Daron Vartan Malakian (Armenian: Տարօն/Տարոն Վարդան Մալաքեան, born July 18, 1975) is an Armenian-American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and record producer. He is best known as the guitarist, songwriter and second vocalist of the heavy metal band System of a Down and as the lead vocalist, lead guitarist and songwriter of the band Scars on Broadway. Daron Malakian is known for his distinctive playing and is ranked 40th in Loudwire's list of Top 50 Hard Rock + Metal Guitarists Of All Time and #11 in MusicRadar's poll, The 20 Greatest Metal Guitarists Ever. He is placed 30th in Guitar World's List of The 100 Greatest Heavy Metal Guitarists of All Time.
Daron Vartan Malakian was born on July 18, 1975, in Hollywood, the only child to Vartan and Zepur Malakian, ethnic Armenian immigrants originally from Iraq. Vartan Malakian is a painter, dancer, and choreographer and Zepur Malakian is a sculptor who used to instruct college-level sculpture. At a very early age, Malakian got into heavy metal music; his distant cousin played him a Kiss record when he was four years old. Malakian started listening to Van Halen, Def Leppard, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Motörhead and Ozzy Osbourne among others. He always wanted to play the drums, but his parents got him a guitar instead because "You can't turn the drums off."