TKO (The Knock Out)

T.K.O. (The Knock Out) is the eighth studio album by American singer Mýa. It is the follow–up to her Grammy nominated album Smoove Jones (2016) and was released April 20, 2018, on her label Planet 9 to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of her debut album Mýa (1998). Recorded between 2015–2016, T.K.O. is solely produced in its entirely by musician and producer Lamar "MyGuyMars" Edwards with additional production from Los Da Mystro, Lyle LeDuff, Hardwerk and Khirye Tyler.

T.K.O. (The Knock Out)
Mýa TKO (The Knock Out).jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedApril 20, 2018
Recorded2015–2016
Studio
GenreR&B
Label
Producer
Mýa chronology
Smoove Jones
(2016)
T.K.O. (The Knock Out)
(2018)
Singles from TKO (The Knock Out)
  1. "Ready for Whatever"
    Released: September 22, 2017
  2. "Ready, Part II"
    Released: November 24, 2017
  3. "You Got Me"
    Released: February 14, 2018
  4. "Damage"
    Released: March 23, 2018
  5. "Knock You Out"
    Released: April 13, 2018
  6. "With You"
    Released: February 14, 2019
  7. "Down"
    Released: April 20, 2019
  8. "Open"
    Released: May 13, 2019

Sonically, T.K.O. is a contemporary R&B album fusing elements of 1970s and 1990s R&B with a more modern, contemporary sound and serves as departure from her previous studio effort Smoove Jones, which paid homage to traditional R&B from the 1970s, '80s, and '90s. T.K.O. has spawned eight singles – "Ready for Whatever", "Ready, Part II", "You Got Me", "Damage", "Knock You Out", "With You", "Down" and "Open".

BackgroundEdit

As tradition, on February 14, 2016, Mýa released her seventh studio album Smoove Jones (2016) to commemorate the release of her debut single "It's All About Me" and eighteenth anniversary in the entertainment industry. The release paid homage to R&B/soul/hip-hop with old school elements from the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s and was released exclusively through Apple Music.[1][2] Critically, Smoove Jones received "generally favourable" reviews from music critics. In 2017, Smoove Jones received a nomination for Best R&B Album at the 59th Annual Grammy Awards, which were held on February 12, 2017.[3] Two days later, as a gift to her fans and commemorating her nineteenth anniversary, Mýa released a music video for the fan favorite "Coolin'". Filmed in Sydney, Australia, director Matt Sharp captures the singer's unmistakable beauty while she lets her vocals do the rest on a sandy beach.[4] Later in 2017, Mýa made a guest appearance on GoldLink's album At What Cost on the track "Roll Call".[5]

ArtworkEdit

For the album's packaging, Mýa traveled to Nassau, Bahamas and completed a photoshoot for her single and album covers.[6] On the album cover, Mýa is dressed in black lingerie with a black robe draping her body, while directing a smoldering stare into the camera.[7]

DevelopmentEdit

Well, I had to learn patience. I definitely learned that when I want something done, I'm very tunnel-visioned out. I don't come out of the house. I beat myself up. I don't eat. I don't sleep until it's done, especially if I have a deadline in mind. It's the 20th anniversary this year, so I had to be patient. It didn't come out when I wanted it to, but I just said, "OK. We have another anniversary this year on April 20."

Mýa on the creation and timing of T.K.O. (The Knock Out) with Billboard.[8]

T.K.O. (The Knock Out) was recorded between 2015–2016 after the release of Smoove Jones (2016) which received a Grammy nomination for Best R&B Album. Like with all her independent projects, Harrison served as executive producer for T.K.O. (The Knock Out) as well which entailed her scouting for producers, songwriters, arranging the album's track listing, and keeping track of the accounting.[9] With T.K.O. though, Harrison decided to form a partnership with musician and producer Lamar "MyGuyMars" Edwards. Edwards had contributed production on her last studio effort, Smoove Jones, which catered more towards traditional R&B. The creation process for T.K.O. started when Harrison continued to work with Edwards and formed a musical partnership. Speaking with Billboard, Harrison acknowledged the process to the project was "easy."[8] However, before dabbling into the contemporary R&B space for her next independent project, Harrison made the conscious decision to release Smoove Jones first to satisfy longtime fans that connected with that particular sound, which is more eclectic, classic and old school. Musically with T.K.O., since contemporary R&B is more current sonically, Harrison and Edwards just essentially incorporated and fused it with 90's R&B, SWV, Aaliyah, R.Kelly, Mint Condition along with Prince, Teddy Pendergrass and The Isley Brothers influences from the 70s. Using material she recorded back in 2011, 2015, and 2016 from her archive, Harrison commented it was all about "building" and "tweaking" songs.[8] Commenting on the results, Harrison said, "It was all about creating a nice experience for R&B fans, R&B lovers, and have it apply to today’s sound of music, sonically, and that’s what we did."[10] As executive producer, Harrison was held responsible for drafting all of her contracts, handling publishing split sheets, and generating her own revenue for/funding each component of a project and to avoid early leakage of the project or any of her music, Harrison drafts and services a pre- and post-recording agreement to hold the producers, writers, artists, and engineers liable for leakage, sharing, placement, and playing of her music.[10][11]

