madonna collaborator and all-around awesome producer mnek releases ep

We talk to MNEK about his new EP, Madonna, going solo and writing bangerz.

by Hattie Collins
29 March 2015, 11:03am

Whether scoring No.1 hits with Duke Dumont and Little Mix, writing tracks for Madonna's new album, or popping to LA to get nominated for Grammy's and work with Babyface, South Londoner MNEK has been infiltrating the pop world with songs that leap from genre to genre. His own offerings are a mix of 90s inflected R&B bangers and heartbreaking ballads that tear the soul inside out, slowly but surely. While readying his big, bad, debut album, MNEK has decided to gift unto the land of music an EP, Small Talk, featuring Every Little Word and Wrote A Song About You, as well as new cuts including In Your Clouds. We ask Uzo Emenike 10 quick questions about life right now…

What's the best song on Small Talk?
I love Suddenly. I wrote it in a very weird time but the process of writing it was so easy because it was from personal experience.

What's the least best song on Small Talk?
I don't think I have one! I love every song on this EP. It only has six songs, so they all had to be stuff I was happy with.

As a body of work, what does the EP say about your artistic intentions?
I think the EP is a nice overview of my artist career so far, and what's to come. Every track is an element of what makes the MNEK sound.

Some of it is quite fast and some of it is quite slow. Are you happier writing in the realm of uptempo or do you like penning ballady bangerz?
I like both for different reasons. I think with the dancier stuff I get to have fun with production and effects, and when it's the slower stuff, I get to be very considered and channel the focus on my lyrics and my voice.

How do you feel, as a rule, about small talk? Are you any good at it?
I think I'm good at small talk. There was a technical difficulty at a show I did back in November, and I panicked! So I had to stall, and the small talk happened to be really good between me and the crowd!

You got your first solo Top 40 recently. How did you celebrate?
I didn't really celebrate, I just hung out with friends that evening. But, I was really stoked for that to have happened. It definitely shows that more people are finding out about my stuff.

What's the best thing about being MNEK?
That there's only one me.

You're always working with people and getting on planes and suchlike. What/ who/ where are you working on/ with at the moment?
Well, I'm just doing a variety of things. Besides my songwriting, I'm working some more on the album with people like Babyface, Jam + Lewis, Darkchild and Alex Da Kid.

Madonna recently told Noisey how much she loved you. Was that a) awesome b) quite good c) whatever, not bothered.

i-D is celebrating activism this week. Is there a subject that you feel strongly about that affects the world? Feel free to have a rant here if so.
For me, any form of social prejudice, whether it be racism and/or ageism and/or homophobia is unacceptable. Unless it's causing harm or genuine inconvenience to people, no one should really say a thing. Equality shouldn't be a privilege. It should be the norm.

Get Small Talk here.


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