Mykele Deville

Maintain (No Trend Records)

Contact Sam McAllister & Jim DeLuca about Mykele Deville

It is a deeply divisive time to be an American. Particularly an American minority. There is need to find your tribe, to stand in solidarity, to critique and fight structures of oppression with every ounce of self. But in the process of attaining liberation, there is reflection and doubt. There is private and public mourning, depression, and crippling immobility when tasked to defend one’s humanity.

Maintain, the new album from rapper, poet, educator, actor, Mykele Deville, was written in that divide. Part self-help, part self-preservation, Maintain is a motivational collection dedicated to the complexity of black life. The west side Chicagoan spent a year and a half writing seven songs he felt encapsulated not only the absurdity of the political moment we find ourselves in and the triumphs/failings of the black American experiment, but also the resiliency it takes to exist and self examine within those confines. Maintain was written out of a necessity to heal and as a personal vow by Mykele to use his own music to say as much as he can to help heal whomever might be listening.

The album’s first single, “Type Love,” was produced by Chicago artist, Montana Macks, and features songstress Daryn Alexus. It imagines a world where we are taught to fall in love with ourselves before we fall in love with others; a smooth ode to self-love championing the ritual and work it takes to check in and be proud of what you may find.

“Free Soul,” the second single, was crafted by UK-based producer, Elements. The track is a jazz and bebop inspired rap manifesto brimming with pride for Chicago and a disdain for the gate keeping clique mentality that sometimes pervades the music scene. The track is an upbeat portrait of a connected Chicago, from the basements to the spotlight.

Previously, Mykele released a string of solo hip-hop and poetic recordings, including Peace, Fam (2017), Each One Teach One (2016), and Super Predator (2016). As a founding member of the Growing Concerts Poetry Collective, he also shared in the release of a joint album (We Here: Thank You For Noticing) and poetry book (Five Fifths) in 2017. Maintain is out on February 22nd via No Trend Records.