what has been one of my ‘most favorite’ interviews in a while, we get to meet the young woman behind the music and got a glimpse of what she thinks of herself.

Malikah Pinder Viewer Favorite On Reality Singing Show 242Untapped

By Arthia Nixon for The Eleutheran

With the island still beaming over Rock Sound’s Gianna Stirrup opening up for R Kelly as her stage persona Gia Miran, another pint sized powerhouse is showing that Eleuthera’s big on musical talent.

Malikah Pinder, daughter of Dwight and Maisie Pinder is putting James Cistern and Governor’s Harbour on the map as she sails through the competition on 242Untapped, a nationally syndicated reality singing television show airing on Cable 12 and online. The show, which is produced by Vincent ‘V-Mac’ McDonald has become a platform for Pinder who has been wowing us for years at island events. Now, she has a shot at winning $5,000 in cash and prizes, a music video and a recording contract from Elevation Records.

“I entered the show because [singing] was something I always wanted to do,” Malikah shared. “When I was in the 12th grade, I wanted to enter Eleuthera’s Got Talent but my daddy wouldn’t let me because he wanted me to focus on school. I was devastated! So when I heard about 242Untapped, I was afraid to ask because, being in college, I thought he would tell me that I should be focusing on school. But surprisingly, he was very excited and told me I should go for it. So with his permission I entered.”

Once she received her father’s blessing, she went on to receive a boost of confidence to help her get through the audition process in which she sang a very controlled and connected rendition of Total Praise.

“At the auditions, I was placed in the A-Team, which eliminated the need for me to sing anything else for the judges,” she beamed. “They were sure they wanted me! Many people may think that would have caused my head to swell, but it was actually a very humbling experience for me.”

“I had always struggled with low self esteem,” Malikah confesses. “I was probably one of the last people to discover that I had singing potential. I was always my own worst enemy. So being in the top number was something that definitely caused me to realize my potential. In addition to all of this, being in the competition made me come to a greater awareness of God’s love for me and the purpose that He has for me. The morning of the auditions was the worst – I was so sick, I didn’t know how I was going to sing. But just for those few minutes that I had to go in and sing before the judges, I seemed to be in perfect health. That is purpose! I thought I wouldn’t be able to perform well enough to make it through, but God stepped in and worked a miracle!”

Despite being up against some really great singers, Pinder says the most important thing for her is to reach people with her gift.

“When I open my mouth to sing, I want people to feel God through me,” she said. “I just want to be a vessel. When I heard about the competition and saw that they were ‘in search of the next Bahamian Gospel star’, I was a bit frightened by the term ‘star’. This is because I didn’t really want a spot light…I didn’t wanna ‘take God’s glory’. But a friend of mine reminded me that it was a star that guided the wise-men to Jesus! And that has stuck with me throughout this competition. I just want to be that star that leads people to Jesus. So even if I don’t win, I’d like to know that I impacted someone anyway because that’s what it’s all about.”

Despite all the possibilities and the new found attention, Pinder isn’t rushing into a career in music. Right now, she’s continue her parents’ motto of “education first” and considers herself just as simple teacher-to-be, waiting for the day when she completes Early Childhood Education at The College of The Bahamas.

“I know that I will go far, but I’m not trying to rush into anything,” she smiles. “’Education first’, my parents would say! So that’s my main focus at this time.”

Here’s a peep where it all started for Miss Malikah during her audition and then catch up with what you’ve missed on the show’s website.

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