Mikky Ekko

John Stephen Sudduth (born December 17, 1984), known professionally as Mikky Ekko, is an American recording artist and record producer from Nashville, signed to Interscope Records.[1] He is best known for writing and being featured on Rihanna's 2013 single "Stay", which charted in multiple countries, becoming Ekko's first-charting material. Ekko released Time, his debut studio album, in January 2015 through RCA Records. Fame, his second album, was released in November 2018 on Interscope Records.[2]

Mikky Ekko
Mikky Ekko tour April 2018.jpg
Background information
Birth nameJohn Stephen Sudduth
Born (1984-12-17) December 17, 1984 (age 36)
Shreveport, Louisiana, United States
Years active2008–present
LabelsRCA, Interscope
Associated acts

Early lifeEdit

Born John Stephen Sudduth in Louisiana, Mikky Ekko had a restless childhood as the son of a preacher, moving around America's deep south. Having settled briefly in Tupelo, Mississippi, and absorbed as much gospel as he could, he relocated to Nashville, Tennessee, and started playing in bands.[3] Ekko began working as a songwriter for other artists, but realized that he wanted to be a singer himself. He released his first EP Strange Fruit (produced by Tim Lauer) on February 15, 2009 containing the first songs he'd written by himself, most of them a cappella. Ekko says of Nashville:[4][5] "fortunate to be in a city that's so loving and hospitable." From September 2009, he toured with the Nashville-based collective group Ten Out of Tenn.[6]


2008–12: Career beginningsEdit

In 2009 he partnered with producer Tim Lauer and engineer Dan Hansen to record an a cappella version of "Sedated". That led to his first EP Strange Fruit which released February 15, 2009. Lauer and Hansen continued to collaborate with Ekko for 2010's Reds and Blues. They worked together to develop the character and sound of Mikky Ekko which led to growing attention in the music business.

"Who Are You, Really?", one of the tracks from Reds, caught the attention of experimental hip-hop producer Clams Casino, who had worked with ASAP Rocky, Lil B and The Weeknd.[3] It was featured in no less than six TV series episodes[7] (Teen Wolf, Ringer, Pretty Little Liars, True Blood, The Blacklist and Reign). The video for "Feels Like the End", his second official single, produced by Nick Ruth and Ekko, was released to YouTube on September 25, 2012,[8] with the digital release following on September 25. "Pull Me Down", written and produced by Ekko and Clams Casino, was released digitally on October 30, 2012. The official video was uploaded to YouTube on November 16, 2012.[9] Ryan Hemsworth released a remix of the song to iTunes on December 7, 2012.[10]

2012–16: Breakthrough and TimeEdit

In November 2012, Ekko was featured on singer Rihanna's seventh studio album Unapologetic on the track "Stay", which became a single in 2013.[11] The song, originally written by Ekko and English songwriter Justin Parker, has charted in multiple countries, becoming Ekko's first-charting material.[12] It gave Ekko his first entry on the UK Singles Chart, charting at number four, and on the US Billboard Hot 100 at three.[13] The song charted in the top five of 19 countries, including in Australia, France, Germany, Ireland, New Zealand and Switzerland. It has sold an approximate 10 million copies globally, making it his best selling single. The singer performed "Stay" together with Rihanna for the first time at the 2013 Grammy Awards on February 10, 2013.[14] Mikael Wood of Los Angeles Times positively reviewed the performance and wrote that it was the most memorable moment of the night.[14] Ekko and Clams Casino, who have become friends, have been working on tracks (including "Pull Me Down") for Ekko's forthcoming debut album, whichfeatures collaborations with Ariel Rechtshaid, Greg Kurstin, Fraser T Smith, Elof Loelv, and Justin Parker.[3] Ekko released his first official music video on February 6, 2013, for his third single "Pull Me Down" through his VEVO account.[15] "Who Are You, Really?" was featured during the closing credits of HBO's season six premiere of "True Blood" on June 16, 2013. Ekko premièred the video for "Kids" through VEVO on July 8, 2013.[16] It was released via iTunes on September 8, 2013.[17] Ekko was reported to be one of the songwriters of the song "We Remain" for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, performed by Christina Aguilera.

