Miki Ratsula Shares “sugarcane (feat. Dana Williams) From Debut Album ‘i owe it to myself’ (Out March 25)
January 21, 2022 BY Jason Currell
“shines with plaintive honesty and shimmering melodies” – Under The Radar
“They are trying to find their place in (the world)… Maybe that is world-changing—in the transcendent sense.“
“accepting love can become complicated when it feels impossible to show love to yourself… Ratsula’s wispy vocals deliver the unease with a gentle demeanor, lyrics gracefully bearing the weight of such a tender message”
– The Wild Honeypie
“beautiful, breathtaking” – Variance
Miki Ratsula has built a sizable audience by openly and honestly welcoming people into their world and releasing their debut album i owe it to myself on March 25 via Nettwerk Records. This deeply intimate record touches on mental health, loss, love, and everything in between. The Southern California-based nonbinary artist has been releasing music independently since they were 16, racking up over 20 million streams in the process. Today, they share their new single celebrating the effortless joy of love, “sugarcane,” which features their friend and occasional songwriting partner, Los Angeles-based musician Dana Williams. Hear “sugarcane” here: https://mikiratsula.ffm.to/sugarcane.
“‘sugarcane’ is about the type of love that is just as enjoyable and as effortless as eating your favorite dessert. You can’t believe something so good can exist, and you just can’t get enough of it,” notes Ratsula, on the heels of getting engaged to their longtime love and creative director, Hope Reim. “Ironically, this song about effortless love was the most challenging one on the album for me as a producer. We ended up making around five different versions of it before it finally clicked. I was grateful to have Dana Williams, my friend, and occasional songwriting partner, along for the journey. Her additional vocals were just what ‘sugarcane’ needed.”
Dana and Miki met the old-fashioned way – through Spotify via the “Fans Also Like” algorithm feature. They started writing together and co-wrote Zach Hood’s first original single, “Flashbacks,” featuring production by Miki and, to date, has over 10 million Spotify Streams. They are excited to finally release a song together after all these years.
Listen & Share “sugarcane” HERE:
“sugarcane” follows the release of several early album singles, including the raw, personal single “second” which deals with their fears and anxiety around getting top surgery and whose main hook is at the heart of the album — “I just want to love myself so I can love you better”; “reeboks” which is about feeling so anxious about the future that they end up running themselves into the ground; “suffocate” ft. Lauren Sanderson; and “i walked a mile in my room,” which discusses their mental health struggles and its impact on the people close to them.
i owe it to myself is a testament to self-love and a gift to anyone seeking the same. The album is an acoustic pop dream guided by Miki’s lush, lofi-inspired production that captures the full emotional seesaw that rocks between youth and adulthood. The album is Miki at their most vulnerable and fully realized. The singer, songwriter, and producer uses their platform to candidly document their life: from coming out to getting top surgery to their mental health journey. It’s the kind of storytelling that listeners, especially young queer kids, crave and deserve. “I just want to be the artist I needed growing up,” says Miki, and that’s exactly who they’ve become on this heartfelt and impressive debut record. Miki effortlessly floats between R&B slow jams and acoustic numbers laced with sensual groove throughout the record, and some of the album’s more powerful moments exist in the soft, nostalgic spaces in between, which often deal with the pain that lives behind closed doors.
MIKI RATSULA OFFICIAL VIDEOS
ABOUT MIKI RATSULA
Raised in Southern California by Finnish parents, Miki Ratsula grew up surrounded by music, saying, “I was brought up that you always had to play one instrument and one sport.” Picking piano and guitar for the former and soccer for the latter, Miki combined their interests in early high school, making music inspired by the US Women’s National Soccer Team. They tell their story to give queer people the representation they deserve to see more of. “I just want people to be able to feel like they can be vulnerable even if it’s just with themselves,” says Miki. “I was scared to realize that I’m nonbinary. I was scared to admit that I wanted top surgery. But once I finally allowed myself to have those feelings, it was like a weight lifted off my shoulders.”
They were experiencing a creative and personal low right before the Covid-19 pandemic hit. Unsure of which direction to take and succumbing to the pressures placed on burgeoning artists, Miki says, “I was in this really weird space before Covid. It was also before my top surgery, and before I came out as nonbinary, so I was just dealing with a lot of things at once.” But it was during lockdown when Miki happened to schedule multiple writing sessions with other artists that the creativity began to flow again.
Between the collaborative stimulation and having the space and time to focus on themselves, Miki started to write again, and in just a few months, they had enough songs for a full-length record. Alongside the creative burst, Miki says they had “an immense amount of personal growth, that it just skyrocketed everything else.”
The result is a deeply intimate record that touches on mental health, loss, love, and everything in between.
ABOUT DANA WILLIAMS
Dana Williams has the rare ability to bend time and turn feeling bad into something impossibly lovely. Raised on singers like Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday, the L.A.-based artist brings a jazzy nonchalance to her delivery while drawing big emotion from the subtlest vocal movement. Dana’s debut release – The Lonely One – in 2013, featured breakout single “Keep Me Waiting,” which earned the distinction of being the only original vocal composition featured in Damien Chazelle’s Oscar-winning film Whiplash, and she has garnered 100MM global streams to date.
Dana has collaborated with artists like Freddie Gibbs, Boogie, and Rejjie Snow, and Aminé was selected by H.E.R. to perform on “Girls With Guitars” livestream show, and more. 2021 saw the alt R&B singer-songwriter releasing multiple singles, including “You Win,” an intimate and bittersweet breakup song, and “Let Me,” a flirtatious track about the fear and excitement of a relationship. Additionally, the “breakout star” (American Songwriter) released her Happy Holidaze EP, which included a new hauntingly beautiful cover of “California Dreamin,” the iconic The Mamas and the Papas track, alongside Dana’s 2020 single “Happy Holidaze” and a beautiful rendition of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” Her single “Sensitive,” about putting your fears and feelings aside to enjoy the present moment, is out now.