Ken Leighton 6:48 a.m., Aug. 27
RIYL: Addiquit, MC Flow, MC Lyte, Special Ed, Gangstarr, Nice & Smooth
Upcoming Local Shows
- "Miki Vale: rapper, Scrabble gamer, lover of cats" · July 11, 2012
- "Kava Lounge New Open Mic Night Debuts June 1" · May 27, 2011
- "Strength in Numbers" · March 26, 2008
Influences: YoYo, MC Lyte, Public Enemy, Lauryn Hill, Nikki D, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Digable Planets, Brand Nubian, Jill Scott, Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson, Minnie Ripperton, Special Ed, Gangstarr, Nice & Smooth
“I’m a hip-hop artist, with ‘artist’ being the key word,” says MC and rapper Miki Vale. “My music is free-flowing. I do whatever I feel in the moment. My voice is the paint, the beat is my canvas. I create colorful sounds with words.”
Originally from Oxnard, Vale says, “I was voted class clown of my high school senior class and homecoming princess the same year, which seems like an oxymoron to me.”
In 2007, Vale was chosen by the editors of Billboard magazine as one of six finalists in DiscMaker's Independent Music World Series out of over 3000 artists. The same year, she was nominated for a San Diego Music Award for Best Hip-Hop Artist and Best Hip-Hop Album. “I always thought San Diego was a good place to try to make a mark on the music scene,” she says.
One of the city’s most socially conscious and politically active performers, Vale says, “Both music and politics could use more diversity. The racial climate in America is not one of acceptance of people of color, especially black people. One look at the racial representation in the House of Representatives will show that race is clearly not giving black people a boost in politics.”
As an activist, the Oxnard, CA native is the co-founder of the UPliftment Project, which sponsors events by socially aware artists. “[It’s] a series of events that showcase artists we feel are not only extremely talented but are also socially aware and using their music as a tool to spread a positive message. All the money raised from these events is donated to charitable organizations like the International Rescue Committee and the FTP [Feed the People] program.” FTP volunteers such as Vale gather every other Sunday to walk the streets and deliver bagged lunches to the homeless.
“It almost seems like people and the media are more concerned with which [hip-hop] artists are going to jail and rehab, rather than the positive contributions they are making to society,” says Vale. “As far as mainstream hip-hop artists, there are actually a lot who are making charitable contributions: Nelly, David Banner, Talib Kweli…Master P and his P. Miller Youth Centers are designed to take kids off the streets and provide education and financial literacy.”
Master P — a onetime San Diego Stingrays forward (as Percy Miller) — has also headed up several benefits for New Orleans flood victims.
As of 2010, Vale is also a DJ and event host. In early 2011, she released “The New Dope,” the first single off her debut full-length solo album. Around the same time, the KanKick 7 inch “Yes Yes (Suite 3)” featured Vale as guest vocalist.
A new single was made available online in late 2011, “Bending” featuring Georgia Anne Muldrow. Around the same time, Vale began hosting a new open mic night at Kava Lounge on the first Wednesday of every month.
In early 2012, she began hosting Eargasm Wednesdays at Mo J’s on Euclid Avenue. That summer, she won DJ Bille Knight’s San Diego Artist Search MC competition, taking home a $500 prize.