Usher, hon, love, sweetie…I have a secret to tell you…
…There’s another man coming between us, and he lives in your hood. He’s been rollin’ around town and on tour promoting his single “Late Night Creep” and can work the hell out of the song “Knockin the Boots”…even a capella. I heard it with my own ears. I can’t speak for his dancing ability in comparison to yours, but his body is tight! I just wanted you to know since me and you…you know…we go way back to your first self titled album back in 1994.
I hope we can still be friends…with benefits…like a concert ticket or two on occasion? 😉
A few weeks back, I caught up with Myko (pronounced “Mee-ko”) while he was at Atlanta’s airport en route to Miami to work on some new material. I feel like every time I interview an artist, they tell me how they were singing since they could talk, but here’s someone whose talent kind of caught him by surprise. My initial impression of Myko is that he’s humble, soft spoken, a true southern gentleman. At the same time, with his debut single called “Late Night Creep” you know he has a little freaky side, too.
As music genres continue to blend to produce new, fresh sounds, Myko describes his music as urban pop. His single “Late Night Creep” is much more on the R&B side while “Spend Dis Bread” featuring Rick Ross has a little more hip hop/southern crunk flavor as a backdrop to Myko’s smooth R&B vocals. NY Jet’s player Thomas Jones scooped up Myko about a year ago through his management company Outta Pocket Entertainment. Myko’s first album entitled “Options” is in its final stages and tentatively scheduled to release in early 2009.
You can peep Myko’s myspace page– myspace.com/mykoatl
So here’s some highlights from our conversation. He was, indeed, a true southern gentleman, with his “yes ma’ams” and all. That’s hot! Myko, now that we’re acquainted, you can serve me lemonade on the front porch on a hot summer day anytime. 😎
On to the interview…
Where’d you go to high school?
I went to high school in Jonesboro, Georgia but I graduated from Sumter High School in South Carolina.
So you spent time in South Carolina?
Ya…I played basketball so I had a couple of scholarships to certain places so that’s how that happened.
Is basketball another love of yours?
Basketball is like my second love [righ now], you know. I love sports, I’m very athletic…Right now, I do a lot of lifting weights and a lot of working out…as you can see, I’m standing 6′-5″. I had to have a ball in my hand.
How’s your album coming along?
We are kinda far into the project. I think we are looking to record maybe another 4, 4 [or] 5 songs…and then we’ll be finishing up, definitely.
Have you done any collaboration with artists out of Atlanta?
We talked with Sean Paul and Young Blood…about doing something on the Late Night Creep, on the first single, we’re still working on that. Other than that I haven’t done a lot of collaborations…period just because you know I wanted to kind of establish myself as an artist first before I cloud everything up with features, you know?
Where’d the name Myko come from?
It originated from my grandmother. My middle name is Demetrius and she used to call me Metri or Metrius…She told me should would get tired of calling my name, so she would kind of cut it up, chop it up some kind of way. Anything just to get me to come here. So that was kinda how Myko got into play. It was short, and it was straight to the point. So it kinda stuck with me.
When did you first discover your vocal ability?
I would say it happened in church…I didn’t actually know I could sing…we were doing this game at church where everyone would go around singing, whether they could sing or whether they couldn’t sing, and one of the first songs that I really started to sing was ‘Somebody’s Sleeping In My Bed’ by Dru Hill (what happened to them by the way??). I belted the song out, and when I opened my eyes, people were just lookin’ at me like ‘what in the world just happened?’…They was like ‘man, you can sing like that?’…’Do it again!’ because they didn’t actually believe it was me. I didn’t actually believe it was me. So I did it again, and it came out the same way…I always could mimic people…When I heard somebody singing, I could mimic them. I mean I heard Jamie Foxx say the same thing. He said he always had the gift to mimic people when he heard them, but it was always hard for him to have his own voice…I had to go through that at a time and point, but I’m kinda past that now.
How long have you been seriously focusing on your singing career?
I would say since 2000…I started off in a lot of groups, you know. I was in a lot of different groups with guys…It was always an issue of dedication…something they really wanted to do. You know, I always…told myself that if I was a twin or a triplet then I would’ve been alright. So it turned out that this is the direction that God wanted me to go, you know, as a soloist…I think I made the right decision.
Did you sing in the choir at church?
Ya, I mean, ever since I was 6 years old. My father was a minister, and he just passed away maybe like 3 or 4 weeks ago (actually on September 9, 2008)…but he made sure me and my brothers and my sisters, you know, we grew up in the church and we stayed in the church…My background is definitely in the church, you know what I’m sayin? That’s definitely my roots.
Do you still go to church?
Ya, definitely. My church is New Life Tabernacle Church of God in Christ in Atlanta, and my pastor is superintendent JE Hogan…Actually one of the mothers that goes to our church is Chris Tucker’s mother, Mother Tucker, and she asks me what’s going on and, my pastor, he asks me what’s going on. You know, just keeping me grounded, and making sure that…I know where I came from and stay humble with the whole situation. They’re very proud of me…I definitely try to visit when I’m in town.
Church is truly imbedded in Myko’s upbringing. I could hear the joy and enthusiasm through the inflexion in his voice as we talked about questions that took him back to stories from church.
In light of your father’s recent passing, has that inspired you to write any songs in his honor?
Well, a lot of the music on the album right now, you know, I would kinda go to him and kinda get a ‘yay’ or ‘nay’ on it, what he thought, or you know, he would kinda tell me what he thought about certain things. Like, ‘Man, you should think about doing this’…His opinion was of value, you know, especially for me…because like he had so much wisdom…My father’s a minister so there’s a lot of things…he wouldn’t be able to help me on, but as far as like, you know, my direction and where I went, I would definitely say…he helped me out on it a lot.
