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Q&A / Manocchs

What or who inspired you to start making music?

  • I grew up in a family that was very immersed in music. My mom was a go-go dancer on a TV show called UPBEAT where she can be seen dancing with famous acts of the time like Stevie Wonder and James Brown, and my dad was a former VP for Atlantic and BMG records. The most direct influence though was probably my brother who is 9 years older than me and played guitar, which got me to pick up the guitar at a young age.


What is your creative process like when making music?

  • I usually start by picking up the guitar or loading up a piano VST and messing around with some chords and melodic ideas until I find something I like and then start building a basic beat and arrangement early on so that I don't get stuck in a 4 or 8 bar loop. I used to mostly make music at night but I'm starting to find that I like to start writing in the morning with my cup of coffee. 


What is your favorite season and why?

  • Its funny because when I was young I loved the winter but now its the complete opposite and I've become a summer person. My birthday is two days after Christmas and I grew up snowboarding a lot so I think that really played into my love of winter. It's pretty flat where I live now though so theres not much snowboarding to do unless I travel and Ive really started to enjoy the longer summer days and the warmth. I'm a freeze baby these days. 


What inspires you the most in your daily life? Why?

  • When it comes to music, day to day life is a big inspiration for me. Part of the reason I used to like writing at night was because I would like to capture the feeling of that day or recent happenings in my music, but now that I've started writing more in the mornings, it's been more about capturing how I feel in the moment or recreating a recent feeling I've experienced. 


If you could tell every person in the world one thing, what would it be?

  • Don't worry too much, relax, everything happens for a reason. It's easy to get caught up in everything happening in the world and everything we have to deal with on a day-to-day basis and feel a sense of impending doom or stuck in a bad situation. Make sure to take time to breathe, relax, recharge, and focus on appreciating what gives you joy and know that if you're in a really tough spot it gets better and it won't be that way forever. 


Where do you feel the most centered and happy?

  • Recently, in my studio in my new house making music surrounded by my girlfriend, our dog, and our cat. It's been a nice little sanctuary where I can create and unwind while being surrounded with love :).


If you could relive one moment from your life, which would it be?

  • I would love to go back to one of the many days I would spend skateboarding in my driveway/ neighborhood growing up hanging out with my old friends, and being able to visit with my mom. I lost my mom when I was 18 so I would love to have any chance to reconnect with her and just sit and talk, and some of my best memories were of summer days spent outside skateboarding all day with my friends that I grew up with. 


What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

  • You can do anything you put your mind to. I may have taken this one too seriously growing up. If I was interested in something I went all in. I guess I still do that... I realized later in life that people don't try things they're interested in because they feel like they are going to embarrass themselves for not being amazing at it right away. You have to start somewhere, so just go for it and see if you like it! p.s. You're going to fail....a lot...but try again!


If you could live anywhere, where would it be? Why?

  • I studied German language in high school and college and I'm finding that a lot of producers in the lofi/chill beats genre live in Germany so I think it would be cool to be closer to more producers in the genre and be able to collaborate in person more with people across Europe but I've never actually visited so I should probably start there before I say I would like to live there. German friends/producers, hit me up and show me around some time!


Aside from lofi/chill beats, what is your favorite music genre?

  • Hip hop, RnB and Jazz are all genres that I really enjoy listening to and producing. I grew up playing in pop punk bands and would always be drawn to songs in the genre that I would learn on guitar and find out had "weird" guitar chords that I didn't know the theory behind but loved how they sounded. I later found out that they were major and minor 7th chords which are pretty much the basis for RnB and Jazz songs so when I found these genres later in life I realized I had truly loved them all along but just wasn't exposed to them.


What’s one thing about you that surprises people?

  • My day job is developing products for a nutritional company as a food scientist. You can find some of the products I've developed in the grocery store so it's always fun to go into a grocery or convenience store with people who only know me for music and point out a product on the shelf that I developed. I've received some pretty funny responses from some people.  


What do you wish you could tell yourself five years ago?

  • Keep going and focus on making yourself happy. At the time I was trying to produce music for other artists and my energy would have probably been better spent focusing on my own artist career but I definitely learned a lot at that time and made good friends along the way.


In the last five years, what new belief, behavior, or habit has most improved your life? 

  • Something I've very recently started focusing on is just letting songs live and be their own thing. When I first started releasing lofi I would release unsigned songs because I was trying to get my name out there, but then I moved away from that and would only release songs that were signed to a label after I started to build relationships with some record labels. Over the next coming months/next year I plan to release music more frequently with unsigned releases being released in between signed releases. I've realized that just because a record label doesn't feel a song fits their portfolio doesn't mean that the song shouldn't see the light of day.


How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard it before?

  • I get asked this question a lot at my day job when people find out I make music and I joke around that it is modern day elevator music. I would say my music is melodic atmospheric music that is guitar and piano driven. I've had people say that my music has a "late night cruise" vibe.

Producer / United States

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