|Birth name||John Stephen Sudduth|
December 17, 1984 |
Shreveport, Louisiana, United States
Mikky Ekko (born John Stephen Sudduth; December 17, 1984) is an American recording artist and record producer from Louisiana, signed to RCA Records. He is best known for being featured on Rihanna's 2013 single "Stay", which has charted in multiple countries worldwide, becoming Ekko's first-charting material. Ekko released his debut studio album, Time in January 2015 through RCA Records.
Born John Stephen Sudduth in Louisiana, Mikky Ekko had a restless childhood as the son of a preacher, moving around America's deep south. Having settled briefly in Tupelo, Mississippi, and absorbed as much gospel as he could, he relocated to Nashville, Tennessee, and started playing in bands. Ekko began working as a songwriter for other artists, but realized that he wanted to be a singer himself. He released his first EP, "Strange Fruit" (produced by Tim Lauer) on February 15, 2009 containing the first songs he’d written by himself, most of them a cappella. Ekko says of his location, Nashville, United States "fortunate to be in a city that’s so loving and hospitable." From September 2009, he toured with the Nashville-based collective group, Ten Out of Tenn.
2008–12: Career beginnings
In 2009 he partnered with producer Tim Lauer and engineer Dan Hansen to record an a cappella version of "Sedated". That led to his first EP Strange Fruit which released February 15, 2009. Lauer and Hansen continued to collaborate with Ekko for 2010's Reds and Blues. They worked together to develop the character and sound of Mikky Ekko which led to growing attention in the Music Business. One of the tracks from Reds, "Who Are You, Really?", caught the attention of experimental hip-hop producer Clams Casino, who has also worked with ASAP Rocky, Lil B and The Weeknd. It was also featured in no less than 6 TV series episode (Teen Wolf, Ringer, Pretty Little Liars, True Blood, The Blacklist and Reign). The single, "We Must Be Killers" was released to Clams Casino's YouTube account on July 17, 2012, accumulating over 100,000 views. The song was featured in the second season of the American supernatural drama, Teen Wolf. It was released to iTunes on August 6, 2012. The video for his second official single, "Feels Like the End", produced by Nick Ruth and Ekko, was released to YouTube on September 25, 2012, with the digital release following on September 25. Ekko's third single, "Pull Me Down", written and produced by Ekko and Clams Casino, was released digitally on October 30, 2012. The official video was uploaded to YouTube on November 16, 2012. Ryan Hemsworth released a remix of the song to iTunes on December 7, 2012.
2012–present: Breakthrough and Time
In November 2012, Ekko was featured on Barbadian singer Rihanna's seventh studio album, Unapologetic, on the track "Stay", which later became a single in 2013. The song, which was originally written by Ekko and English songwriter, Justin Parker, has charted in multiple countries, becoming Ekko's first-charting material. It gave Ekko his first entry on the UK Singles Chart, charting at number four, and on the US Billboard Hot 100 at three. The song has charted in the top five of nineteen countries worldwide including in Australia, France, Germany, Ireland, New Zealand and Switzerland. It has since sold an approximate 10 million copies globally, making it his best selling single. The singer performed "Stay" together with Rihanna for the first time at the 2013 Grammy Awards on February 10, 2013. Mikael Wood of Los Angeles Times positively reviewed the performance and wrote that it was the most memorable moment of the night. Ekko and Clams Casino, who have become friends, have been working on tracks (including "Pull Me Down") for Ekko's forthcoming debut album, which also features collaborations with Ariel Rechtshaid, Greg Kurstin, Fraser T Smith, Elof Loelv, and Justin Parker. Ekko released his first official music video on February 6, 2013, for his third single "Pull Me Down", through his VEVO account. "Who Are You, Really?" from Reds was featured during the closing credits of HBO's season six premiere of "True Blood" on June 16, 2013. Ekko premièred the video for "Kids" through VEVO on July 8, 2013. It was released via iTunes on September 8, 2013. Ekko was reported to be one of the songwriters of the song "We Remain" for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, performed by Christina Aguilera.
