the story

Wyoming-born Paden Malachi is an independent country pop recording artist and songwriter who developed his love for country and gospel music at an early age.  He began songwriting in high school and in college honed his craft with musician friends and co-writers. Initially billed as gospel artist, Paden Smith, he released his debut original album, Just Breathe, in 2008. The title track landed a coveted spot on the soundtrack of the Christian film, Once Upon A Summer.  Eventually, while filming a military tribute music video for the song, I'll Move On,  he decided to serve his country and enlisted in the United States Navy in 2010. 

A proud member of the LGBT+ community, Paden experienced some pushback in the gospel music industry and felt strongly that he needed to be able to express himself as freely and authentically as possible as an artist. Steeped in country music from a young age, he has pivoted to the country pop genre with the hopes of spreading a message of inclusivity and helping to diversify the country music landscape by drawing on his personal experiences.  

Still serving in the military, Paden lives in the D.C. area. He continues to write new music for his upcoming country pop album, drawing inspiration from the sounds of his childhood. His latest original single, Honeysuckle, was released in late summer 2022.  

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed on this website are personal and do not represent those of the Department of Defense nor the Department of the Navy. 


Find out who you are and do it on purpose” - Dolly Parton