Nate Smith Shares ‘Fly (For Mike)’ Single Featuring Brittany Howard

Acclaimed jazz drummer/composer/producer Nate Smith tapped Brittany Howard to contribute beautiful vocals and co-write his new single “Fly (For Mike).” The track appears on Smith’s forthcoming Kinfolk 2: See The Birds, which is due out through Edition Records on September 17.

Kinfolk 2 is the second installment in a trilogy from Smith charting his musical progression. Nate, a member of Vulfpeck offshoot The Fearless Flyers, previously released Kinfolk: Postcards From Everywhere in 2017. Contributors to the upcoming 11-track LP include Howard, Amma Whatt, Living Colour guitarist Vernon Reid, violinist Regina Carter, vibraphonist Joel Ross, rapper Kokayi and Michael Mayo as well as Mint Condition’s Stokley Williams.

“Fly (For Mike)” comes in honor of Smith’s father, who passed away in 2015. Howard sings on the track as Nate collaborated with Brittany on her Grammy-winning debut solo album, Jaime, in 2019. Saxophonist Jaleel Shaw, guitarist Brad Allen Williams and keyboardist Jon Cowherd each take solos on “Fly (For Mike).”

“Every time I fly, I think of my late father, to whom this song is dedicated,” explained Smith. “When I wrote it, I wanted the music to evoke a feeling of freedom from suffering. I’m so grateful that Brittany wrote such gorgeous lyrics, and sang them so beautifully. It’s my hope that this song will bring comfort to anyone who has experienced loss, along with the reassurance that their loved ones are no longer suffering.”

“It is no secret that I consider Nate to be one of the best drummers on Earth,” added Howard. “I feel so lucky to share the stage with him and have him in my band. I was honored to be asked to co-write and sing a song on his new album. It took on extra special meaning when I learned it was about his late father who I know was such an important figure in his life. So many folks have experienced loss over this past year and a half and I hope this song in some way helps those struggling right now get through these challenging times.”

Stream Nate Smith’s “Fly (For Mike)” below:

Kinfolk 2: See The Birds Tracklist

  1. Attitude
  2. Square Wheel
  3. Band Room
  4. Street Lamp
  5. Don’t Let Me Get Away
  6. Collision
  7. Meditation Prelude
  8. Rambo The Vigilante
  9. I Burn For You
  10. See The Birds
  11. Fly (For Mike)