In this interview spotlight, we chat with Manchado about influences, his latest project, music consumption preferences, challenges as an indie musician and much more.
Full Q&A along with links and the video for Part 3: Wild Child below.
Let’s dive a little deeper into Manchado, the artist, and your music. What attracted you to these genres and styles?
Well, I’ve always been a fan of Pop music and it’s been a very big influence in what I do. As a kid I remember watching MTV where they would play a lot of American pop videos, I was just starstruck by it, it looked so foreign and different from my reality it almost seemed like a fantasy, maybe that why I was so attracted to it. Additionally, I like the way pop music delivers a message and idea or a feeling in a simple and effective way, that is something that I’ve always been fascinated by because it’s so powerful to be able to affect someone’s life in a 3-minute song.
Also, hip hop is a big influence in my sound, after moving to New York I was exposed to it. Before I only was into people like Kanye West, in Colombia hip hop is not really a thing, but in New York is everywhere and it was inevitable to be somehow influenced by it. I learned a lot about the production by listening to hip hop beats, I would go out dancing and would pay attention to the things that made people dance in songs and how to apply that to my own productions.
Add to that video games and anime, I’m really obsessed with characters like Naruto, Inuyasha and Yusuke Uremeshi who are misfits and lone wolves but end up being the hero of the series because of their nobility and love for other people, at the same time they are ego centric and introverted, which is something I can relate to.
I was always outcasted growing up even here in New York I feel like an outcast in them midsts of the art, queer or whatever community, but still I want to be a hero for those who also feel that they don’t belong to the scripts society gives them, an example for people to see that you can overcome any difficulty regardless of where you are in society. In this visuals and music I’m almost playing the anime hero I always wanted to be to overcome my problems and insecurities.
How long have you been creating and sharing your music with the public?
I’ve been working on music my whole life since I was 7. I started song writing because I found it difficult to express my self and my feelings by talking (still is the reason why I write it). I recorded and wrote songs probably since then, making my own beats and trying to make records in my bedroom.
I released my first song around 3 years ago when I came to New York. It was kind of punk rock, I was a very angsty teen and that kind of music captured that well. Then I kept dropping acoustic demos on Soundcloud, nothing really developed but I was learning how to make songs for the first year an half I lived here.
Then last year I released Break, which captured a lot of what I had been learning and putting together for years and really helped get people to know who I was.
Who or what influences your playing and writing? Also, what motivates you to keep going?
Well, writing wise I look up to people like Bob Dylan and bands like The Beatles. Bob Dylan has a great way to put his thoughts in his music and as someone who thinks a lot, I find his music very relatable and soothing. As for The Beatles, I love the way the are able to capture feelings in a very honest noncomplicated way that people can understand. When you understand a song you feel understood, listened, you feel that you matter. Music has saved my life on so many occasions and it helps me on a day to day all I can hope for is do the same for others.
As for performing it’s mixed, I like charismatic performers with very strong stage presence like Michael Jackson, Fredy Mercury, and Beyonce but also people that step out of the norm in their live sets like Kanye West or Grimes. I combine aspects of it in my shows, where I create my beats on the spot but then I also sing and dance, I tend to mix things that you wouldn’t usually go together.
And what keeps me going is seeing how people are inspired by my creations, the more that I’ve been working on making a living out of music the more I realize how insane of a goal it is, especially if you are doing something that is not the usual.
I love creating but the extra factors of putting your self out there annoy me for life, it’s like you have to climb this social ladder to be heard, I hate having to be cold blooded and all business even in the art/music world it seems like its all a fight to who is the coolest or who has the most views/followers/streams.
Still, when I play a show or some one comes to me and tell me how inspired they are by the way I dress or my music or my perseverance and how it makes them want to do it too really puts meaning to what I do.
Were you trying to accomplish anything specific with “Wild Child”? Creatively or otherwise?
Well, I wanted to finish the story that I started with Break and Out of Control, and I wanted to make a statement of the present time that we live in. We face an incredible amount of division in this world, always trying to put ourselves against something else (majority vs minority, rich vs poor, queer vs straight, USA vs whatever country), I even fell for it for a while and you can see it my past 2 videos. I was obsessed with the fact that I was stepped out of the norm and how that put me and those alike at war with those who followed societies standards.
Still, I think that way of thinking is poisonous and won’t do anything good for humanity. Instead is better to focus on compassion towards who are different, focusing on the things we have in common, focusing in the fact that we are all people. We all have a story and having more compassion towards others is the solution instead of pointing out what is wrong with someone’s attitude, opinion or actions. Understanding is the first step before conciliation.
What was the last song you listened to?
Piano Sonata No.16 in C Major, K546: I. Allegro – Mozart .
Which do you prefer? Vinyl? CDs? MP3s?
I love Vinyl! I never heard a vinyl record till l was 19, I pretty much grew up listening to music digitally. When I heard a record in Vinyl it was life changing, I really felt the emotion behind the songs like I never had, it was as if the band were in the room with me. There is something about analog that has an extra element that digital just can’t capture.
Still, I don’t really have a record player so I still listen to stuff on my computer or my phone, in the future I definitely want to get a record player and just have times to invite my friends to listen to records.
How about this one…. Do you prefer Spotify? Apple Music? Band camp? Or something else? Why?
Spotify is pretty much where I get all my music, I’ve been using it probably for 4 years now, I remember when It came out I was mind blown, before I used to just download the music, I had to label and organize it and it would take so much space from my computer, Spotify is the best thing has happened to music in 20 years, the interface is great, you pretty much have most of the music that has been released (if not eventually it will get there) and it’s already organized. I also love how there is so much variety in it, From Beethoven to Katy Perry to friends of mine that are musicians, it’s all there on one platform.
Other than the digital era overwhelming us with access to an abundance of music, what are one or two of the biggest challenges you face when trying to attract listeners to your music?
Well, I think the finances of it, there are so many aspects of making music, therefore It involves a lot of people which means also a lot of money. I’m all about investing in my music but also living in New York is very expensive and I gotta pay rent and eat.
Do you gig, tour or perform? Do you ever live stream? Where can music lovers see you live?
I don’t really live stream, I personally never watch any kind of stream and my philosophy is that if it’s something I wouldn’t watch or like or see I wouldn’t do it. I really want to tour but haven’t had the opportunity to do so, the moment I’m able to I will go as full out as I can. Live performance is my favorite part of the whole thing and I have so many ideas to develop a tour.
For now, the places that I perform vary, I can perform at music venues but also parties, clubs. My music is very versatile and can resonate with a wide amount of crowds. I always post on my Instagram or Facebook about gigs so If you want to know just follow me.
Where is the best place to connect with you online? Discover more of your music?
I think Instagram is the best, I used to hate it because it can be very poisonous and fake but it also has the ability to be a great to tool, to be honest and open with people in a moderate way, I’m a very visual person too so I post not just my music but clothes I make, my everyday thoughts, It a great way to get a glance of my personality. I love it when fans dm me and I do my best always reply.
Any last thoughts? Shout outs? Words of wisdom?
Shout out to the people that support me, from the people that work with me to the ones that go my shows and listen to my music and videos. Without any of these people I pretty much would be a guy making songs on his laptop. Shout out to my mom! She literally lifts me up in times where I’ve just wanted to quit. Last but not least God! Finding God has been a journey ever since I moved to New York and without it, I don’t think I would be here, always seek for God, it has you back, you just have to be open to it.
As for wisdom whoever is reading this try to be more compassionate, before you pass any judgment think of the world in the other person’s perspective, it will make you and everyone around happier.