INTERVIEW: Breakout Country Artist Manny Blu

Hi Manny, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

I’ve been good! I enjoyed my time off from touring in January. It allowed us to work on our set, incorporating the new songs that I can’t wait to release later this year. Now we’re excited to get back out on the road! 

Can you talk to us more about your upcoming single “Girls and Beer”?

I fell in love with “Girls and Beer” the minute I heard it. I loved it so much that we recorded it even though we weren’t working on my second EP at the time, I just wanted to get it out there so fans could hear it and (hopefully) love it as much as I did. I hope that it shows fans how I’ve grown and what they can expect from my next EP. 

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

This song talks about things that I know are a reality for all of us in the band. After hearing it I knew that it was the perfect way to incorporate the boys in the band into a larger part of this journey we’re on together. This song isn’t mine alone, it’s ours and that is a powerful thing for us as a group. 

How was the filming process and experience behind the video?

We don’t have an official music video for this single, but the acoustic video we did was filmed in a beautiful studio in Nashville. It was a really cool experience because of the acoustics and scenery — it was all just pretty unreal.

The single comes off your new album Leave It Like It Is – what’s the story behind the title?

The title “Leave It Like It Is” came from a lyric in the song “Like It Like That” I was trying to get creative and totally ended up overthinking the name. I didn’t want to name the album the title of a song because personally  I don’t like that, so a lyric that really spoke to me felt right. To me this title is a reminder to enjoy the process and to not worry about things I can’t control.

How was the recording and writing process?

The process of recording down in Nashville is like no other. BlackBird studios is an unbelievable place to record an album and I feel so fortunate that I got to experience that! John Willis, the producer of “Leave It Like It Is” was really easy to work with, and made it easy to learn. So when I went into the studio for the next album, I knew exactly what I wanted and had a better understanding of the way it all works.

What role does Nashville play in your music?

Nashville is everything. It taught me that there are many different colors in country music and that I can add other influences in my music. The next EP will be a good demonstration of that with the mix of Blues and Southern Rock that we added to it.

How would you say your entire musical perspective changed as you move into the City of Music?

Music City has so much going on musically and it showed me that there isn’t just one way to make country music. It taught me very quickly that there are many types of music in Nashville and that all influences are welcome and even encouraged. 

You get to work with some other great people – how did they come on board?

It’s a city of like minded people, and folks that are really generous with their time and knowledge. I noticed that as long as you keep an open mind and are willing to learn, want to participate and work hard, people are willing to help and teach and participate themselves.

What did they bring to the table?

They brought everything I couldn’t (haha). I definitely have a really strong, supportive team behind me, and it’s so helpful as a young artist to have that kind of guidance and knowledge on your side. I don’t think I could be nearly as advanced in my career as I am now without every single one of them in my corner.

Do you tend to take a different approach when collaborating with someone else rather than working on your own?

Yes, most definitely. When we’re together we work as a team and the best idea is what we use to move forward. Every day is a team effort with everyone involved being a really big contributing member.

Where else did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

Songs and lyrics come to me from a variety of sources (writing rooms, friends, other artsits, etc.) and generally the more I connect with the better chance those songs/lyrics have a chance of making the album. Without that initial connection to a melody or a lyrical phrase a song might never make it to a record or a live performance but once I connect with a song I can hardly wait to perform it live for my fans.

How has the road been treating you so far?

The road is a weird thing! It is always a lot of fun, playing every night, hanging out with the band…but after a while you start to miss home a little bit. Then I’m home for a while, working on a new album or creating a new show, and I start to miss the road. Like I said, it’s a weird thing, the road! 

Any highlights?

Some highlights have been meeting fans and making new ones. There’s nothing cooler than when someone tells me they had never heard my music before and they became fans at the show. There’s a little something about someone telling me what they’re favourite song is, or where else they’ve seen me play. But above all, the real fun on the road is when things happen that are unpredictable and you’ve gotta just roll with it.

What would you say you have learned from your experiences actually touring and playing some of the biggest events out there?

The biggest thing I’ve learnt was just how to be a pro. When you play a lot of shows back to back to back, you quickly learn how to take care of yourself. Stage time is also huge and there’s no way to get better as a performer than actually being on stage and doing it.

What else is happening next in Manny Blu’s world?

We will be touring almost everyday during the month of March, then we’ll officially release “Girls and Beer” which will get fans ready for the release of my next album. 2020 is going to be a busy year!

To stay up to date on where to catch Manny Blu next and learn more about the new album check out his website or follow along on Instagram.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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