CompositionEdit

Music and songsEdit

Described as Smoove Jones part two,[10] T.K.O. serves as continuation on Harrison's last studio effort except with Smoove Jones, she blended R&B/soul/hip-hop genre with elements of 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s[1] and geared towards traditional R&B, while T.K.O. is current contemporary R&B with a hint of 90's R&B and influences from the 70s.[10] In terms of sounds, Mýa revealed early on that the album is very heavily leaning on R&B slow jams.[12] T.K.O. (The Knock Out) starts with "Open" featuring DMV rapper GoldLink and is describe as a slice of atmospheric trap-flavored R&B.[13] The pulsating, "Down" serves as the album's fourth track.[14] Track five, "Ready For Whatever 2.0" is a reimagining of the album's first single and is an homage to Aaliyah's effortless cool.[13] Inspired by Mint Condition and Prince, "Damage" was recorded back in 2011 and serves as the album's sixth track.[15] Track eight, "You Got Me" is a millennial slow jam that blends combination of steady drums and synths reminiscent of the 90's R&B.[16][17] The spacey, "Knock You Out" is an Isley Brothers-indebted bedroom jam with guitar licks and spaced-out vocal harmonies and serves as the album's tenth track.[13][14] The album's final track, the 80's/90's big ballad "If Tomorrow Never Comes" was originally recorded back in 2011 and inspired by the vocal work of R&B group Jodeci.[8]

Release and promotionEdit

Initially, T.K.O. (The Knock Out) was scheduled for a Valentine Day release to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of her debut single, "It's All About Me," however the project was unable to make its deadline and pushed back.[8] In an interview with Hot 97, Mýa confirmed T.K.O. was scheduled for an April 20, 2018 release to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of her debut album Mýa (1998).[12][18] Digitally, the release was distributed through indie distribution company, The Orchard. Her first release under Sony Music company.[19] Through her official website store, physical copies was made available for purchase exclusively in standard, autographed or personalized editions.[20] In honor of her twentieth anniversary and to celebrate T.K.O.'s album release Mýa performed at the House of Blues in New York City on April 27, 2018.[21] She held a private album listening session at UnplugdLA's The Study in Los Angeles, California.[22]

SinglesEdit

In September 2017, Mýa began releasing a series of singles in support of the album. Mýa released the first single from T.K.O.(The Knock Out), "Ready for Whatever" on September 22, 2017.[23][24] A music video for "Ready for Whatever" was produced and directed by Mýa co-starring R&B singer Kevin McCall as her love interest.[25] Less than two months, its follow up single and sequel, "Ready, Part II" was released on November 24, 2017. The song paid homage to R. Kelly's "It Seems Like You're Ready".[26][27] A third single, "You Got Me", was released on February 14, 2018, to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of her debut single "It's All About Me".[19] "Damage", the fourth single from T.K.O. was released on March 23, 2018.[28] Less than a month, a week before the album's release, "Knock You Out" was released as an instant grat download when fans pre-ordered T.K.O. (The Knock Out) alongside previous singles "You Got Me" and "Damage."[29] In 2019, as tradition in honor her debut single, Harrison gifted her fans with a new music video to commemorate the anniversary. "With You" was released February 14, 2019.[30] Approximately two months later, in honor of the one year anniversary of her thirteenth studio project, TKO (The Knock Out), Harrison gifted her fans with another new video. "Down" was released April 20, 2019.[31]

ReceptionEdit

CriticalEdit

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
Paperfavorable[13]

Paper magazine gave T.K.O. a favorable review and called it "impressive in its scope" and concluded, "throughout TKO, though Mya is a well-studied product of her influences, she is as an artist all her own, producing, writing, and owning all of it."[13]

CommercialEdit

T.K.O. (The Knock Out) debuted at number forty-one on the Independent Albums chart.[32]

AccoladesEdit

Organization Country Accolade Year Rank
HipHopDX United States Top R&B Albums of 2018[33] 2018 8

Track listingEdit

TKO (The Knock Out) – Standard edition[34]
No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
1."The Fall"
2:34
2."Open" (featuring GoldLink)
  • Edwards
  • Harrison[c]
3:27
3."Simple Things"
  • Harrison
  • Shaunise "Niecy" Harris
3:41
4."Down"
  • Harrison
  • Harris
  • Sydnii Raymore
  • Edwards
  • Harrison[c]
2:46
5."Ready 4 Whatever 2.0"
3:22
6."Damage"
  • Harrison
  • Lindsey "Mavelle" Gilbert
4:43
7."Ready (Part III - 90's Bedroom Mix)"
4:00
8."You Got Me"
  • Harrison
  • Raymore
3:23
9."T.K.O. Interlude" (featuring A Guy Named Cliff)
  • Harrison
  • Edwards
  • Harrison[c]
0:50
10."Knock You Out"
3:51
11."With You" (featuring My Guy Mars)
  • Harrison
  • Edwards
  • Alexandria Dopson
4:16
12."If Tomorrow Never Comes"
  • Harrison
  • Gilbert
  • Philip "HardWork" Constable
  • Gilbert[c]
  • Harrison[c]
3:45
Total length:40:38

