Taken from this week’s Future Pop mailer. Click here to subscribe.

Back in February 2012, I saw American singer-songwriter Mikky Ekko perform at a Music Week event. One of his songs stood out so much that I noted down the lyrics to look up when I got home. It was nowhere to be found online, so I forgot all about it until a few months later, when the song turned up as Rihanna’s new single. It was a bittersweet moment as Mikky was finally getting some exposure through featuring on the single, but he had given his best song to another artist, meaning he had nothing of the same standard to follow it up with.

Now Mikky is finally on course for another chart hit, though with a song that sounds very different to Stay, and yet again as a featured artist. Stranger, his pop-funk collaboration with Chris Malinchak, could be a lost Michael Jackson recording, or an out-take from Private's poptastic 2007 album My Secret Lover. It's a sound that you don't hear much of in the charts today so it stands out on the radio, and when done well, like this, it has the potential to be very successful.

Check out my original feature on Mikky from 2012 here.