Interview with Manumit

We first introduced you to hugely talented, multi-instrumentalist, genre defying artist Manumit back in March, on the eve of releasing his debut EP. 

A lot has happened since then and after announcing the release of a new single and video I felt it was time to catch up with the mysterious man himself.

Since we last spoke to you you’ve released an EP called ‘Fuck Genre’s, Love Music’, how was that?  The EP has been received really well. Tracks from the EP have featured on a number of different radio stations including Radio 1 Wales with Adam Walton. As one rock publication pointed out, because the EP encompassed so many genres mashed up together, it could have swung either way. Either people were going to get on board with it as it had a bit of everything in there or were going to hate it because it had a bit of everything in there. It was almost a Marmite situation, ha ha. But thankfully, it has done really well. And it has managed to win over plenty of people who would never even contemplate listening to EDM.

The video for ‘Walk Away’ from that EP is number 2 in Top Ten Fresh Videos on Scuzz TV, pretty damn impressive, how did that come about?  It was a dream come true. Our publicist gave the station a call, talked us up a bit and got put through to the Channel Manager Alex. He checked ‘Walk Away’ out on Youtube and absolutely loved it. He was already asking us for more songs and videos before even playing this one! He told us even the people in his office were loving it. So the following day we sent over the video and he tells us that he’s putting us in The Top 10 Fresh New Videos which runs for about a week. It was huge news. We all sat down and watched the day it was going out. The show started and Biffy Clyro were number 10! I thought to myself ‘We’re on the same show as Biffy Clyro? That can’t be right…’ The numbers kept going down and Bullet For My Valentine were number 6. Then Deftones. Then Limp Bizkit. By the time it got to No. 3, I was really starting to doubt we were going to be on the show. No. 2 came on and there we were! We’re also on general rotation during the day. It would mean the world to us to stay on there so if people can keep requesting and watching it then it will be.

You’ve just announced a new full length album ‘Digital & Hostile’, which is due to come out at the end of this year/beginning of next year, how does it differ from ‘Fuck Genre’s, Love Music’?  It differs massively. ‘Fuck Genre’s, Love Music’ was almost my way of finding my feet, trying new things and working out a direction to take in the future. So the tracks varied massively in style and approach. The one track that stood out the most was ‘Walk Away’. It had the right tone, the right idea, the right ingredients to make a successful catchy song. Not to rubbish the rest of the EP, I’m still very proud of it. But coming from a traditional song writing background, it made sense to me that tracks like ‘Walk Away’ would be the definitive path for the future. Even the fans were nagging for more tracks with singing. This record will be a lot darker, with fully developed, catchy, powerful choruses and hooks. It will certainly live up to its title.

Have you been recording with other people, or is it just you?  On this record, Skullfunk (who sang the screaming parts on ‘Walk Away’) will be featured on a number of the album tracks with myself. His vocals just fit the tone of the songs ideally. There’s also a slow, chilled dubstep track on the record called ‘Your Body Giving Up’ which features the vocal talents of Tanyth Roberts. I really can’t wait for people to hear that as she has an incredible voice and is relatively unknown at this point. We’ll be cutting a video for that track in a few months but our 1st single from this album will be ‘Can You Hear Us’ which will be released Saturday September 7th digitally everywhere with a music video coming out just a few days before.

You are famed for your full-on live performances, how important is the live setting for you?  When I started to create tracks as Manumit, I wasn’t completely sure how I wanted to present them live. I was asked to open up for Man Without Country at Hobos Bridgend last year and I came on and performed a DJ set of the tracks I was developing. I absolutely hated it. Coming from a rock and metal background, I’ve always presented my music to this point with live instruments. It felt so wrong just djing and beat matching the tracks. So I went about putting a real live performance together with live guitars, vocals and drums. The last couple of shows have been a massive success and the fans have repeatedly said that it makes the tracks sound absolutely huge. So the live setting is extremely important to me. You can’t beat discovering something real in a venue and witnessing the magic for yourself over finding a track on youtube or soundcloud. Discovering any music in any form or via any method is important but it just moves me emotionally when I’m witnessing something in a live situation.

Which do you prefer, Studio or Live?  It’s hard to say. I love both for different reasons. Just being able to sit at my work station and hammering out some keys and developing synth sounds is so much fun and engaging. But then, performing on stage and seeing people getting off on what you’re producing is unreal. When I launched ‘FG, LM’ at Hobos, I had girls chasing me as I walked to the green room after the show. It was a very surreal moment.

You draw from so many genre’s of music, what are you listening to at the moment?  I am extremely eager to hear Nine Inch Nails new record ‘Hesitation Marks’. Trent Reznor has been away from it for quite sometime now and being a long standing fan of his work, I am over moon that he’s back in the saddle writing again. ‘Came Back Haunted’ and ‘Copy Of A’ are really cool tracks. I’ve also really liked Korns latest track ‘Never Never’ (which seems to maintain the digital edge but move away from Dubstep a bit) and TRC’s latest track ‘We Bring War’ is absolutely brutal. I’m also flirting with some Deadmau5, Kill The Noise, Modestep, Koan Sound and Seven Lions on Soundcloud.

What does the future hold for Manumit? More gigs? Tour?  Right now, the plan is to capitalise on our Scuzz TV debut as much as possible. Our next single and music video for ‘Can You Hear Us’ will be the next big thing for us. Beyond that, we’re going to work really hard to make our three upcoming shows at Hobos 7th September, Camden Barfly 14th September and Ebbw Vale Institute 28th as insane and fun as possible as well as get this album in the bag and out for press and reviews. Don’t be surprised if we consider a tour next year and some festival dates. Just keep your eyes on our social media pages. We will keep you informed…

The single release for ‘Can You Hear Us?’ will be at Hobo’s in Bridgend on the 7th of September, and make sure you check out and request ‘Walk Away’ on Scuzz.

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