Wonderland.

NEW NOISE: M.ANIFEST – MADINA TO THE UNIVERSE

The artist talks his new album Madina To The Universe and his upbringing in Ghana.

M.anifest full body
M.anifest full body

Putting an end to the agonising anticipation for an influx of infectious bops, Ghanaian rap artist and musician M.Anifest is back bolder than ever for the release of his fifth studio album, Madina To The Universe (MTTU). Achieving acclaim for African music, the 15-track album is an afrofusion masterclass; merging the Ghanaian jama soundscapes that defined his childhood with his hip-hop foundations and the afrobeat sensibilities of today. Detailing the beautiful chaos of living in Accra with his emotive track “Confusion”, the artist delivers a whirlwind of thoughts throughout his project, with “Game Over” and “Scorpio Flow” taking his sound to the next level.

“I came into my own artistically on my last full length tape. I was genuinely eager to answer the question ‘what next?’ Truthfully, it’s been noisy in my head sometimes, and my creative output has on occasion lacked the coherence and laser-like focus my vision requires. Amidst the uncertainty that was 2020 I went back to my essence. I began daily sessions on my dining table with a basic recording set-up and a consistent clarity enabled by seclusion. My reflections drowned out the noise and sounds of the panic that gripped the world. I fell in love with my process, and the music I wrote during this period became the foundations for ‘MTTU’. Madina is my ‘village’ within my city. A formative place for me as a child. Beyond memories, it is where my Mom and Grandma still live, alongside colorful people and places that have shaped the window through which I see the world. This album is a reflection of life’s journey as well as a statement of ambition. The journey to its release has been fraught with last minute challenges. Fortunately, it was better for it. I hope this body of work allows you to see yourself and your universe in ways you haven’t previously, as it has done for me”.

Widely considered an icon with countless awards, six acclaimed projects and over three million fans and counting across social media, we caught up with the rapper on how he re-calibrated himself as an artist to breathe new life into his upcoming album, and the backstories and incredible featuring artists which helped shape it’s tracks…

Hey M.anifest! How are you! How has 2021 been for you?
It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster but we’re definitely on the upside now.
 
The pandemic affected everyone; did it affect your creativity in any way?
It probably unintentionally revealed more to me about my creative process, and the wonders prolonged periods of solitude can do.
 
How did you first get into music, what sparked the interest?
It’s hard to pinpoint a particular moment, but I know for sure I’ve always had music in my home and my neighbourhood growing up. My grandpa was a composer, my neighbourhood had numerous cassette shops and there were street bars blasting music constantly.
 
You’re from Ghana which has a huge music scene, do you think this impacted your sound?
Absolutely. We have a significant musical history in terms of Highlife which informed and built a lot of us growing up. Currently Ghana is absolutely one of the main nodes of popular African music. But in all honesty, I believe our influences as Ghanaian creatives are beyond the music; it’s a mix of the music scene and the country as a place deeply connected to the black diaspora for several decades.
 
And now you’re about to drop your new album, talk us through your mindset approaching the project!
This album happened at the point of re-calibrating. I think last year did that for a lot of us. I got in touch with my original creative essence and allowed the album to develop organically without overthinking.
 

M.anifest close up
M.anifest hand over face
M.anifest close up
M.anifest hand over face

You’ve worked with some amazing people on the album, what was a standout moment for you?
Working with Tony Allen, being on tour with him, and receiving random calls from him was very surreal and a huge honor. That’s one half of afrobeat right there and he even cared to remember my name and keep in touch. Rest his soul.
 
What do you want people to take away from this project?
Once the project is out, it’s no longer mine. It’s for the people. So, I’m eager to see how folks use it to see and feel differently than they normally do.
 
Who inspires you?
Everybody I encounter with an obsessive desire and worth ethic to achieve excellence and make a difference.
 
What’s next for you? What are you most excited for?
For now, I’m mostly excited to breathe a sigh of relief letting this all out.

NEW NOISE: M.ANIFEST – MADINA TO THE UNIVERSE

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