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Mykki Blanco – “Family Ties” (Feat. Michael Stipe)

Mykki Blanco has shared his first new music since last year’s mini-album Broken Hearts & Beauty Sleep. Written in Lisbon and New York City and produced by Falty DL, “Family Ties” features a guest verse from R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe, who also appears in the track’s video, directed by Kit Monteith.

Here’s what Blanco had to say about “Family Ties.”

“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. 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.

On collaborating with Stipe, Blanco said:

I have been a fan of Michael Stipe and R.E.M forever. I had his email and ya know it’s one of those things when you acquire a living musical icon’s email and you think, “I have this now. but am I ever going to use it? Should I ever use it?” Falty DL and I took a shot at the moon — I sent him the song because it felt as if in some alternate universe Michael Stipe had already created it. 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.

“Mykki has a gorgeous voice, resolute and strong,” Stipe added. “I’m thrilled to have worked on ‘Family Ties’ — I love how the song turned out.”

Listen and watch below.

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This is a space for me to write something really epic about myself. Humbly bragging on my accomplishments and telling you how proud my mother is of me. This section is begging for me to lie about how I graduated from Harvard at the age of 13 with a Masters Degree in Everything.

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