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Crosscurrents is our award-winning radio news magazine, broadcasting Mondays through Thursdays at 5 p.m. on 91.7 FM. We make joyful, informative stories that engage people across the economic, social, and cultural divides in our community. Click here to listen to full episodes.

Miko Marks on Her New Album and Black Roots in Country Music

Miko Marks 2020-3.jpg
Beto Lopez, Mooncricket Films
Miko Marks

Country singer Miko Marks took a hiatus from the studio that lasted more than a decade. The Oakland-based artist is back with new music and speaking on the need for more diversity in the genre.

June is Black Music Appreciation Month, and that includes country music. The genre has roots in the African-American community. Black artists laid the foundation for country music, but systemic racism pushed Black artists out. Now more Black artists are on the rise in country music.

In [the Black] community there is this thing that country music is for white people. That is so not true because we’re part of the foundational bricks of the genre.

Country singer Miko Marks is back with her first album in more than a decade. It’s called “Our Country.” The Oakland-based singer’s career was taking off when she debuted onto the country music scene in the early 2000’s. But the racism she experienced as a Black woman and pressures to change her image made her disillusioned with the music industry. So she stepped away and just stuck to performing. A dream inspired her to return to the studio and record with the local independent label Redtone Records. Miko talks about the need for the country music industry to open the door for more artists of color and her new album.