The Bob Dylan and Nirvana influenced musician guesting on Rihanna's new album
Patrick Davies

11:29 6th November 2012

Mikky Ekko is a name that will be on many people's lips when 2013 comes around.

The singer-songwriter's blend of atmospheric pop, indie guitar, and deep hip-hop beats has caught the attention of all those in the know recently - and none more prominent than pop queen, Rihanna. The 'Diamonds' star has revealed that Ekko will feature on her upcoming album 'Unapologetic'.

When the 'Umbrella' star releases the LP next year, fans will hear Mikky Ekko alongside some of Rihanna's more predictable collaborators such as Eminem and Chris Brown.

But his own sound could not be further from the glossy R'n'B of the likes of Rihanna and Brown.

The Nashville-based singer instead showcases a brand of moody guitar-pop that is more reminiscent of UK bands such as Radiohead or The Verve.

Ekko has been on the scene for a few years now, but so far has kept a low profile. He has built up a loyal core following with the release of two EPs.

First came 'Strange Fruit' in 2009. A quintet of hypnotic pop songs that draw the listener into Ekko's world and leave them begging for more.

'Sedated' from the 'Strange Fruit' EP.

A year later came the singer's second mid-length release, 'Blues', an EP that presents a slightly more layered sound. Ekko's eerie vocals are married with a collage of orchestral sounds and infectious drum loops that suggest his talents go far beyond simply having a great voice.

He cites influences as far reaching as Bob Dylan, Flying Lotus, and Nirvana - an interesting cocktail that has surely contributed to him harnessing such an eclectic sound.

Ekko, who is signed to RCA records, has released three stand-alone singles year, most recently 'Pull Me Down'. The track is a powerful piece of pop that manages to incorporate an anthemic chorus while at the same time retaining a very personal feel.

He is currently working on his debut LP with producers including hip-hop wizard, Clams Casino, TV On the Radio's Dave Sitek, and producer of Adele's '21', Paul Epworth.

Although a concrete date has not yet been announced, RCA say Ekko's first full-length release will be imminent come the new year.

Check out Mikky Ekko's latest single 'Pull Me Down' below.

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Photo: Rusty Ralston/ facebook