Ekko's debut album was titled Time and the album's guest lineup ranged from hitmakers Benny Blanco, Ryan Tedder and Stargate to TV on the Radio's Dave Sitek, producer Dennis Herring and avant-hip-hop artist Clams Casino.[18] In March 2015, the song "Smile" from the album Time was used in the trailer for the upcoming teen drama Paper Towns.[19] Ekko's song "Watch Me Rise" became an opening theme for the EFL Championship on Sky Sports. In April 2015, he was picked as Elvis Duran's Artist of the Month and was featured on NBC's Today show hosted by Kathy Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb and broadcast nationally where he performed live his single "Smile."

2016-2018: FameEdit

Ekko began working on his next project, entitled Fame, in 2016. Produced by Jay Joyce, the album was recorded in Ekko's adopted hometown of Nashville.[20][21] "Blood on the Surface," released October 13, 2017, was the first material released from Fame.[22] Paper Magazine premiered the song on October 12, 2017, describing it as "synthy retro".[21] "Light the Way", a second song, was released on October 20, 2017.[23]

He toured with BØRNS and Charlotte Cardin in early 2018.[24]

Fame was released on November 2nd 2018.[25]


Studio albumsEdit

Title Album details
  • Released: November 2, 2018[27]
  • Label: Interscope
  • Formats: CD, digital download

Extended playsEdit

Title Details
Strange Fruit
  • Release: June 29, 2010[29]
  • Format: Digital download
  • Label: Colour and Sound Collective
  • Release: December 14, 2010[30]
  • Format: Digital download
  • Label: Colour and Sound Collective
  • Release: February 8, 2013[31]
  • Format: Digital download
  • Label: RCA
iTunes Festival: London 2013
  • Release: October 29, 2013[32]
  • Format: Digital download
  • Label: RCA
Advance Copy
  • Release: March 3, 2018[33]
  • Format: Digital download
  • Label: Interscope


As lead artistEdit

Date Title Album
2012 "We Must Be Killers"[34] Non-album single
"Feels Like the End"[35] tracks
"Pull Me Down"[36] Time
2013 "Kids" Non-album single
2014 "Smile" Time
2015 "Watch Me Rise"
2017 "Blood on the Surface" Fame
"Light the Way"
2018 "Not the One"

As featured artistEdit

List of singles as lead artist, with selected chart positions and certifications, showing year released and album name
Year Title Peak chart positions Certifications Album
2012 "Paint It Red"[46]
(Two Inch Punch featuring Mikky Ekko)
Non-album single
2013 "Stay"
(Rihanna featuring Mikky Ekko)
3 4 1 1 2 2 2 4 2 4 Unapologetic
2014 "Stranger"
(Chris Malinchak featuring Mikky Ekko)
45 Non-album single
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Guest appearancesEdit

List of non-single guest appearances, with other performing artists, showing year released and album name
Year Title Other artist(s) Album
2015 "Don't Let Go" Giorgio Moroder Déjà Vu
2016 "Into the Fire" Clams Casino 32 Levels
2018 "Break Me Down" Steve Angello Human


