A singer/songwriter capable of bluesy grit and urban pop gloss, Mikky Ekko grew up steeped in gospel, traveling through Louisiana, Mississippi, and the rest of America's deep south with his preacher father.
After settling in Nashville, he performed as a sideman in several bands and established himself as a songwriting collaborator, but soon began working on his own music. His first release was 2009's largely a cappella Strange Fruit EP, which he followed by posting more songs online the following year. The track "Who Are You, Really?" caught the ear of left-field hip-hop producer Clams Casino, who went on to work with Ekko on the 2012 single "Pull Me Down," which was later remixed by Ryan Hemsworth. Ekko also released two other singles that year: "Feels Like the End" and "We Must Be Killers," which was featured on the second season of Teen Wolf. His biggest break to date came with the Rihanna duet "Stay," which was included on her 2012 album Unapologetic and was nominated for the 2013 Best Pop Duo/Group Performance Grammy Award. In 2014, Ekko collaborated with David Guetta on the song "One Voice," which was a part of the United Nations' "The World Needs More Campaign"; he also worked with DJ/producer Chris Malinchak on the single "Stranger." For his debut album, Ekko worked with Clams Casino as well as several other well-known producers, including Paul Epworth and David Sitek. The results, Time, arrived in January 2015. ~ Heather Phares