Emerging French-Cameroonian hip hop artist MIKANO, drops a new cut, ‘It’s Alright’, out now.
The track is the second instalment from his forthcoming mixtape, ‘Melting Balloons’, planned for release in Spring 2020, and is the follow up to the recently released pop-driven, Afrotrap single ‘Silhouette’, which saw support from the likes of Discobelle and Marie Claire among others.
The new single reveals a different side of the rapper, while ‘Silhouette’s’ introspective lyrics celebrated the female beauty in all its diversity, in Mikano’s own words ‘It’s Alright’ is “a party song about hype girls in clubs looking for that star life. Even though what they’re doing can be frowned upon, who are we to judge? It’s alright, girl do you”.
The compelling visuals accompanying the single directed by Juliette Labrousse, the emerging directing talent expanding the narrative horizon of the new French music scene with unique music videos for Fang The Great, Dona and Noe’, explore the dark side of our human nature through metaphors.
Growing up in cities as diverse as Abu Dhabi, Cairo and Amsterdam, Mikano is the perfect example of a Third Culture Kid whose music has been dramatically influenced by his rootless past. This only added to his fascination with cultural music genres: “There are definitely gains and pains of moving around different countries. I personally feel lucky to have been exposed to different music cultures,” but it wasn’t always easy – he admits, talking about the racial discrimination he and his sister experienced in some places.”
“When I settled down in Paris, I began to compose and write, inspired by the music that I experienced at each stage of my life and my travels”, adds the rapper, “singing in English isn’t a commercial choice, is the language I spoke growing up and the one I built my flow on.”
Inspired by artists from different genres such as Agnès Obel, Frank Ocean and Alabama Shakes, Mikano’s first two EPs ‘No Devices Found’ and ‘Blind Man Dreams’, have seen support from some of the most prestigious French music publications including Tsugi and Rolling Stone.
Famous for its high-end fashion, cuisine and cinema, France is the second biggest market for hip-hop, with Paris being last year’s most successful city for the genre, French rappers have already shifted more units than their USA counterparts. Part of a new generation of young rappers blending different influences and rapping in English to create a visionary new blend of hip hop less focused on gritty suburban realism, Mikano mixes cross-cultural sounds with lyrics that reflect on emotions; as he explains “music is a powerful tool to convey emotions, rapping in English was never a conscious choice for me but a natural one”.
With ‘It’s Alright’ and a debut mixtape on the way, Mikano is set to become one of France rising hip hop stars and on to watch closely in 2020.