5 MINUTES WITH: THE MANOR
Straight from their tour with The Streets, we catch up with the South London trio on their influences, playing live, and what the future holds.
South London trio Danny Graft, Scotty Stacks and Jonny Dutch, aka The Manor, have come a long way since releasing their debut mixtape “Welcome To The Manor”. Now, while they are living it up on tour with The Streets, we chat to the boys about their influences, playing live, and what the future holds.
How did you first get into music?
All of our Dad’s were proper music heads. Our current tastes in music are a product of what they played us, along with stuff which was popular when we were growing up.
When did you realise you wanted to be musicians?
After university when we wanted to avoid getting 9-5 jobs at all costs.
Who did you listen to growing up?
All sorts from reggae to rock n roll inspired by our Dads, to rap, indie, grime, garage and house.
Your music is sort of a fusion of UKG with elements of Grime and Rap too – how would you describe your sound?
It’s hard to pin it down. Most of our production is garage or house but the lyrics are influence by all of the above. Fundamentally it’s very much a London sound.
Your songs really deal with locality, and a sense of community. Are you influenced by south London and your surroundings?
Of course. We’re all products of our environments and we’re proud South Londoners so naturally that’s going to come through in our music.
Your music is reminiscent of a few people, but The Streets obviously spring to mind – who else would you say you are influenced by?
Everyone from Jamiroquai to Ja Rule, Crazy Titch to The Cure, Bob Marley to Bruce Rea. There’s a bit of everything in there somewhere.
What’s your process like when you are compiling a project – do you have to eliminate tracks, or do you build tracks specifically with a whole project in mind?
We’ve done a lot of singles recently, which is a very different process to compiling a full body of work. Our new “Free The Geezer” EP, which is dropping imminently, showcases more sides to us than a few consecutive singles ever could. We usually start a project off by making a few songs just for fun and then as it starts to take shape we will look at what’s missing and fill in the gaps.
Do you give more importance to the songwriting side of your music, or the production? Or both!
We aren’t producers so naturally we are a little more focused on the lyrical/songwriting side of things. But we’ve been lucky enough to work with lots of amazing producers like Yanaku, Michael Angelo, Zdot, Kideko, George Kwali and Splurgeboys just to name a few.
Your guys have a really distinct aesthetic and style – do you give much importance to fashion and style?
Similarly to our sound, our style is a product of where we are from. It’s very South London and there’s a mix of streetwear and terrace/casual culture with an occasional pair of smart loafers and a blazer thrown in.
Do you like performing live?
Best part of the job by miles
What’s a stand-out gig you’ve done?
Our sold-out show at The Roundhouse just before Christmas was mental. We spent our whole budget on production and made the night into an absolute movie.
How did it feel to sell out such an iconic venue?
Surreal. Will be even better when we do the same at Brixton Academy later this year.
Do you like collaborating with others?
It can be difficult to accommodate other rappers as there’s already three of us but we love working with quality producers and vocalists
Who would your dream collaborator be?
What’s next for you?