World­star shin­ing with ‘#Shades’

The Star Late Edition - - TONIGHT -

SOUTH African-born Con­golese hip hop artist Manu World­star has his sights set on the big time. With two hit sin­gles to his name and an album just around the cor­ner, this ris­ing star isn’t let­ting any­one stop his shine.

His lat­est sin­gle #Shades dropped last week and started trend­ing within min­utes.

The 22 year old, whose real name is Em­manuel Mu­tendji, was born in Jo­han­nes­burg to Con­golese par­ents.

“Jo­han­nes­burg is all I know, so I call it home, al­though Con­golese blood runs through me. Life grow­ing up was cool. I loved be­ing out­doors with my friends. I was never a re­served kid. I had the cra­zi­est times. The only bad times I re­mem­ber as a kid was when some of the kids re­alised that I’m from this coun­try but not re­ally from this coun­try. So they used to dis­crim­i­nate,” he said.

It was that ex­pe­ri­ence that made Manu shy away from peo­ple, but it never stopped him from fall­ing in love with mu­sic.

“I fell in love with mu­sic at a pretty young age. I used to ac­com­pany my mother to choir re­hearsals every Tues­day af­ter­noon. I would sit in the back of the room and just lis­ten to the sounds and try im­i­tate what I was hear­ing very qui­etly. This was around the time I was 10 years old. I knew I had the tal­ent then. I was just too shy to do any­thing about it,” he said.

When he was 14, his cousin played him a record they had recorded. “I still re­mem­ber how the song went: “Every time it rains, sum­mer’s com­ing home.” That’s how the hook went. I was blown away. I started chill­ing with my older cousins. I used to watch them play Def Jam Icon and lis­ten to 50 Cent and Joe Bud­den. That was my in­tro­duc­tion to hip hop. I loved how un­apolo­getic the genre was. It resonated with me.”

Fast for­ward to 2017 and Manu is mak­ing a name for him­self in the in­dus­try. He was on the re­cent sea­son of The Hus­tle.

“The Hus­tle was was an in­ter­est­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. Be­ing on it taught me to al­ways be pre­pared for what­ever and that’s it re­ally. Noth­ing more. Noth­ing less,” he said.

Speak­ing about his lat­est sin­gle, Manu re­vealed it took about two months to put the mu­sic to­gether.

“I started work­ing on #Shades about two months be­fore it dropped. We had a house party and mu­sic video shoot at my man­ager’s house and at our Punch­line par­ties, we usu­ally have a freestyle ses­sion. We play a lot of beats by The Ur­ban Lu­natic (Luna Florentino) and ev­ery­one just starts spazz­ing. Any­way, Luna plays this one beat and it’s sound­ing mad wavy! DEE (DEEXCLSV fea­tures on the hit track) looks right at me and yells out, “Yo. We live baby!” I im­me­di­ately re­spond by singing “We so live!” Then I saw some­one rock­ing #Shades and I start singing: “I be rid­ing round town with my #Shades on, we so live!” DEE and I went crazy when we re­alised that we had just made a banger of a hook in the midst of chaos. Luna heard it in stu­dio and went mad. So we gave him a verse too,” he said.

He also said that #Shades is about the sum­mer. “This sin­gle re­minds me of ev­ery­thing good about sum­mer. It sounds like be­ing in a drop­top with your friends, en­joy­ing a few drinks and en­joy­ing the breeze through your hair with your #Shades on.”

Com­par­ing #Shades to his first sin­gle, Yewen, Manu said there is a huge dif­fer­ence.

“Yewen was strictly for the streets. Them trap kids loved the record. It is a hard-hit­ting record. #Shades is more of an ur­ban feel, good vibe. It’s a head-bop­per of a track. It’s an un­forced mo­ment. This record is also more fe­male friendly. Rock­ing #Shades is some­what of a con­fi­dence booster. When you rock #Shades you feel ex­tra good. This record feels ex­tra good to lis­ten too,” he said.

Manu, who notes 50 Cent, Usher, G-Unit, Chris Brown and Drake as just some of his mu­si­cal in­flu­ences, said his mu­sic is all about the mo­ments.

“I’d de­scribe my sound as mo­ments. When you play one of my songs, pick any, you’ll get trapped in that ex­act mo­ment. It’s like you’ll be walk­ing in my shoes. I love to tell sto­ries in my mu­sic. Whether the song be hyped up or slowed down. I keep the same style. Mu­sic is all about mo­ments,” he said.

On his plans for the rest of the year, Manu said that he is work­ing on more mu­sic. “I’m work­ing on an­other sin­gle I might drop if I get the big fea­ture I want.

“The fea­ture seems like it’s go­ing to hap­pen. I just don’t want to jinx it. I’ve also been work­ing on my ‘Ne­gro Pi­casso’ project. It will drop early next year.”

Hip hop artist Manu World­star’s lat­est sin­gle, dropped last week and started trend­ing within min­utes ... ‘It re­minds me of ev­ery­thing good about sum­mer.’

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