A full decade since they first adopted their stage name, Mykki Blanco is entering a new era. Having since emerged from a period in their life that saw them end their relationship with a long-term partner, struggle with sobriety and for a period of time attend a Butoh school in Northern India, Blanco has been steadily laying the groundwork for not one, but two upcoming albums with last year's "Patriarchy Ain't The End of Me" and the Devendra Banhart featuring "You Will Find It."
Finding a new home on Transgressive Records, Blanco has returned with their first new single of the year, "Free Ride." Fusing a feel-good gospel chorus with vocals courtesy of Mykal Kilgore, Leah King and L1ZY and a glitzy trap beat reminiscent of heyday Roc-A-Fella, "Free Ride" sees Blanco once again broadening their musical horizons in fun and exciting ways. Originally recorded in 2018 only a few days after they had ended their first long-term relationship, the track features production from Hudson Mohawke and Blanco's ongoing creative partner and executive producer, FaltyDL.
"Some of the most intimate moments and conversations I have ever shared were with my mother on long drives in the Southern countryside when I was a teenager," says Blanco. "The music that soundtracked these memories on our daily journeys was the stuff of my mothers generation. I would find myself daydreaming, reflecting and envisioning the kind of life I would like to create for myself. These memories and the music of Luther Vandross were the first inspirations behind the creation of my new song 'Free Ride.'"
The new single arrives alongside an official music video directed by Hannah Rosselin, that features Blanco flanked by family and friends as they come together for a christening. Like "Free Ride," the mood is convivial and uplifting, bouncing from a cookout to the baptism to a photo-op filled reception with everyone spreading their affection through hugs and kisses (like we used to be able to do, once upon a time). And while at first glance, the visual may come across as surprisingly heteronormative for Blanco, the artist tweeted that pushing unseen queer narratives have always been central to their work. "I wanted to portray the very real situation of two humans being in love and creating a child without necessarily being the same sexuality, but a love of acceptance, the love created by creating a family and accepting wherever your lover falls on the spectrum."
On a more personal scale Blanco says of the video, "I'm at a place in my life now where I know I want to have a family of my own one day and that I have entered a more mature phase of my life where this is a kind of thing I think about now. Especially in light of the year we have all been through with the pandemic, with limited engagement in-person with those we love, this just feels like such a warm and positive visual to be sharing with the world to recall the joy we've been missing from gatherings like this and an encouragement to remain optimistic in looking forward to be able to return to engaging like this with those who we love."
Watch the official video for Mykki Blanco's "Free Ride" and stream it, below.
Photo courtesy of Mykki Blanco
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