Within seconds of being exposed to Louisiana-born, Deep South-raised John Stephen Sudduth’s vocals, it’s plain to see where his musical roots are planted. Although playing music since the age of 7, it was in Nashville, Tennessee where Sudduth would eventually carve out his early career, odd-jobbing in various bands. It wasn’t until 2010 that Mikky Ekko was born: the swampy ‘Who Are You, Really?’ – a debut single drenched in southern delta groove – eventually catching the attention of hip-hop producer Clams Casino, whose credits include A$AP Rocky, Lil B and The Weeknd. The two quickly became firm friends, so much so that Clams invited Mikky to NYC so the two of them could collaborate, and it’s the resulting track – ‘Pull Me Down’ – that instantly placed the young (virtually unknown) singer onto the industry radar.
No doubt one of the most emotionally moving vocal performances of 2012, the juxtaposition of Ekko’s yearning lyrics together with Clams Casino’s beats and atmospheric production ignited the blog world with absolute fervour. For once, it was more than justified. ‘Pull Me Down’ is sheer perfection; Ekko’s front and centre vocals are jaw dropping in their dexterity whilst his lyrical prowess is filled with lovelorn angst. Indeed, said angst made him the perfect candidate to pair with Rihanna on her recent Apologetic album, in which Ekko provides one of the few memorable moments on the future single ‘Stay’.
Mikky Ekko’s debut album is due for release in 2013 and will feature collaborations with Paul Epworth (Adele, Florence and the Machine), Elof (Niki and the Dove), John Hill (M.I.A, Santigold), Dave Sitek (TV On The Radio, Yeah Yeah Yeahs) and, of course, Clams Casino.
- Rich Thane