  1. ^ Desk, BWW News. "Mikky Ekko Returns with 'Blood On The Surface'". Retrieved 2017-11-15.
  2. ^ "Mikky Ekko on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 2018-10-07.
  3. ^ a b c "New music: Mikky Ekko – Pull Me Down". The Guardian. London. November 1, 2012. Retrieved November 1, 2012.
  4. ^ "Mikky Ekko / Biography". Jango. December 16, 2012.
  5. ^ "IN DEMAND: MIKKY EKKO". Gigwise. Retrieved November 6, 2012.
  6. ^ "Ten Out of Tenn Return With New Lineup". American Songwriter. July 20, 2009.
  7. ^ "Mikki Ekko music on TuneFind". TuneFind. August 14, 2015.
  8. ^ "Mikky Ekko - Feels Like the End". YouTube. September 25, 2012.
  9. ^ "Mikky Ekko - Pull Me Down (Official Video)". YouTube. November 16, 2012.
  10. ^ "Pull Me Down (Ryan Hemsworth Remix) - Single". iTunes. December 7, 2012.
  11. ^ Corner, Lewis (November 30, 2012). "Rihanna confirms new single 'Stay' - listen". Digital Spy. Nat Mags. Retrieved November 30, 2012.
  12. ^ Rahman, Ray. "Hear Mikky Ekko's original version of Rihanna's 'Stay' -- EXCLUSIVE". Article. Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 27 April 2014.
  13. ^ a b Trust, Gary (21 February 2013). "Baauer's 'Harlem Shake' Debuts Atop Revamped Hot 100". Billboard. New York, NY: Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 21 February 2013.
  14. ^ a b Wood, Mikael (February 11, 2013). "Review: Rihanna, Frank Ocean keep it simple amid Grammy spectacle". Los Angeles Times. Tribune Company. Retrieved February 11, 2013.
  15. ^ "Mikky Ekko - Pull Me Down". Vevo. YouTube. February 7, 2013. Retrieved February 6, 2013.
  16. ^ "Mikky Ekko - Kids". Vevo. YouTube. July 8, 2013. Retrieved February 6, 2013.
  17. ^ "Mikky Ekko - Kids EP". iTunes. July 11, 2013.
  18. ^ "Fall Album Preview: 72 Anticipated Releases '64 of 73'". Billboard.com. Retrieved September 21, 2014.
  19. ^ "Paper Towns Official Trailer". 20th Century Fox. Retrieved May 13, 2015.
  20. ^ "Mikky Ekko on Apple Music". itunes.apple.com. Retrieved 2017-12-07.
  21. ^ a b "Premiere: Hear Mikky Ekko's Synthy Retro New Single "Blood on the Surface"". PAPERMAG. 2017-10-12. Retrieved 2017-12-07.
  22. ^ "Blood on the Surface - Single by Mikky Ekko on Apple Music". itunes.apple.com. Retrieved 2017-12-07.
  23. ^ "Light the Way - Single by Mikky Ekko on Apple Music". itunes.apple.com. Retrieved 2017-12-07.
  24. ^ "Mikky Ekko confirms 2018 tour dates with BØRNS -". ventsmagazine.com. Retrieved 2018-10-07.
  25. ^ "Mikky Ekko details forthcoming FAME album with dreamy new track "Cherish You"". The Line of Best Fit. Retrieved 2018-10-07.
  26. ^ "Time". iTunes.
  27. ^ "FAME by Mikky Ekko on Apple Music". iTunes. Retrieved November 27, 2018.
  28. ^ "Strange Fruit". Amazon. February 15, 2009.
  29. ^ "Reds by Mikky Ekko". iTunes, Apple Music. June 29, 2010.
  30. ^ "Blues - EP by Mikky Ekko". iTunes, Apple Music. December 14, 2010.
  31. ^ "tracks - EP by Mikky Ekko". iTunes, Apple Music. February 8, 2013.
  32. ^ "iTunes Festival: London 2013 - EP by Mikky Ekko". iTunes, Apple Music. October 29, 2013.
  33. ^ "Advance Copy - EP by Mikky Ekko". iTunes. March 2, 2018.
  34. ^ "We Must Be Killers - Single". iTunes. August 6, 2012.
  35. ^ "Feels Like the End - Single". iTunes. September 25, 2012.
  36. ^ "Pull Me Down - Single". iTunes. October 30, 2012.
  37. ^ "Discography Mikky Ekko". Hung Medien. australian-charts.com/.
  38. ^ "Canadian Hot 100 - Week of December 8, 2012". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. December 8, 2012. Retrieved December 1, 2012.
  39. ^ "MIKKY EKKO FEAT. RIHANNA - STAY (SONG)". danishcharts.dk.
  40. ^ "Discographie Mikky Ekko". Hung Medien. lescharts.com/.
  41. ^ "Discographie Mikky Ekko". Hung Medien. charts.de.
  42. ^ "Discography Mikky Ekko". Hung Medien. irish-charts.com/.
  43. ^ "Discography Mikky Ekko". Hung Medien. charts.nz/.
  44. ^ "Discographie Mikky Ekko". Hung Medien. hitparade.ch/.
  45. ^ Peak positions for the featured singles in the UK:
  46. ^ "Paint It Red (feat. Mikky Ekko) - Single". iTunes. Retrieved May 4, 2012.
  47. ^ "ARIA Singles Chart, 25/03/2013". Australian Recording Industry Association. Archived from the original on March 28, 2013. Retrieved March 24, 2013.
  48. ^ "Gold & Platinum & 2x Platinum: Searchable Database". Recording Industry Association of America. Archived from the original on September 24, 2015. Retrieved April 18, 2013.
  49. ^ "NZ Top 40 Singles Chart – 28 January 2013". Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved January 28, 2012.

External linksEdit