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Arts & Humanities Talk: Mykki Blanco

16 January 2018 | 6.30pm – 8pm

Battersea, Gorvy Lecture Theatre

Free and open to the public. No booking necessary but please arrive 15min prior to the start time and wait in the Dyson Building Café.

For the first of the new year 2018, the RCA school of Arts & Humanities Talk is pleased to welcome Mykki Blanco.

A fearless artist at his challenging yet melodic best, Mykki Blanco released his debut album Mykki (produced by Woodkid and Jermiah Meece) in September 2016 on Dogfood Music Group / !K7.

Mykki Blanco has metamorphosed many times. The multi-faceted star was a child actor who founded a performance art collective as a teen, ran away from home, and won scholarships to two prestigious art colleges, quitting both as he realised that “the art world is just one big scam for rich people” - an idea touched upon in album track High School Never Ends written with Woodkid, which premiered on FADER in May.

Finding fame first as a fearless noise rap poet, he published a book From The Silence Of Duchamp To The Noise Of Boys. Then what started as a video art project about a “teenage drag rapper” transformed into 2 years of Blanco living as a transgender woman in his personal life. Though eventually not transitioning, Mykki Blanco graduated in real life experience as well as artistically into the non-binary gender-queer post-homo-hop musical artist that we see before us today. Needless to say, it’s impossible to pigeon-hole Blanco and his unique and beautiful sound is no exception.

Amassing a vast online following with a savvy and savage social media output, Mykki is hailed online as a digital warrior princess who rules across the underground music scene with mixtapes like Gay Dog Food, cult hits like Kingpinning and sensational videos like Coke White, Starlight, The Initiation, Wavvy, and Haze Boogie Life. Blanco’s output to date has been hailed as razor sharp, ahead of its time and sometimes deliciously far out. Yet this album seems to leave much of the mayhem behind, marking yet another departure, this time in favour of melody and musicianship, and Mykki comes of age as a serious chart contender.

“I realised as an artist I need to focus on myself and on my work. Arguments with people online distract from that. I used to have a problem with the media trying to define me, either as a drag queen, or a transvestite, as a homosexual rapper, a transsexual or an HIV positive pop star, but most people need labels and my true fans know who I am and what I'm about"

Mykki Blanco’s referential framework is both archival and futuristic: a myriad of culture references, spiritual anecdotes, designer labels, make-up brands, hippie jargon, Fendi here and Snapchat there – all perfectly reflecting the creative dialogue digital landscape we live in.