MIMO - When Music is Your Fix

Introducing: MNEK

The latest in a long line of young British artists who have launched their careers off the back of guesting on other people’s records (Sam Smith, John Newman, Foxes), London producer/ writer/vocalist MNEK has finally made the leap this year to go solo with a clever blend of classic and contemporary which draws upon the 80s electro-funk sound of Jam & Lewis while also fitting in neatly with the current deep house revival.

Resembling a long-lost member of Kid N’ Play (thanks to his hi-top fade haircut), the 19-year-old first began making music in his bedroom aged nine and had landed a publishing deal by the time he was 14. But he received his big break in 2011 when he was invited down to hit factory Xenomania’s studios, where he co-wrote the gloriously euphoric trance-pop of “All Fired Up,” a UK No.3 hit for girlband The Saturdays.

Sticking to behind-the-scenes, MNEK subsequently produced the debut singles from X-Factor graduates Little Mix (“Wings”) and Misha B (“Home Run”), co-penned the melodic hook for Duke Dumont’s Grammy-nominated dance anthem “Need U (100%),” and worked with drum n’ bass quartet Rudimental on four tracks from their chart-topping first album, Home (“Hell Could Freeze,” “Hide,” “Baby,” “Spoons”).

But having also performed on the latter two numbers, MNEK began grabbing some of the limelight for himself, lending his soulful tones to “Close,” the seventh release from Sub Focus’ sophomore, Torus, uploading a series of covers of female-led R&B classics to YouTube (Janet Jackson’s “That’s The Way Love Goes,” Lumidee’s “Never Leave You”) and writing an instrumental for a Nike Air Max Lunar campaign named “Lunar Riddim.”

His appearance on Gorgon City’s UK Top 5 hit, “Ready For Your Love,” production duties on Kylie Minogue’s album, Kiss Me Once, and future hook-ups with Diplo, Disclosure and Clean Bandit would suggest that MNEK has no intention of slowing down his collaborative output. However, after recently unveiling its first single, the buoyant New Jack Swing throwback of “Every Little Word,” the teenage prodigy claims that his forthcoming debut album will be a largely guest-free affair.


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About the Author

on MUSIC IS MY OXYGEN WEEKLY.

Jon O'Brien's love of music began as a six-year-old after becoming bizarrely transfixed with the 80s poodle rock of Heart, Europe and Def Leppard. Switching his attention to pop icon Michael Jackson, he then became addicted to the UK Top 40, becoming a rather pointless walking Wikipedia of chart positions in the process. Driving his poor neighbors up the wall while learning to play the drums as a teen, he toyed with the idea of becoming a musician, but in studying Journalism at the University of Central Lancashire, he realized heÕd rather write about music than perform it. Since then, he's written thousands of reviews and biographies on everything from bubblegum pop to death metal, but electronica remains his main passion, with everything from Aphex Twin to Zero 7 in his spare room-consuming record collection. Jon resides in northwest England near Liverpool.

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Posted in: Electronic Music, Featured


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