Notes

  • ^[a] signifies a co-producer
  • ^[b] signifies an additional producer
  • ^[c] signifies a vocal producer

Sample credits

PersonnelEdit

ChartsEdit

Chart (2018) Peak
position
US Independent Albums (Billboard)[35] 41

Release historyEdit

List of release dates, showing region, formats, label, editions and reference
Region Date Format(s) Label Ref.
Various April 20, 2018 [34]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Mýa Is Fearless". Heroic. Retrieved 2015-12-10. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ "Resurgence of R&B: A Conversation Between Two Music Lovers". Essence. Retrieved 2016-12-31. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ "Here Is the Complete List of Nominees for the 2017 Grammys". Billboard. Retrieved 2016-12-22. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ "Premiere: Watch Mya's Romantic Beach Excursion, "Coolin"". Vibe. Retrieved 2017-02-14. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ "GoldLink - Roll Call Feat. Mya". HotNewHipHop. Retrieved 2018-03-18. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ "Grammy-winning artist Mya takes it to the streets in '5th Ward'". The Undefeated. Retrieved 2018-03-19. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ "Mya Teases & Tantalizes With 'T.K.O.' Cover Art & Tracklist". Soul Bounce. Retrieved 2018-04-18. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  8. ^ a b c d e "Mya Talks Creating 'TKO,' Being an Independent Artist & Developing Confidence as a Live Performer". Billboard. Retrieved 2018-09-22. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. ^ "Interview: Mya Talks New Album "K.I.S.S.", Releasing Albums in Japan First, Importance of Her Music". YKIGS. Retrieved 2012-01-21. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  10. ^ a b c d "Exclusive: Mya Talks Her Vegan Lifestyle, Fashion, New Album & 20 Years In The Game". The Knockturnal. Retrieved 2018-05-20. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  11. ^ "Mya's Advice on How Not to Get Your Album Leaked". Miami New Times. Retrieved 2016-02-15. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  12. ^ a b "Mya Announces New Album, Talks Sculpting Her Body, Dating In The Industry". This Is RNB. Retrieved 2018-03-15. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  13. ^ a b c d e Love Michael, Michael (April 20, 2018). "Bops Only: 10 Songs You Need To Start Your Weekend Right". Paper. Retrieved April 27, 2018.
  14. ^ a b "The Ticket: What's happening in the local arts world". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2018-05-20. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  15. ^ "After 20 Years In The Game, Mya Is Ready For Whatever". Vibe. Retrieved 2018-05-20. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  16. ^ "Mya Keeps It Smooth And Sexy On New Single "You Got Me"". Vibe. Retrieved 2018-05-20. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  17. ^ "Mya Drops A Sexy, New Track, "You Got Me"". HotNewHipHop. Retrieved 2018-02-21. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  18. ^ Cashmere, Paul (April 19, 2018). "New Music Releases 20 April 2018". Noise11. Retrieved April 27, 2018.
  19. ^ a b "Global Icon Mýa Returns with Brand New Single Celebrating 20th Year Anniversary". PR. Retrieved 2018-02-20. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  20. ^ "Mýa's Official Store". Mya Mya. Retrieved 2015-12-10. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  21. ^ "Mya Live At The Throwback Party NYC *April 27th*". Eventbrite. Retrieved 2018-04-18. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  22. ^ "UnplugdLA SOUL Sessions Featuring Mya". Eventbrite. Retrieved 2018-05-02. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  23. ^ Samuels, Keithan (2017). "Mya Teases New Single 'Ready for Whatever'". Rated R&B. Retrieved September 13, 2017.
  24. ^ "Ready for Whatever - Single". iTunes. Retrieved 2017-09-18. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  25. ^ Miller, Jordan (October 10, 2017). "I'm Pregnant. Mya Drops Racy 'Ready For Whatever' Video". Breathe Heavy. Retrieved October 10, 2017.
  26. ^ "Mya – Ready, Part II (Bedroom Mix)". Singeroom. Retrieved 2017-11-26. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  27. ^ "Ready, Part II (Bedroom Mix)". Amazon. Retrieved 2017-11-20. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  28. ^ "Damage – Single". iTunes. Retrieved 2018-03-16. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  29. ^ "New Music: Mya - Knock You Out". This Is RNB. Retrieved 2018-04-16. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  30. ^ "Mýa Treads Middle Eastern Sands In "With You" Videoclip". HotNewHipHop. Retrieved 2019-04-18. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  31. ^ "Mya Takes Us To A Tropical Paradise In 'Down'". Soul Bounce. Retrieved 2019-05-24. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  32. ^ "Independent Albums Week of May 5, 2018". Billboard. Retrieved 2018-05-10. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  33. ^ Johnson, Cherise (July 17, 2018). "The Best R&B Of 2018 (So Far)". HipHopDX. Retrieved July 19, 2018.
  34. ^ a b "T.K.O. (The Knock Out)". iTunes. Retrieved 2018-04-05. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  35. ^ "Mya Chart History (Independent Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved 2018-05-01.

External linksEdit