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Young Miko sets foot on U.S. soil today, June 2, and will be performing through June 18 in the states of Rhode Island, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Florida. Photo: Mat Hayward / Stringer / Getty

One on one with Young Miko

The Puerto Rican singer-songwriter shares exclusive details about her Trap Kitty World Tour and what fans can expect during her visit to the U.S. this June.

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Two years after officially launching her musical career, Puerto Rican singer-songwriter Young Miko spoke exclusively with AL DÍA about her first international tour that has just begun, the Trap Kitty World Tour. 

But how is she preparing for the more than 45 concerts she will offer in 20 countries and U.S. states? Beyond the typical rehearsals and vocal warm-ups, Young Miko is preparing herself mentally to be so far away from home and the warmth of her parents, with whom she lives in western Puerto Rico.

"I'm pretty much a homebody and that's a nice thing we [Latinos] have. I'm very excited and I know they're going to enjoy the tour wherever they go to see me," she assured. 

Young Miko sets foot on U.S. soil today, June 2, and will be performing through June 18 in the states of Rhode Island, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Florida. From July through October, she will be flying between Spain and Latin America, ending the tour on Oct. 28 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

"It's definitely a pivotal moment in my career. I feel like there's going to be a before and after in my development as an artist and a person. Also, I think that about 90% of the places we go, my team and I have never been," she confessed. 

Young Miko will be performing today at 8:00 p.m. at The Strand in Rhode Island and tomorrow she will be at El Centro Night Club in Massachusetts. For more information on her performances, click here

"I think you can tell when I get up on stage how happy I am to be there. I hope everyone enjoys it with me.” 

The beginning

It was clear to Young Miko from a very young age that she wanted to pursue a career in music. After graduating from college, she began a master plan that would later turn her into the new sensation on the Latin trap scene. 

The first step in her plan was to start working as a tattoo artist to make her work known and build a solid fan base. She set a goal to release her first song as soon as she reached 6,000 followers on her Instagram account. To her surprise, she surpassed her goal and reached around 8,000 followers. With a $20 microphone and a SoundCloud account, Young Miko began the second phase of her plan: officially releasing her music. 

"I told myself that when I had a base of people interested in me not because of my physique or because I was gay, I was going to announce my music." And so it was from her bedroom in the municipality of Añasco, the 24-year-old singer recorded her first songs in 2018 and immediately began to resonate with the younger generation, the queer community, and trap fans on the island. 

Years later, the singer is known for being the new promise of Latin trap thanks to the strength of her punchlines, her ingenuity for rhyming and her natural bilingualism. But above all, she promotes lyrics that go along with her gender and sexuality, being one of the first artists in the genre that is openly lesbian. 

"Inclusion and equity is paramount to my music. Seeing people's reaction, seeing how they identify and feel they have a safe space in my music, is gas for the tank. It makes me want to keep doing what I do and much more," she said.

For Miko — as many affectionately call her — the future of reggaeton and trap is exactly what we are witnessing right now: inclusive lyrics, new voices and a more open mentality. In the singer's experience, audiences and new generations are reluctant to keep listening to more of the same and are looking to connect more through new ways of making and consuming music. 

The Tik Tok sensation

One of Young Miko's favorite platforms is TikTok, where she has over 1.5M followers and was recently recognized by Rompiendo, which highlights the success and impact of Latinx music and artists on the app, offering promotion, playlists and inclusion on TikTok radio. In addition to the visibility the platform has offered her, Young Miko confessed that TikTok gave her the opportunity she was looking for to globalize her music and connect more closely with her followers. 

Going by the statistics and the reach of her content on the app, there is no doubt that Young Miko is killing it on TikTok. Her hits "Lisa," "Riri" and "Classy 101" are the most popular songs to make dances and content. As an example, "Lisa" has seen nearly 695,000 recreations, amounting to over 543 million views since its release in March. 

But what she finds most satisfying about the app is finding her fans doing her dances and getting inspired by her music.

"It makes me laugh when I'm on the explore page scrolling and I see something about ‘Riri,’ ‘Lisa’ or ‘Classy.’ It's powerful to be part of something that is changing the world," said Miko.

Bilingualism and Spanglish in her lyrics

Bilingualism is a fundamental element in Young Miko’s career. It is something that comes innate to her since she grew up speaking Spanglish at home, at school and in her neighborhood. For her, being bilingual is a way to reach a wider audience and serve as a bridge for her music to travel beyond Puerto Rico. 

"Although being bilingual comes out on its own, I always try to keep it present in my songs and in everything I do," she said.

Poetry as inspiration

During an interview with Young Miko by Puerto Rican YouTuber Chente Ydrach, he referred to the artist as "the virtuoso of rhyme" and her fans couldn't agree more. In large part, her virtuosity is due to her love of poetry since she was in eighth grade. Throughout her high school years, Miko always preferred to take poetry classes in English. 

"At that time I dreamed of being an artist but I didn't think it was actually going to happen," Young Miko revealed to AL DÍA, emphasizing how important poetry has been in composing her music. She added that thanks to poetry, she knows how to manipulate words and how far she can take them. 

"To this day I think of my English [and poetry] teacher, I send you a hug if you are reading this interview. You were very important in my life, Miss Shannon." 

What would you say to the Young Miko of 2018?

"I would tell her to change absolutely nothing that she is doing. That she is exactly where she needs to be and where she needs to go. And that for what she was going through at the time, it's definitely worth it and it's all going to get better. I would tell her to enjoy the process from day one. I always enjoyed it, but sometimes the stress and the things that are going on around can blind you a little bit. If they throw me out again in 2018, I would do it exactly the same." 

Future plans

"Lots of music, lots of shows, lots of collaborations and little things that aren't music as well. Stay tuned, because the best is just to come!"
 

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