Article Contributed by Brooklyn Basem… | Published on Tuesday, November 3, 2020

While singer-songwriter Miko Marks is far from a newcomer to the music industry, her upcoming album, Our Country, will be her first release in 13 years. Set to release in March 2021, Our Country is the culmination of a dream - an actual, literal dream. A songwriter by trade, Marks’ own project has largely taken a backseat  over the past decade, as early success and heartbreak in her career made her somewhat disillusioned with the  music industry at large. Making her way to Music City -  Nashville, TN - in the early 2000s, Marks recalls the  struggles she faced as an African American independent  musician: “In trying to pursue the gates of Nashville, I  discovered that there were high fences made of stone,” Marks explains. While Marks received well-deserved accolades - "Nashville's Hottest New Country Star" by People Magazine and “Best New Country Artist” by New Music Weekly - her efforts to be  fully embraced by the industry in return proved to be elusive. This experience ultimately led her to pick up her life and move to California to start  anew, never giving up on the dream she was devoted to.

Today, Marks stands as a powerful embodiment of the underrepresented voices of Black women in country music specifically and a strong reminder of where the music is rooted. The morning after she awoke from a dream in which she recorded an album with co-producers Steve  Wyreman (Jay-Z, John Legend, Rihanna, Leon Bridges) and Justin Phipps (Founder of Redtone Records), a vision of what she was meant to  do snapped into focus. In the following months, the trio took a look at what was happening in the country they all loved and penned songs reflecting hard truths and the expansive emotions they were all feeling. The resulting album is a genre-fluid tapestry of songs woven together by Marks’ distinctive vocals. Rooted in sounds from country, blues, soul, and roots music, Our Country refuses to be put squarely into one box.

Marks will release her debut single from the album, “Ancestors,” on November 29, 2020, with a premiere on Apple Music’s Southern Craft  Radio. “We wrote Ancestors in 2020 as a call for spiritual strength and a return to our roots,” Marks says of the single. “We know that if our  ancestors survived the hardship and suffering they endured, their power to overcome is alive within us. These are difficult times: racial hatred  and violence, a global pandemic, economic hardship, our earth in crisis. But we have hope and strength that stretches back through the  generations, and will carry us forward,” she continues. Read more about Marks here and listen to “Ancestors” here.