Johannesburg, Friday, 2 December 2022
Choosing the buttery smooth vocal accompaniment of hip-hop/R&B fast-riser Ricky Tyler, Mikhale keeps on reminding us why she is one of SA’s hottest Neo-Soul singers. With both artists bolstered by the clout of the formidable Def Jam/Universal Music Group, the airwaves of summer ‘22 belong to the heat that is Say My Name.
Mikhale Jones has been making waves in the Neo-Soul genre for a few years now, dropping into scene hard with the release of her first album with the Universal crew, It Is What It Is. Determined, fiercely talented and with the right amount of ambition to drive herself through pandemics, heartaches and the daily struggles of a competitive industry, she has risen like cream through a sea of sameness to make a huge impression with her flawless singing style, impeccable styling and ridiculously talented dance moves.
Say My Name is another example of her brutal song-writing talent that refuses to hold back lyrically for the sake of conformity. Produced by her long-time collaborator, Xivo from The Cousins production group, Mikhale drew from raw sexual passion as the inspiration behind the lyrics. Flirting with the intense desire and fervour felt in the wake of infatuation, the track describes how, regardless of how toxic a person may be, when they say your name there is nothing you can do to stop from giving in to them completely. The track is personal, raw and on fire with relevance to anyone who’s ever been in love.
The metaphor of melting at another person’s touch/voice/breath also inspired the gorgeous artwork for the single. Mikhale states, “we wanted the artwork to reflect literal melting at the sound of your name being uttered by your significant other”. And playing a huge role in the silky delivery of the track is the wise pairing of Mikhale with Ricky Tyler. With an undeniably chemistry in the studio, the twosome worked magic both lyrically and vocally, forging a fierce friendship in the process. “I fucking love Ricky”, she laughs. “Firstly, as a human and then for his undeniable melodies. I love his writing and our collaboration just made so much sense. I have no doubt we will work together again.”
With both artists being multi-genre talents that straddle both Neo-Soul and Hip-Hop with ease, their inspirations and musical influences have an uncanny alignment. As is evident in both their solo work, the artists draw from the references of today’s popular culture whilst maintaining an evident throw-back to the 90’s in so much of what they do. With Ricky’s own star fast on the rise, he is well on his way to being known as one of SA’s hottest new voices, faces and all-round multi-disciplinarians.
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