NYC Collective MICHELLE Explores Identity in New Single “FYO”

It takes more effort than one would think to exude the energy of “effortlessly cool.” It’s a careful balance of trying hard, but not too hard, and is rarely achieved… queue the industry-plant Twitter threads. 

If you are MICHELLE, there is no trying to be done at all. The New York City Collective is the real thing and has been since the beginning with their 2018 self-released debut album HEATWAVE. 

With HEATWAVE created in a bedroom in just two weeks, there is little room for surprise that the group has continued to create and release music throughout the pandemic. 

The latest single “FYO,” recounts the experiences of the four lead singers’ mixed-race identities, and shares a message of how no one has the authority to define who they are.

“Growing up as a mixed-race minority in the US, my self-concept was warped by other people telling me what I am and am not, pushing and pulling me between identities,” stated Jamee Lockard, one of the band’s lead singers. “Although my feelings of cultural dissonance still ebb and flow, now I have the vocabulary, support system, and perspective to unpack that inner conflict on my own terms.”

MICHELLE shares this powerfully honest message with the same sonical influences, overall bright and breezy feel, and distinguishable voices forming complex and unique harmonies, all attributes of their music which garnered critical acclaim in 2018 with the “THE BOTTOM.”

“FYO” was released alongside a minimalist artful music video, directed by band members Layla Ku and Emma Lee, further solidifying MICHELLE’s identity as a collective. 

Being listed on The NME 100 “Essential Emerging Artists for 2021,included in Pigeons & Planes “Best New Artists” in August 2020, and their premiere 2020 track ‘SUNRISE’ added to Spotify’s Best Indie Songs of 2020 playlist, there is no doubt that the collective has another bright year ahead. 

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