Probing a little more…
So I was really wondering if you plan to write a song about your father for your album in his honor?
I’m thinking about it…It’s still kinda fresh, you know?
Myko and Thomas Jones were a featured guest at an event I attended a few weeks prior, and I was wondering where that appearance fit in the timing of his fathers passing.
I think we had just buried him, maybe like a week before that.
I learned, after the interview, that his father passed away on September 9, 2008. RIP Myko’s daddy.
I’m just in shock. How are you still going and doing what you’re doing right now?
Well, you know, I mean he had been sick for a minute. He was a dialysis patient…and he had been on dialysis for 22 years…He was a fighter for 22 years, so you know, we knew it was going to happen eventually, but he had dodged the bullet so many times that we just expected that he’d be here forever.
He just went into the hospital and was like, ‘Man, I’m just tired. I’ll be leaving in a minute.’
At that point, the longest and loudest announcement came on the loudspeaker at the airport that caused us to pause the interview since we couldn’t hear each other. As I listen back to the recording, I’m just wondering if that was God’s way or his father’s way of nudging us on in the conversation.
I changed it up a bit…
Are you starting to get recognized on the street?
Just locally (meaning Atlanta)…Every now and then when I go in to work out people [approach me]…It’s still kinda new, kind fresh right now, you know? It definitely hasn’t gone to my head, so I just tell them thank you, thanks for supportin’…different things like that…stay tuned. Definitely, it’s kinda weird to have people come up to you and ask for autographs.
Why’d you decide to make “Late Night Creep” your debut single?
We were looking for a single, and uh, we were doing a lot of recording already…and…kinda stalled, and we got some tracks from this guy Big D in Kentucky…He was Static’s [Static Major’s] manager, you know, right before he passed…and we was down with Thomas in Miami and as soon as the track came on, we was like ‘that’s the track right there’…it was kind of an epiphany type thing…We knew that was it before it even was done…2 or 3 days later we was flyin’ up to Kentucky to record a song.
Tell me about the LOD College Tour.
The first show is this Saturday [October 8], so I’ll be at South Carolina State this Saturday. I think mom and couple of other friends will be down there, you know. You know my mom is in South Carolina and I graduated [from high school] in South Carolina, so I have a couple of people supporting that situation. So, I’m definitely looking forward to the tour. It’s going to be exciting.
New fans, there’s only a few dates left on this tour. Check Myko’s myspace page for the remaining dates
(or my post here on ifelcious.com), but I’m sure he has other appearances planned in upcoming months. Hey, Morgan State (my own undergrad alma mater), did anyone see Myko in concert this past homecoming weekend? If so, post a comment and let me know about the show.
Are you planning to open for other more known artists to get some exposure?
I [already] opened up for many artists…from Bobby Valentino to Trey Songz to Floetry, Erykah Badu, Rick Ross…Right now, we’re on a push for the single, as you know, but anything that comes up…that’s beneficial, ya, we’ll do it.
What music do you listen to?
I’m pretty much like an old school kinda guy, you know what I’m saying? I still listen to the first D’Angelo, the Brown Sugar cd…I listen to some Chi Lites, Delphonics…I like to go back to groups like Manhattans…Temptations…Pretty much, my father, he just loved that kind of music. I guess it kind of rubbed off on me.
What about your sound?
I was looking at the way the music scene is going right now, and pop is kinda ruling it…I’m just trying to find my niche in the whole situation. So, I knew that I was urban, but I knew that I needed to do pop and that I like pop. So that’s where we came up with the whole situation urban pop.
Where do you hang out when you’re in Atlanta?
Sometimes, I do Central Station…but when I to get my grown man on then I try Uptown, House, or might try Frequency…It depends on the crowd and it depends on what I’m feeling like.
How about while you’re in Miami?
I’ve been to The Fifth. I’ve been to The Mansion. I’m going to Bed tonight (too late, ladies, that was weeks ago)…I’ve been to Cameo.
Ladies, this section is for you…
Are you single?
Single and lookin’?
If the situation is right…I need someone to understand, understand what I’m doin’…That I’m in the music industry…it’s kinda hard for a woman to accept being on the road, you know what I’m sayin’? I kinda don’t want to put anybody through that…So I’m looking, so if it happens, it happens.
Have you been a long term relationshiop before?
I would say a year and a half is the longest I’ve been in a relationship. I was kinda young.
As if he’s late night creepin’ with a walker…lol
Were you heartbroken?
Naw, we’re still good friends to this day…She understood what I was tryin’ to do and she respected that…She wanted more, and at the time, I couldn’t do that, you know? My career was first.
What do you find most attractive in a woman?
Really? Nothing physcial?
I mean. I was getting to that…like swag…I’m not sure if I should cuss, but I would say that I’m an ass man…I prefer thick women…but definitely with a little height, you know what I’m sayin’? Someone that I don’t have to reach down too far to get.
Myko, the man…
How would you describe yourself? Your personality?
Day to day, I’m like a regular man, regular Joe. I would say I’m kinda laid back. I don’t do a lot of talking. I would say I kinda have a shy edge, but when I’m onstage, it’s totally different. I don’t know. I don’t know who that is onstage. When the music come on, and I see the crowd, I just turn to something else.
What do you do when you’re not singing?
I spend it with my son…Other than that, I’m working out or perfecting my craft…I don’t have a lot of free time so the time that I do have, I try to spend it with him.
Awww, what a sweet spot to end our interview. Thanks to Dove at Tygereye Entertainment for hooking me up with this interview. Myko, I wish you well in your singing career as well as some sense of peace in the midst of chaos as you continue to grieve the passing of your father. He clearly had a huge influence on your life and will no doubt continue to smile upon you.