Malik Shabazz - Little Wolf


Born in Chester, Texas, Malik was the only musically-inclined member of his family. He was exposed to the blues at an early age, having spent much of his youth listening to Muddy Waters, Lightnin' Hopkins, Slim Harpo, and Rufus Thomas on the radio. Their songs inspired him to start singing and eventually join the Baptist church choir in his hometown. An all-around accomplished instrumentalist, Malik also played trumpet and drums for his high school jazz band.

Upon finishing high school, Malik moved to Berkeley and lived with his grand father while attending Laney College in Oakland. However, the military draft interrupted his schooling. While enlisted in the 101st Airborne Division, he was trained as a boxer, and two years later, he returned to the Bay Area to resume his professional career in music.

Malik is also an excellent drummer and has been known to sing from behind the drum kit. Malik will be the first to tell you that his all-time favorite vocalist is the "Boss of the Blues", Big Joe Turner, whom he had the opportunity to assemble and lead a backup band for.

And how did he get his name, you ask? "Howlin' Wolf has always been a huge influence of mine," Malik says. It surely shows - and when you hear him belt out the old classics like Louise and Killin' Floor, you'll find out for yourself that Little Wolf sings nothin' but "The Real Deal Blues"!

photos Mark Richards