Written by Ashli K.
A man, his dog, and his music.
Mannywellz, the curator, producer, writer and skinny kid from the DMV by way of Nigeria, is hard at work, paving his way as a musician. Not only does he deliver as an artist, he delivers in everything he places his hands on. Coming from a completely different culture, he has always remained true to himself and his morals. He continues to show this through his music and his everyday life.
This summer has been a great one for the artist so far and luckily we’ve had the chance to witness it all. On June 9th, Mannywellz opened for Bibi Bourelly, and his performance was nothing short of amazing. Manny and his live band set the vibe for the night and put on a great show. The most exciting part about it was getting a listen into some of his new music. The artist tells us Soulfro is “Music from the soul with afro elements” and he showed this through his entire performance while pulling out the talking drum on stage.
He took it even further and gave his fans a private listen to his forthcoming project, set to be released in August. The listening session was an intimate evening between Mannywellz and his fans. We got the chance to experience the music for the first time while pairing it with the artist’s perspective–directly from Manny himself.
Watch the recap below.
The first single from the project, “Wrong Place” has already been making waves, amassing over 100k plays in just a month, and landing him a spot on Apple Music’s Beats1 Show. Listen Here.
During our time with him in his studio, we saw a glimpse of the promising talent he possesses. He opened up a brand new box of equipment (Boss RC 5050 to be exact) and just started playing with the machine for the first time ever. He created his own beat with his own vocals. It was quite remarkable. Check it out below.
Below is an excerpt from our 20-minute interview with the artist and his dog, Basie.
Describe a typical day in the life of Mannywellz?
Aw man, wake up, prayer, depending on where I am. I’m blessed enough to wake up every day and just go to the studio and work on songs whether it’s for myself or for other people. I like reading, especially about music and I like reading the bible. I think the bible is…actually the Bible is the best book out there. So yeah that’s me.
What is the “Ife Life” and how does it pertain to Mannywellz?
Ife means love in Yoruba. The Ife Life (abreviated as TIL) is a movement that spreads real and authentic love through art and the first form of art is music. I just go about my daily life spreading love whether you’re black, white, short or tall. I believe that love is the cure for everything. It’s so cliche but it’s very true. If people in the world loved more there would be less crime and less tragedy and all these things going on.
What is Soulfro?
Soulfro is music from the soul with afro elements. It’s not afro soul, like people say it is. It’s just afro elements that allow me to navigate through various genres. From rock to hip-hop, whether I want to just rap, whether I just want to do some stuff on trap beats, it’s like afro meets all these genres so that’s why it’s Soulfro and the content comes from my soul.
For more from our sit-down with Mannywellz check out the full video interview below!
Interview conducted by Ashli K.
Photography by Kanmiwest