While people in truth struggle to pronounce the nineteen year old MNEK’s name, they have no trouble in appreciating his music.
The cliché ‘whirlwind’ comes to mind when thinking of his ascendancy to the go to producer, singer and songwriter for number one hits-think Duke Dumont’s globally huge track Need You 100% (2013) which he co-wrote with Amy Kabba and Adam Dyment.
As busy as he is, I managed to get a short 5 mins with one of the UK’s most wanted artists (pre his MOBO performance) to talk about his headline performance for Westfield’s latest live music project the MUSIC CUBE. An innovative concept combining live music with tech and design MNEK along with (Neon Jungle) will be one the first headline acts to bring this latest live music event to an eager music audience.
I recently saw a double spread on you in the Evening Standard-how is a Lewisham lad dealing with this growing adulation?
Feels great, it means whatever I’m doing is working, which is a rather gratifying feeling.
When did you decide you wanted to make music and make a career of it?
I grew up on my parents’ playlists which made me want to make my own music-it’s the only thing I’ve ever wanted to do.
You are a triple threat being a singer, songwriter and a producer-how naturally do these different disciplines come to you?
Very naturally each of them playing a part in each other-all hats are on- wherever I go.
You have written/produced for some huge acts any tracks you have written or produced that you wish you had kept for yourself?
Never-everything I write is for the artist in mind.
You skip across a plethora of different genres but where if possible does your heart really (the high top would suggest circa 1990’s RnB)?
I love 90’s rnb, it was just the centre of really great music. At the same time, I didn’t want to make a 90’s rnb album-I wanted my influences to be clear without coming across pastiche.
Indeed focusing on your own music for you-does that change how you approach your creative process?
The great thing is I’ve grown up and finally made an album that I’m really proud of and feel like I’m creating a lane for something new via my own music. What I will say is that making music for me means I am less prolific – I suppose by choice-my album stuff I’m a bit more precious about.
Are you scared of now trying to push a MNEK project now?
Always but about everything other than the music- I’m confident in what I make.
Any surprises for your headline show at the MUSIC CUBE?
MUSIC CUBE is a new way for people to experience and interact with live music so I’m looking forward to interacting with fans in such a different way so no doubt that will be something a bit different for my fans… and for me!
Name an emerging act that you are for?
MUSIC CUBE is also about supporting up-and-coming independent talent so I’m hoping to see some cool, new acts on when I perform on Saturday 25th October. I’m really rooting for Shakka though, I think he’s one of the most exciting acts out and severely underrated. I also love Billie Black, I think she’s stunning.
To win two tickets to MNEK’s show on the 25th October click LINK