Ekko's debut album was titled Time and the album’s guest lineup ranged from hitmakers Benny Blanco, Ryan Tedder and Stargate to TV on the Radio’s Dave Sitek, Modest Mouse/Elvis Costello producer Dennis Herring and avant-hip-hop artist Clams Casino. In March 2015, the song "Smile" from the album Time was used in the trailer for the upcoming teen drama Paper Towns, based on the John Green novel of the same name. Ekko's song "Watch Me Rise" became an opening theme for the EFL Championship on Sky Sports. In April 2015, he was picked as Elvis Duran's Artist of the Month and was featured on NBC's Today show hosted by Kathy Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb and broadcast nationally where he performed live his single "Smile".
|iTunes Festival: London 2013||
As lead artist
|2012||"We Must Be Killers"||Non-album single|
|"Feels Like the End"||Non-album single|
|"Pull Me Down"||Time|
As featured artist
|Year||Title||Peak chart positions||Certifications||Album|
|2012||"Paint It Red"
(Two Inch Punch featuring Mikky Ekko)
(Rihanna featuring Mikky Ekko)
(Chris Malinchak featuring Mikky Ekko)
|"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.|
|2015||"Don't Let Go"||Giorgio Moroder||Déjà Vu|
|2016||"Into the Fire"||Clams Casino||32 Levels|
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- "We Must Be Killers - Single". iTunes. August 6, 2012.
- "Mikky Ekko - Feels Like the End". YouTube. September 25, 2012.
- "Mikky Ekko - Pull Me Down (Official Video)". YouTube. November 16, 2012.
- "Pull Me Down (Ryan Hemsworth Remix) - Single". iTunes. December 7, 2012.
- Corner, Lewis (November 30, 2012). "Rihanna confirms new single 'Stay' - listen". Digital Spy. Nat Mags. Retrieved November 30, 2012.
- Rahman, Ray. "Hear Mikky Ekko's original version of Rihanna's 'Stay' -- EXCLUSIVE". Article. Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 27 April 2014.
- Trust, Gary (21 February 2013). "Baauer's 'Harlem Shake' Debuts Atop Revamped Hot 100". Billboard. New York, NY: Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 21 February 2013.
- Wood, Mikael (February 11, 2013). "Review: Rihanna, Frank Ocean keep it simple amid Grammy spectacle". Los Angeles Times. Tribune Company. Retrieved February 11, 2013.
- "Mikky Ekko - Pull Me Down". Vevo. YouTube. February 7, 2013. Retrieved February 6, 2013.
- "Mikky Ekko - Kids". Vevo. YouTube. July 8, 2013. Retrieved February 6, 2013.
- "Mikky Ekko - Kids EP". iTunes. July 11, 2013.
- "Fall Album Preview: 72 Anticipated Releases '64 of 73'". Billboard.com. Retrieved September 21, 2014.
- "Paper Towns Official Trailer". 20th Century Fox. Retrieved May 13, 2015.
- "Strange Fruit". Amazon.com. February 15, 2009.
- "Reds by Mikky Ekko". iTunes. June 29, 2010.
- "Blues - EP by Mikky Ekko". iTunes. December 14, 2010.
- "tracks - EP by Mikky Ekko". iTunes. February 8, 2013.
- "iTunes Festival: London 2013 - EP by Mikky Ekko". iTunes. October 29, 2013.
- "Feels Like the End - Single". iTunes. September 25, 2012.
- "Pull Me Down - Single". iTunes. October 30, 2012.
- "Discography Mikky Ekko". Hung Medien. australian-charts.com/.
- "Canadian Hot 100 - Week of December 8, 2012". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. December 8, 2012. Retrieved December 1, 2012.
- "MIKKY EKKO FEAT. RIHANNA - STAY (SONG)". danishcharts.com.
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- Peak positions for the featured singles in the UK:
- "Paint It Red (feat. Mikky Ekko) - Single". iTunes. Retrieved May 4, 2012.
- "ARIA Singles Chart, 25/03/2013". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved March 24, 2013.
- "Gold & Platinum & 2x Platinum: Searchable Database". Recording Industry Association of America. Archived from the original on September 24, 2015. Retrieved April 18, 2013.
- "NZ Top 40 Singles Chart – 28 January 2013". Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved January 28, 2012.