Review of Ivory Blue Music
Artist Biography by Mark Deming
A singer and songwriter whose music is a passionate fusion of full-bodied rock and contemporary folk, with a dash of pop hooks and a healthy dose of swagger, Ivory Blue is an artist dedicated to breaking down barriers and defying staid conventions.
A non-binary transgender individual, Ivory Blue has attracted nearly as much attention for their courage as for their music. Born in the Midwest, Ivory Blue lived a nomadic existence until settling in Kansas City, Missouri and becoming part of the local musical community.
After winning a nationwide talent contest in 2017, Ivory Blue was championed by fashion designer and music executive John Varvatos and landed a deal with Big Machine Label Group, who released their single "Ready Get Set" in June 2018.
Ivory Blue was born Devin Miclette in Illinois and spent most of their childhood in Indiana. They experienced a great deal of emotional turmoil as a child; Miclette was put up for adoption at the age of four and lived with several foster families until they were adopted when they were nine. Miclette experienced conflict with their new family, who could not accept their sexuality, and by the time Miclette was 14, they had picked up the guitar and began writing songs to make sense of their feelings. At 15, Miclette ran away from home and traveled across the country, playing occasional gigs when the opportunity presented itself. In 2010, Miclette settled in Kansas City, Missouri and began refining their performance style, using digital looping pedals to stack harmonies and guitar parts live on-stage, giving their solo shows the feel of a full band. By this time, Ivory Blue began attracting an intense regional following for their strong vocals and incisive, deeply personal lyrics. By 2015, Ivory Blue was playing regularly in and around Kansas City as well as touring throughout the United States, and had brought aboard the rhythm section of bassist Keenan Franklin and drummer Glen Hockemeier. Ivory Blue made their recorded debut with an independent EP, Ready Get Set, in the summer of 2016. While the EP helped spread the word about Ivory Blue, their big break would come in 2017, when they entered NeXt2rock, a nationwide talent search to find fresh and promising rock artists.
Sponsored by Kansas City's KCFX and KCJK, Ivory Blue won over the judges, including Scott Borchetta of Big Machine Label Group, designer and label head John Varvatos, noted songwriter Desmond Child, former Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones, and Bush vocalist Gavin Rossdale. Ivory Blue was the grand prize winner and landed a record deal with BMLG in tandem with John Varvatos Records. After recording their first single for BMLG.
Undaunted, Ivory Blue's new recording of "Ready Get Set" was released in June 2018, and began receiving international airplay within weeks.