CRAVE: Hi Manic. ! Excited to be talking with you. I want to start by asking you to give me a rundown on exactly what Manic. is?
Manic.: Manic. is a project that I started roughly 4 years ago when I was in Denver. I produce & write the songs, but I perform with a band. At the time, I was very unhappy and very at odds with myself. But starting this project was a rebirth for me. It was my way of beginning a new chapter & finally deciding to be my own person and to dig deeper.
CRAVE: Can you tell me a little bit about your previous project, Defy You Stars?
Manic.: For about 5 years I sang for a pop-punk/alternative rock outfit called Defy You Stars. It was a wild time. We never “made it” or “blew up” so to speak, but we became pretty successful locally. We headlined Summit Music Hall & played a bunch of venues around town, played a few Warped Tour dates, made a record, & did a little bit of touring. It was my first real band that did anything kind of serious. I was still just learning how to write songs. It was a big learning experience. There are actually pieces of some of those songs that are going to be in some of the new material.
CRAVE: I saw that this band was formed in 2015. Why the inactivity until now?
Manic.: I initially launched the project very prematurely. I was so excited to get back on stage that I hadn’t stopped to really develop my new sound or to really process everything going on in my life at the time. I ended up temporarily shelving the project while I wrote and produced for a handful of artists. I ended up selling and throwing away many of my things, packing what I could into my car, and leaving Colorado. I have been traveling since then. I’ve spent time in New Orleans, Boston, Atlanta, Raleigh, Dallas, Destin, among other places. I wrote a lot during that time, but May of 2018 is when I finally started heading in the right direction. That’s when I found the sound and things really started moving.
CRAVE: Tell me a little bit about New Orleans, where you come from. How did growing up in New Orleans influence your music? How did you find your way to Denver?
Manic.: There is no place quite like it, especially in the states. New Orleans has a certain soul & energy to it. It’s unafraid to be exactly what it is. It’s rough around the edges & real. If there are ghosts or spirits in this world, they are definitely in New Orleans. I grew up in Metairie, which I guess is to New Orleans as Arvada is to Denver. My mom bartended on Bourbon Street for 27 years. I grew up going to parades, music festivals, jazz clubs, and all that jazz (lol). Both I & my music have at least a few things in common with New Orleans. The city is rich with a melancholy that I maybe express in my own way in all of my music. Not so much in the singles, but I have some songs that I use some very jazzy & bluesy techniques. I don’t even always do it intentionally. The city definitely influenced my musical vocabulary. I love sax, trumpet, & piano. I moved to Denver after hurricane Katrina actually. That is a very long story.
CRAVE: Your debut single releases on 9/27. What are you most excited about as you get started with this project?
Manic.: To me, this is the first time I’ve released music. I feel like I’ve been having many of these emotions and hearing a lot of these sounds in my head for a long time. It is nice for it to finally be out in the open. I can’t wait to see how it makes people feel and to hopefully build a bit of a community around it.
CRAVE: Is there anything else you would like to add?
YManic.: You are only restricted by your own imagination. Don’t let anyone tell you what you can & can’t do or who you are supposed to love. Distance yourself from selfish & toxic people with closed minds. There is no challenge thrown your way that you cannot overcome. Those who say the world cannot change are just afraid or they benefit from it staying the same. Take a chance, do not take the people you love for granted and don’t hide. Speak up for those who can’t, and stay hydrated. Together we can bridge the divide between us. It starts with this.