I’m not a hipster.
I like new stuff. I don’t have a weird haircut. I don’t hate on something that’s cool when it goes from unknown to mainstream.
I don’t wear super tight clothes, although most photos of me between 2002 and 2006 may say otherwise.
But, I do like it when I know about something or someone you don’t know about, and then can tell you how cool it is.
You already heard my breakdown of Frank Ocean’s performance on the Grammy’s, but that wasn’t the best part of the night to me. This dude was:
Somewhere around two to three months before the Grammy’s I was scouring Soundcloud for producers/artists, and I came across a dude I had never heard of, Ekko, who only had a few songs up, but a pretty decent amount of plays for each (I believe it was around 8-10k each).
He had a song called “Pull Me Down,” as well as a remix of the song by Ryan Hemsworth. I downloaded both.
So simple, so good. Sounded like a slightly less-depressed, laid back version of The Weeknd. I wished the beat for the song was mine. His voice didn’t blow me away from a talent perspective, but his bluesy tone and experimental lyrics sucked me in. Pay attention to the verse where he references “Virgo” twice. Hard to get away with something like that in a great song.
When I come across singers like Ekko who I feel are similar in nature to me, three emotions tend to arise:
- Jealousy, that I’m not in this person’s position.
- Comfort, knowing that the style of music I’m going for is very popular now, but never really goes away.
- Cool, that I found someone/something that most people don’t know about.
Fast-forward to Grammy Night.
“And now…a performance from Rihanna…and Mikky Ekko.”
I know that dude!
I checked out his twitter count at the time, it was appx 10k (As of now, it’s a little over 20k). I couldn’t believe this random guy I found on soundcloud was singing on the Grammy’s.
In a night filled with fantastic performances from Miguel and Bruno Mars, and Ocean’s ill-received debut, Ekko clearly stuck out as the, “wait who was that dude with Rihanna, he was really good” moment.
I’ve done some research since then. The mystery gets better. There really isn’t that much information about Ekko. Here’s what we know:
- Signed to RCA records, but didn’t really crack into the limelight until he did the song “Stay” with Rihanna.
- Released a strictly acapella (really?) album called Strange Fruit in 2009.
- After Strange Fruit, he caught the attention of rising producer Clams Casino (The Weeknd), who he worked with to make “Pull Me Down.”
- Since 09, he’s been playing random shows and creating new material.
- Comes from a family involved in the church.
- Mikky Ekko isn’t his real name (duh).
That’s really it. Not much more is known, which makes it even more intriguing. He’s currently working on his upcoming album.
There are three albums I am excited for at the moment.
Justin Timberlake. Drake. Mikky Ekko.
Last week, I released my first big single featuring the award-winning production of Zak Jablow (@ProfessorFox). I hit about 700 unique plays in the first week. Spread it around if you can. I’ll be talking about the process in the future.
REED is a songwriter/producer out of Philadelphia, creating haunting music with a heavy emphasis on the specifics. Ben Reed, born in Chadds Ford, PA, began releasing his own style of Electro-Soul earlier this summer, and continues to produce tracks that infect your memory with catchy hooks enhanced by relatable, detailed lyrics. Reed is a self-taught guitarist and pianist, who writes, sings, produces, and masters all his own material. Formerly of an acoustic songwriting-duo, Reed played numerous shows along the East Coast, and gained a respectable following nation-wide via local radio play and social media sites. In late 2011, after moving back to Pennsylvania from a 2 year stay for a job in Huntington Beach, CA, REED purchased a new Taylor guitar and began writing music again, but this time expanding to a newer, unique sound by combining electro, soul, rnb, and pop.