Iowa student heading to LA for music - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa student heading to LA for music

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Performing for Mariah Carey, joining a boy band and graduating high school, that's how one eastern Iowa high school student is spending his last few months as a senior.

We first caught up with Malik Knighten of Charles City back in October when he helped a football player with autism on the other team score a touchdown. Since then he's moved to California, signed a contract with Sony and has been recording songs with his band Next Town Down.

"The whole moving out  to LA in the middle of high school...I don't think I ever expected to have just left," said Knighten. "Once I found out that it was legit I was like, 'I am from Iowa what's going on?'"

The high school senior traded in his pads and cleats for a microphone and dancing shoes. At 18 he's already making great strides, he recently sang for Mariah Carey.

"We sang for her and everybody in the room was quiet," said Knighten.

The Charles City native has also made a music video and released his first single with his band. Knighten says he only started singing a few years ago.

"My sophomore year I crashed my sister's car and I got grounded and I decided to learn how to play guitar because I was a Justin Bieber fan," said Knighten, "Then I started posting little videos and starting do this and that and last year i started actually writing and singing."

The people of Charles City say they knew he'd always make it.

"People here that heard me sing were like "Malik you're gonna be famous" and it's like no," said Knighten.

He says he hopes his story can inspire other kids.

"Don't be afraid to be someone outside of what's normal," said Knighten. "If you have a passion for it and you feel it deep inside you should do it."

Knighten graduates from Charles City High School tomorrow then he heads back to LA to start working on some more music with Next Town Down.

If you'd like to learn more about his band CLICK HERE.

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