Following Rihanna's emotional and raw performance of "Stay" at the Grammys, there was one major question on everybody's mind: "Who the hell is Mikky Ekko?" It's a legitimate inquiry, considering this duet was his first big moment in the limelight. The fact of the matter is that Mikky has been around the block a few times, and has been quietly working around the music industry for quite some time.
After paying his dues in various bands around Nashville, Mikky branched out and decided to start singing on his own. After the online release of Strange Fruit, which contained acappella versions of his original material, Mikky started attracting the interest of producers. Most notably, one of the tracks from his second EP REDS caught the attention of Clams Casino, who has worked with Lil B and The Weeknd. Things really didn't start popping off for him publicly. He inked a deal with RCA and subsequently toured on a minimal basis while producing a bit on the side and still creating his own material.
Even prior to the awards, Mikky could be visibly seen in the music video for "Stay" which additionally got him some shine. The reaction to his Grammy performance was the greatest public reception of him to date. Some critics called it the strongest moment of the night. It was an uncharacteristic choice for Rihanna, who is known for her upbeat club bangers. Mikky's soulful fingerprints were all over this one. Their performance together was authentic and honest - two factors that are often missing from Rihanna's stage presence. Mikky also brought out the best in her voice, proving that she is a real talent beyond her larger-than-life persona. Let's hope this relationship blossoms into an extended musical relationship.