Miki Ratsula To Release Debut Album ‘i owe it to myself’ (Out March 25); Listen To “i walked a mile in my room”
December 3, 2021 BY Nettwerk
Miki Ratsula has built a sizable audience by openly and honestly welcoming people into their world. Today, they have announced the release of i owe it to myself, their debut album due March 25, 2022, via Nettwerk Records. The album is an acoustic pop dream guided by Miki’s lush, lo-fi-inspired production that captures the full emotional seesaw that rocks between youth and adulthood. i owe it to myself is Miki at their most vulnerable and fully realized.
As an out, nonbinary artist, the Southern California-based Finnish-American singer, songwriter, and producer use 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. Throughout the record, Miki effortlessly floats between R&B slow jams and acoustic numbers laced with sensual groove, 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.
Today, they’ve released a new track, “i walk a mile in my room,” which discusses their mental health struggles and their impact on the people close to them. “It’s an acknowledgment that I know I can work on my mental health and make sure it doesn’t negatively affect those I love,” notes Miki, “while also recognizing that it’s something I have to deal with and need patience from others while I work on it.”
The album announcement and new track follow 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; and “suffocate (ft. Lauren Sanderson)” which gets right to the heart of the record — it’s the only track that directly references the album title with Miki singing, “I owe it to myself, to be honest, every once in a while, gotta care for me too.”
Miki was 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 really 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.
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 have been releasing music independently since they were 16, racking up over 20 million streams in the process. 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.”
i owe it to myself is a testament to self-love and a gift to anyone seeking the same.
‘i owe it to myself’ Track List:
01 – i hate myself sometimes
02 – i walked a mile in my room
03 – second
04 – by tomorrow
05 – grocery store
06 – in the middle
07 – suffocate (feat. Lauren Sanderson)
08 – timeless
09 – sugarcane (feat. Dana Williams)
10 – milo’s interlude
11 – the garden
12 – i didn’t know any better
13 – reeboks