Oakland’s Roller Skating Country Singer is Back with a New Album

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Miko Marks
Miko Marks (Amanda Lopez)


We've all seen them by now: groups of roller skaters flying around basketball courts, and solo skaters mastering their balance in empty parking lots.

This spike in popularity is something that Miko Marks applauds. She's a longtime skater who has used her musical talent to shine light on the joys of skating.

In the fall of 2019, we interviewed her about taking a quick break from country music to write a roller skating anthem: a vibey R&B song called "Roll Out."

In her latest project, Race Records, she's come back to her roots as a country singer.

"[Race Records] took race music and songs that were considered hillbilly music back in the 1920s... and we put a person of color's voice on those songs... We just kind of flipped the script because hillbilly and race music are the same. The music comes from the same place, so we wanted to highlight the fact that Black people were a part of country music's foundation when it started."

Given that there's been a whole pandemic, a rise in the popularity of rollerskating and new music released that speaks to Miko's origins as a singer, we figured it'd be good to check in with Miko Marks for this week's show.

Rightnowish is an arts and culture podcast produced at KQED. Listen to it wherever you get your podcasts or click the play button at the top of this page and subscribe to the show on NPR One, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, TuneIn, Stitcher or wherever you get your podcasts.

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