Recording Artist, Actor drops genre defying album
DETROIT – Mike Ellison hails from Ethiopia, grew up in Virginia and fully realized himself as an artist in Detroit. With his new release, Flytanium, the multi-faceted performer combines a global sensibility and incisive poeticism with musical influences ranging from hip-hop to classic soul and electronica.
Ellison’s seductive tenor and passionate approach make him difficult to categorize. He offers self-reflective, relatable lyrics, providing a poet’s perspective and the rhythmic wordsmith skills of an experienced rapper. Yet throughout Flytanium Ellison avoids repetitive flows and cadences in favor of a delivery that changes from one song to the next. The result is a confident, potent and buoyant album.
Listeners will find Flytanium to be both sincere and sexy, both danceable and cerebral. “Surrender,” is instantly compelling, with a melodic mood that seeps under the skin. This stirring composition layers Ellison’s personal lyrics about sacrifice and failure with captivating music by composer Mark Chu and an ethereal chorus sung by promising artist Jessica Hernandez.
Flytanium boasts many more golden moments, including “Stepping Into Destiny,” “Now Is Infinite” and “Save It All,” which welcomes legendary bassist James Jamerson, Jr. to a track that explores the complexities of relationships. The project’s vast musicality is a dynamic that Ellison credits to collaborating with Chu. “Our creative process was effortless and organic,” he says. “Mark’s sound transcends trends.” From start to finish, Flytanium blends the past, present and future into a gratifying, cohesive continuum.
– Alexa Stanard