Mikky Ekko @ Grimey’s New & Preloved Music / Nashville TN / February 12, 2015

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A short time ago, Mikky Ekko was nothing more than a name that I spotted every now and then in Music City’s by-lines and chronicles. All that changed overnight after he joined Rihanna at the 2013 Grammys for a duet of “Stay.” The song which Ekko co-wrote and recorded with the Barbadian pop star became a life-changer for the Shreveport, Louisiana native now a relocated Nashvillian.

Being part of a multi-platinum selling single does great things I’m sure for both your pocketbook and career. One of them is the chance to release your debut album (Time) on a major label (RCA). It also gets you invited to appear at unusual high-profile live events like this one for the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. Strange as that was, it did bring Mikky and his band back to town with time to do an in-store at Grimeys. There to promote the new record, it was a “rite of passage” that Mikky regretted he had yet to experience.

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Mikky, looked multi-platinum dressed quite slick all in black with a spiffy space-age haircut. He and his truncated band performed a 20-minute set of five songs from the new record. Standing in front of only an acoustic guitar and a drum, he gave a truly remarkable vocal performance.

His co-written lyrically-light pop songs were as simple as their short titles. Likewise, the arrangements today were sparse leaving it all to Mikey’s tender, beautiful voice. While I struggle to fully grasp the contrast between the song’s positive sound and negative message (“Smile, the worst is yet to come”), “Smile” is one of the best pop songs I’ve heard in some time.

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I’d say that the stars are lined up for Mikky Ekko. With a singer like Sam Smith rising to the top, I see no reason why Mikky can’t follow suit and make a return trip to the Grammys in 2016.

To see more of Mikky Ekko, watch this stunning full-band theatrical blow-out on Letterman. He and his band will also be making a high profile appearance in Nashville at the annual downtown Fourth of July festivities.

Click on the links below for video.

SETLIST:

  1. Smile
  2. Riot
  3. Time
  4. U
  5. Love You Crazy

BAND:

Mikky Ekko—vocals
Dave Kwan—guitar
Gavin McDonald—drums
Steve Weston—sound (normally on keyboards)

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