From Catford To The Grammys - We Spoke to MNEK


Written by Lily Magenis
15 Wednesday 15th October 2014

Hey MNEK! Can you tell us what you’ve been up to lately?

Hi, Don’t Panic. I’ve been getting for my next single release, performing a bit, and working on some new music for my album in the studio.

You’ve written a bunch of tracks for some big acts. How does a teen from Catford start getting noticed as a songwriter?

I got discovered on MySpace when I was 14. I only had like two songs, and some funny DIY art design. I got into the industry from then on out.

Can you talk us through your writing process? How does writing a song for yourself differ from writing for another artist?

Well, I rarely write for artists. I usually write with the artist. So, the writing process is usually me meeting them, getting to know them, starting a beat, then working with them on lyrics and melody and laying it down. For my own, I’m a bit more...picky. I can say I’ve mastered the concept of making two songs in two days when it comes to others. But I like to be more particular for my own stuff, quite frankly.

After gaining such a big reputation as a hit maker, did you have any difficulties convincing people that you could be a star in your own right?

Everyday. I still do, to be really honest. But I love what I do and there are people who are convinced and are supportive.

Obviously your vocals have already featured on a few hits, but what other steps have you taken to move from the back ground to the spotlight.

I lost weight. I got a stylist. I’m literally online all the time on social media, keeping whatever’s there happening. Got myself a live band. Classic pop star things.

Are you looking forward to performing at MUSIC CUBE? 

I’m really excited to perform. I’m looking forward to interacting with fans in such a different way. I think the concept is really dope. 

MNEK will perform at MUSIC CUBE on Saturday 25 October at Westfield London (Shepherd’s Bush).

How will the venue differ from most gigs? 

Westfield has created a new way for people to experience and interact with live music so it’s keeping things fresh for fans as well as musicians. It's also about supporting up-and-coming independent talent so as a platform it’s a great opportunity for new music artists to be able to show their stuff and hopefully create a new fan base.

Where's the most obscure place you've performed a gig ? 

I was at Camp Bestival and I did an acoustic performance on this really tiny stage, obviously not built for tall people like myself, that was like so high in the sky I was pretty sure I was kicking it with Jesus.

I read on your Twitter that you’re a big fan of MIA, and you’ve even got her former stylist on board. How has she influenced you?

I love her fearlessness. Her stance is very much I’m doing things my own way. My way or the highway. And it comes across really well. And Bucky Done Gun is one of my fav songs ever.

Lastly, what was it like attending the Grammys?

Amazing. It was so great to be amongst everyone there. To even nominated alongside Duke Dumont and A*M*E was incredible. I dream to win one.

MNEK will perform at MUSIC CUBE on Saturday 25 October at 7pm at Westfield London (Shepherd’s Bush). Be sure to follow MNEK on Twitter and Facebook.

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