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Healing qualities

Miko the Artist writes to inspire

Miko the Artist

Greg Bollinger

Before donning the moniker Miko the Artist, she was Miko the Poet.

“I felt like I am more than just a poet. I write, I act. I don’t want to be limited to one thing,” she said.

And limited she is not; with two albums, a book, and acting and modeling under her belt, her identity as a spoken word musical artist has developed complexity—and a following.

Miko grew up in an exceptionally musical and creative family. Her mother and father met through their music careers. She bills her mother, a singer who sang with The Gap Band and even performed as the opening act for Chaka Khan,  as a top influence. Her father played as one of The Gap Band’s backing musicians. Although music brought them together, he was absent for much of Miko’s life.

“My mom is out of the [music] scene now,” she explained. “She stopped to raise kids and went down a really holistic path.”

Miko showed me a picture of her mother that had an uncanny resemblance to Whitney Houston. But it was particularly Miko’s mother who she credited as perhaps her greatest influence—just next to her children.

Miko’s humble demeanor wouldn’t indicate the tenacity behind her high-quality products. “I talk how I write. I grew up on the streets,” she said. Her lyrics describe a youth stolen by the harsh realities of becoming a mother at 16. “I got married young. I have six children, aged 17 to 25.”

So, she took her life experiences and turned them into motivational works of art. “I tell these stories of the tragedies I have been through. I was in an abusive relationship. I perform about this, and people come up to me and tell me I saved their life just because I told my story about how I got out of that relationship.”

With a pedigree in soul, she has a deep love for the healing qualities of writing.

“It’s like therapy. I don’t do it for likes. I don’t care about the lights, the glitz, the glamour. I am fulfilled by helping people. People tell me they are inspired by me being so transparent.”

Some of Miko’s deepest influences from within her family still affect her today. “When my Grandmother would pray, it was so poetic. She prayed rhythmically, with these high and low tones. I couldn’t understand almost anything she was saying, but it was so inspiring,” she said, mimicking the musical qualities from memory.

For more information, find Miko the Artist at mikotheartist.com, and find her album, Live. Love. Pray on Spotify.

Miko the Artist with poet Amelia Brooks and comedians Cece & Hynece
Wed. March 28, 9 p.m.
The Vanguard, 222 N. Main St. | $5