How young Puerto Rican Latin trap artist Miko rose to fame

There’s something about Latin trap star Young Miko’s sound that hits differently. She has a natural and suave demeanor, but she is probably one of the most humble and down-to-earth musical artists you will ever meet. The 24-year-old from Añasco, Puerto Rico learned to develop hard skin at a young age. Surrounded by male friends, she had no choice but to become what she calls a “bad bitch”. The rise of tattoo artist turned trap artist may seem unexpected to many. After all, she hit Puerto Rico’s Choliseo arena, a dream that often takes years for an urban performer to accomplish. Not only that, but she did it less than a year after releasing her first song, “105 Freestyle.”

“Puerto Rico is a difficult audience to captivate. [We are] very picky and demanding. This is partly why so many big stars come out of the island. Puerto Ricans know how to distinguish quality right away, so the fact that they were the first to show love [to our project] put things into perspective.”

Bad Bunny invited Miko to be part of his “Un Verano Sin Ti” tour all over the island. While singing “Riri”, Miko caught the attention of the crowd within seconds. They sang lyric by lyric as the stage dancers performed the viral TikTok dance and Bad Bunny gave the show. The audience started shouting “Otra! Otra! Otra!” (“another!”) when she’s finished. And Miko stole the show as the world’s No. 1 artist right now. “Puerto Rico is a difficult audience to captivate,” Miko told POPSUGAR. “[We are] very picky and demanding. This is partly why so many big stars come out of the island. Puerto Ricans know how to distinguish quality right away, so the fact that they were the first to show love [to our project] put things into perspective.”

Although music runs in the family (Miko’s grandmother composes and plays the piano, while her cousins ​​play in bands), it took her a year after she began experimenting with music for the post on SoundCloud, as many do on the island. Rap has been her “platonic love” since she bought a cheap mic in 2018 and started writing. “My mother always told me: ‘Life is too short not to fall madly in love… with yourself and what you do, with another person, with your family,'” says Miko. “It’s something I always implement in my daily life.”

With “Trap Kitty”, her first EP, that’s exactly what she did. Her concept was inspired by one of her best friends, an exotic dancer named Riri, and aims to take you on the journey of what she calls “the life of a stripper”. Miko thought Riri could write a book with all the “crazy” stories that happened to her friend at work. They created his debut album instead.

His “corillo” (crew) is new to this. Her manager, Mariana, is like a sister to her, as they have known each other since 2012. Her producer, Mauro, happens to be Mariana’s brother. So, in 2020, she gathered her favorite minds, rented an Airbnb from Rincón, and started creating with a $100 mic and Bose speakers. Now they all live together, which she says is like a “24/7 music camp.”

“The ideas that people liked the most, they may think we took months to develop, but in reality, it all came together so easily because of our chemistry,” says Miko. “We’re constantly learning from each other. If being a student means constantly growing, call me a student. Everyone in the band has that mentality. We’re so hungry.”

They may be new to the arena, but they clearly know what they’re doing and people are taking notice. One of the first openly lesbian artists in the Latin trap scene, Young Miko is a leading figure in what many call the new wave of Latin trap and one that is distinctly queer. Alongside her, women like trans trap artist Villano Antillano and RaiNao are unabashedly leading and creating the narrative for women in a male-dominated industry. But make no mistake: although they are equally open about their sexuality, each of them offers something very different.

“[We] are three different musical colors with three very different points of view, and I love that,” says Miko. “That’s why I want [we] cannot be compared to each other. Each of us are 100% ourselves.” One thing that characterizes Miko from a mile away is her full domain of “malianteo” in English. Her lyrics are entirely in Spanglish, and it’s not entirely on purpose. musical influences from an early age developed her in this way.

“My dad listened to rock – the Beatles, U2, Kiss the Police and even Bob Marley,” Miko recalls, “while my mom always played Van Gogh’s La Oreja, La Quinta Estación, Shakira and Juanes. big brother showed me Nas, Biggie, Gwen Stefani, Tupac and Missy Elliott.” Wearing a YM merch hat and showing off a shiny stone in her teeth, Miko is unabashedly herself. She adds a never-before-seen narrative in the urbano movement , which portrays women and the LGBTQ+ community as creators of their own destiny, not victims of it.

“Pa toas’ las putas y las cueros, las que están puestas pal dinero”, she sings in “Putero”, where she specifies that her music is for everyone, but especially for women. Miko wants listeners to feel liberated and free to exude a pole dancer’s confidence in their daily lives – and flaunt it. “This generation is tired of the same thing. They are accepting and receptive to something new,” says Miko. “Maybe [my lyrics] are not what I feel but what I would like to feel. I write to myself too.”

Unlike her peers, she doesn’t sing about what’s happening en calle – on the streets. She creates a multiverse from the anime stories she read, one of her biggest inspirations. Most of her songs are anime characters that she brought to life by impersonating them, such as in “Vendetta”, a song based on Revy from “Black Lagoon”. Even his name is inspired by the anime. Growing up, she watched “Avatar: The Last Airbender” religiously and found herself down a rabbit hole of fan pages reading about how the show’s names came up. That’s when she found a Japanese dictionary and learned that “Mi” means beauty and “Ko” is a common way to end a girl’s name. Together, “Miko” means “Daughter of God”. Growing up a nun, she says that after the discovery, she immediately adopted Miko as her stage name.

“If I have acceptance from my parents, the people who matter most to me in the world, do I really need anyone else? I don’t need anyone’s approval,” Miko says. “I was clear from the start and let them know what I wanted to do and what I wanted to sing, but as parents they worry because we live in danger.”

Miko stays true to herself. To be so defiantly in a scene that threatens to silence the voices of openly queer artists is the ultimate flex.

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