“Country music is the people’s music. It just speaks about real life and about truth and it tells things how they really are.” – Faith Hill
Miko Marks and Tookta Topline are two women who have both embraced and recoiled from the major music scenes in Nashville and Thailand before finding their true voices in San Francisco. Join us for a night of musical performance and conversation about how race and sexuality challenge what we think about country music. Revel in their musical talent while exploring each of their journeys as immensely talented musicians who don’t fit the industry mold.
This immersive experience will reimagine The Commonwealth Club as an intimate, limited-capacity music venue for one night only! Delicious bites and drinks will be served as you mingle and engage directly with our artists.
Co-presented by World Affairs, Michelle Meow and The Commonwealth Club of California
Featured In The Country Music Hall Of Fame American Currents: State Of The Music
Miko’s deftly blends country, blues, southern rock and even gospel to create a sound and experience that has literally brought every audience to its feet. Miko’s life as a Black woman in country and roots music is only a small part of the story. After living what seems to be multiple lives over, Miko has finally come into the life she was born to live – one of truth, authenticity, vulnerability, joy and honesty. Recent EPs include: Our Country, described by the Wall Street Journal a “genre and industry-defying mission”; Race Records, which shined a light on the arbitrary divisions forced upon artists and audiences in the early days of music marketing in the 1940s; and the critically-acclaimed Feel Like Going Home. Miko debuted at the renowned country music venue the Grand Ole Opry in 2022.
Tookta is a famous Thai Molam (folk, country) singer. She started singing at the tender age of 12 years old. Her sound and genre is specific to the Isaan region of Thailand. She has performed for an audience of over 100k on Mother’s Day for Thailand’s Queen. In addition to a successful career as a Molam singer,Tookta has also performed as a popular stand up comedian. Tookta’s latest release elevates the music style to expand beyond traditional narrative themes, inspired by LGBTQ+ activists and their own lived experience and has been embraced by millions pursuing a more inclusive Thailand during a tumultuous political period this year.
Marisol Medina-Cadena, KQED Arts & Culture reporter/producer
Michelle Meow, host, “The Michelle Meow Show”