THE awesome Miki Fiki…
have been talking with me about their single, Scrub, and how it came together. Their lead, Ted, takes up most of the questions and tells me about that unique moniker; what Nashville is like as a base; which artists they are all inspired by – he recommends some new talent to watch out for.
I ask whether there will be touring dates and the possibility of U.K. dates; what advice Ted would give to artists coming through; whether he and the band get time to unwind away from music – each of the band members chooses a song to end with.
Hi, Ted. How are you? How has your week been?
Hey. Nice to digitally meet you! It’s been good. Just bopping between coffee shops and half-working, half-people watching (alongside everybody else).
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourselves, please?
I’m Ted and I sing and play keys for the group. Julia plays sax and Hunter plays bass. We all met in college at Belmont in Nashville and we’ve been putting out music and touring as Miki Fiki since early-2017. We’re based in Nashville but have been all over the eastern half of the U.S. in a blue truck.
Is there a story behind the band name ‘Miki Fiki’? How did that come to pass?!
My Facebook bio was “I’m one bad mickey fickey” for the longest time. I’ve forgotten what that’s from but, when picking a name, I wanted something that didn’t really mean much. I changed the spelling to ‘Miki Fiki’ because it looks nice stacked. It’s also slang for ‘motherf*cker’, but you don’t have to put that in.
Scrub is your new song. Can you reveal the story behind the song?
It’s an angry song! I was feeling a lot of things at the end of college but anger kept returning and I couldn’t find a way to process it. The song is literally about a relationship but, while the attitude of previous songs is a desire to learn, loneliness or missing someone sweetly, this one is bitter.
I don’t recommend latching onto this way of operating but, for a couple minutes, I was able to write down a few cheap shots I could never say to the person. That time is long gone - maybe in part because I put it to music.
It is your most energetic song so far! Do you think it is a logical move from your initial single, Stranger?
It’s definitely in the same vein in terms of communicating hurt through somewhat more aggressive/bitter language than I’m accustomed to in daily life. That’s where I was at the time; trying to live measured and well-behaved to an extent. But, there was a lot, mentally, that needed to go somewhere and, in both songs, that extreme pressure found some space.
Which artists are you all inspired by? Did you grow up around a lot of different sounds?
We have some overlap but all three of us have fairly different musical upbringings. I was fully engulfed by Usher then The Avett Brothers. Julia’s people are Jeff Coffin and the late, great Aretha Franklin. Hunter’s are Alvvays, Whitney; Crumb and Shintaro Sakamoto.
Nashville is where you are based. What is the city like in terms of its scene and diversity?
I’m still trying to sort that out myself!
There are all kinds of scenes to fall into here but I more often find myself where my friends are. I could break them down into genres but the benefit usually comes from doing what you love around people you love who are trying to do the same thing. I haven’t hit a ceiling here by any means and, every time I’m ready to get rolling, there are people around to help me do that.
Do you think there will be touring dates? Can we catch you play?
We toured heavily the first half of this year and are headed out for five dates in September up north. All dates are announced on our website and social media: 9/13 - Grand Rapids, MI: Tip Top Deluxe; 9/14 - Detroit, MI: New Way; 9/17 - Chicago, IL – Sofar; 9/18 - Appleton, WI - Stone Arch Brewpub; 9/19 - Minneapolis, MN - Nomad World Pub.
Might you come to the U.K. and see us here? Do you like the music here?
We would love to make a European trip someday. All we need are enough good friends!
If you had to select an album that means the most to you; which would it be and why?
Emotionalism by The Avett Brothers means a lot to me
I found it right around the first time I got REAL sad (fifteen) and the songwriting/messages hold up the older I get.
Have you got a favourite memory from your time in music – the one that sticks in the mind?
The first Miki show still stands out in my mind: there’s something special about being able to communicate in a way I’m proud for the first time in a long time.
If you could support any musician alive today, and choose your own rider, what would that entail?
Anderson .Paak. The rider would include Reese’s and Arnold Palmers.
What advice would you give to artists coming through?
The same thing I tell myself - which is to pay special attention as to whether or not you’re enjoying it and whether or not it’s growing you.
IN THIS PHOTO: Katy Kirby/PHOTO CREDIT: Kelsey Cherry
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
I’m working on not thinking about it 24/7 because it can really start to feel like work. I unwind by getting wound up in other things - be it running, reading or both. Still trying to figure out where to put a lot of this energy but, for now, it resides in one of those three places!
Finally, and for being good sports; you can each choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
Fever - The Pressure Kids
Juniper - Katy Kirby
Only – Rand
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