Manu Manzo’s Moon Sign is the Name of her Upcoming Album
Manu Manzo is an extraordinary artist with new projects to share with us. Her new album and upcoming single were created during the quarantine shut down. Created written and produced by all women, even the cover art, Manu shows us the importance of collaborating with women and show casing our diverse talents and narratives. At Galore we had the opportunity to interview Manu on her new single, Pobre Diablo, from her album Luna En Geminis, her music collaboration, her upcoming collaboration with a make up brand and her top listening markets.
- Your new album will be released this year. What is the name? What was most difficult about creating it throughout the pandemic shutdown?
You guys are getting first look at name! It’s called “Luna En Geminis” I’m a big zodiac girl. I’m an Aries sun sign, but in my birth chart my moon sign is Gemini. The moon rules the emotion- to me music is full emotion. I’ve always said it’s my form of therapy. The pandemic starting was a huge shift for everyone as a collective but in particular to me in my personal life was a whirlwind of big life changes happening left and right.
I ended a four-year relationship after my grandmothers sudden death due to covid, which really made me rethink life as I know it. It was traumatic in every way since I couldn’t see my family and also happened the day after my pandemic birthday, then two weeks after I explicitly find out my boyfriend doing stuff he shouldn’t be so I moved out of the apartment we shared and kinda strated from scratch.
Feelings wise and just outlook in life wise, my only saving grace at the time was working on music, and at my friends home studios cause studios weren’t even fully open yet. I was there every single day. Not even exaggerating. It was the only thing I was doing; going to the gym and going to the studio.
The whole concept for the project grew out of having all those experiences and me trying to navigate through them. realizing there’s no good without bad and vice versa, Ying and Yang, Gemini, contradictory sides that in a way need each other to make sense of one another. I touch on heartbreak, loss, masking pain, really feeling it, partying, loving- yourself and others, lusting & resenting. It’s a vibey album that I want people to use as their soundtrack when they want to have a glass of wine with their friends maybe smoke a little something, drive around in the car at night, make love to, slow grind too, its all slow/mid tempo tracks to chill out to- it’s low fi and moody with dark tones and though I like to keep my lyrics light and fresh always with a positivity twist, I think the choice of chords and darkness in the beats really portrays what I was going through & feeling at the time- being in the tunnel. Seeing the light and knowing its coming, but really being in the depths of the tunnel trying to keep it moving.
- Manu, you have a new single called Pobre Diablo from the upcoming album that will be releasing soon, when can we expect to hear it?
Pobre Diablo is the second single off the project – it’s a song about finally ending a really toxic situationship and sharing all the pettiness but with a hint of accountability. It will be out Jan 20 and it’s one of my favorite songs from the album, it’s an interlude actually and it was produced by Kuinvi whom I’ve known for years, she’s a great friend and so talented. We went to Berklee summer program together back in 2011.
We wrote it at her apartment in Miami just us two and allowed our creativity to roam free. We added an intro thatâ€™s super wild because you have no idea where the song is coming and then itâ€™s a mix between trap pop & reggaetÃ³n- We got some real life violins recorded in Argentina and we put them in there… I also made a lyric video to it and the live acoustic version with Tigre Sounds will be available super soon on Youtube.
- Your new album was created, written and produced by a lot of women; even the cover art, tell me about that.
It was really important for me to bring in the female angle on this project . In every single song except maybe 1 or 2 there was always another woman in the room other than me, wether in lyrics or production. I got to A&R the whole thing myself so I was able to pick and choose my collaborators which are all great friends and talents I admire- I think itâ€™s important to tell our stories from our angle and encourage more women that are good to be in rooms. Not only because theyâ€™re women, but because theyâ€™re talented and have a different sensitivity toward life experiences and diff POVs. So joining forces with the men is great because it challenges the ways of seeing things. My sister Anabella always works w me on every single cover art work- sheâ€™s been w me since the very first cover and is always down to experiment w me- so this first ever full length album ride has been hella fun.
- You are no longer with a label and have full creative freedom solidifying as a business woman and owning your originality and your own sound. What is some advice you can give someone deciding between signing with a label and being independent?
I think being with a label, learning the insides of how the system works and then being out of it on my own again gave me the tools necessary to figure out what works for ME in particular. I think there are pros and cons to both sides. I’m also a big advocate for artists to have full creative freedom and sometimes saying “No” is your biggest ally. You have to believe in your art so much that if it’s costing you your creative freedom you are able to say no or at least negotiate, it doesn’t matter how much money comes your way-Â because you wont be happy if you’re not doing what you like to do & what you want to express, plus you’ll be making other people money, not yourself.
But I also think you have to play the game and be smart about it. Where I’m at now is that I want to partner up- work closely as a team with a record label. I love the creative side of my job and I also love the business side of it as well. Im a huge micromanager in both haha but I think that’s a good thing! I think artists need to weigh their contracts and see how they can own most or at least half of their master because that’s your longevity. But again, all this I learned by being with a label and doing a lot of label work, but not owning my masters…Â I think its really a personal decision and no matter which route you take you have to weigh everything- make smart decisions, and not let people sell you dreams. Treat it as what it is, a business. Learn it- master it and ride for you, your projects and your vision till the end.
- Whatâ€™s the most exciting aspect of doing remix of SacaLaCamara with a dope Spanish artist â€œCycloâ€
Wow I’m so excited for this one. My publicist actually introduced us. I love his music. I think he’s a great lyricist and has an incredible voice. We had synergy right away. We shot a music video from afar we have yet to meet in person, it’s all been done via What’s App but this is hopefully the first of many collabs with him
- Will you do a collaboration with a makeup brand, if so which one?
Yes ! Doing a make up collab has been a huge dream of mine for a long time- canâ€™t give any details on it just yet but later in the year it will be coming out and Iâ€™m super excited for everyone to be able to see and purchase it.
- How does it feel to know that Mexico & Spain are your top priority markets? What does Latinx solidarity mean to you?
I lived in Spain when I was 4, lived in Mexico for a year when I was 10 and my parents currently live in Mexico DF. Both places hold a very special place in my heart- I love the way they view music in both places- being a Miami girl I’m excited to expand to new countries where most of my listeners are from. I want to play shows in both and spend more time there, hopefully covid doesn’t change the plans too much.
- If you could plan your own festival, who would you love to perform with?
Kanye. Gaga. Alejandro sanz. Amy Winehouse. Biggie Smalls. Celia Cruz would be lit and Daddy Yankee id also add Feid in there & Doja Cat lol
Interviewed & Edited byÂ Shirley Reynozo
Graphic Designer:Â SEBASTIÃN CHICCHÃ“N @jager.noon
Photographer : Il RetallackAssistant: Mateo Montes
Hair: Lia Balestra @lilireyesmegahairÂ
Make up: Titi Loizos @titiloizosÂ
Styling: bayardo estrada @bayardoestradaÂ & Paula Machado @p0w.p0w