NEWS: Mykki Blanco shares contemplative new track 'Family Ties' featuring Michael Stipe

NEWS: Mykki Blanco shares contemplative new track ‘Family Ties’ featuring Michael Stipe

Mykki Blanco is back with a new single featuring a collaboration with legendary R.E.M frontman Michael Stipe. ‘Family Ties’ is the first new material since last year’s impressive mini-album Broken Heart and Beauty Sleep and is again released by Transgressive Records.

It’s been just over a decade since the Mykki Blanco name started making waves – first as a video project portraying a teenage female character posting vlogs and raps, but later it became a vehicle of self-discovery for an artist forming their own identity. Having worked to create a path through the inherent obstacles of misogyny, homophobia and transphobia, the music created at this stage in their career is a sign of an artist not afraid to continue to take chances.

‘Family Ties’ is a single that plays around with genre perceptions, blending elements of 70s’ radio-friendly R&B, an infectious tinge of electronica and the dark edge of gothic rock. The song also represents a first for Mykki, as they were keen to point out: “Family Ties is the first song where I sonically found my voice and I mean that in a very literal way. It’s the first song in my entire career where I am singing, I don’t rap.” said Mykki. “I wrote this song about the relationship between my ex-boyfriend and his father that has had bouts of mental illness. When the person you love is going through a situation that you can’t alter in any way, or help or be active in trying to correct it not only hurts them but it hurts you. I think the core meaning of this song is compassion in the face of helplessness.” See the video below.

The alliance between the two artists came about when Mykki and Executive Producer Falty DL decided to chance their arm: “I sent him the song because it felt as if in some alternate universe Michael Stipe had already created it.” described Mykki of their unlikely duet. “His willingness to perform and be a part of this meant the world to me. I hope to just keep making good art and attracting meaningful circumstances and people that make this life and making music worthwhile. This on so many levels was one of those moments.” 

The duet marks a rare appearance from Stipe, who has become increasingly elusive since R.E.M called time on their illustrious career. Talking about the collaboration, Stipe said “Mykki has a gorgeous voice, resolute and strong. I’m thrilled to have worked on ‘Family Ties’— I love how the song turned out.

Mykki Blanco is confirmed to perform at the BBC 6 Music Festival in Cardiff on April 1st.

Photo: Will Creswick.





God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.