'Stay' star on his love for new wave of artists
michael baggs
16:06 16th January 2013

Rihanna's duet partner Mikky Ekko has spoken of his love for the new wave of r&b and hip-hop artists on the music scene, saying people are ready for 'real music'.

The US star, who is currently in the UK Top Ten with 'Stay' and making waves with his own solo release, 'Pull Me Down', claims that music fans are becoming able to appreciate music again, thanks to a new generation of artists.

"Frank Ocean is amazing. Guys like him, some of Kendrick Lamar's stuff and Angel Haze, especially her track 'Cleaning Out My Closet' - it tears my heart out," Ekko tells Gigwise. "People need that stuff. Everything has become so accessible, but most people rarely take the time to really appreciate music."

Ekko also spoke of his hope that he would become associated with such artists, claiming he pours real emotion into his work, and wants listeners to connect with him in the same way they do Ocean, Haze or Lamar.

"What I know is that I have a gift for communicating with people and go to where someone is hurting. People want real," he adds. "I'm not claiming that i'm always going to achieve that, i'll sit back and look at interviews i've done and i'll wonder why i've said things I have, but i'm just trying to be open with where i'm flawed, where i'm hurting. That's what I want people to connect with with me, then I don't have to figure out how i'm going to 'out-cool' my last record.

"I'll just keep being myself - and if the record sucks, then it just means i'm in a boring place."

Mikky Ekko is one of 2013's hotly tipped artists after his success with 'Stay'

Ekko and Angel Haze already have one thing in common - both have cancelled UK shows in order to complete their debut albums. Ekko was due to support Jessie Ware on her UK tour, but was forced to pull out of the shows.

He also previously revealed the story of how his Rihanna duet 'Stay' come to life, claiming he was 'freaking out' when he was told she had recorded the track.

Below: Mikky Ekko and more - 25 bands and artists you need to know in 2013