#MixxInterview: Get in the Mixx with Mantiz

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Meet Mantiz, son of a pastor, lover of music,and resident of Atlanta by way of South Carolina. I got the time to ask him a few questions as we get closer to his next release, “Thank You For Listening”. If it’s anything like his previous releases, we are in store for a treat. Let’s get in the Mixx

How important is it to be multi-faceted in the music industry today?

It’s so hard to say as of right now. I remember when artists made demo tapes to showcase their talent and pray for a deal. Now it’s about being able to mesh a somewhat acceptable sound to a desirable image. It’s great when you have acts that are multi-faceted to lead the way, but there’s that overwhelming population of artists that stay one-dimensional long enough to collect a check on their way out. I never boast when I mention this, but I’m able to do anything in music. Somehow, being a one-trick pony is captivating all of the attention. And the attentive audience makes excuses for why mediocrity wins. However, I love how artists like Drake are at the forefront and can propel other artists to have a longevity that most wouldn’t deem pre-destined.

With your father being a pastor, do you try to make music that he’d be receptive to?

Not necessarily. I try to be the young man he raised. It may sound harsh when I say this, but as much as my dad loves me, he would never trade Heaven for me. And with that mindset, I have to know God for myself. Now I see the world for what it is, so I try not to ever really stray away from “knowing better”. But he knows what I do. He’s actually probably my biggest supporter. He continuously gives me advice as a producer, then how to channel the best artistry I can, and lastly as a budding businessman. He’s also all three and we plan to make more music together as partners.

Did the move from SC to ATL change your sound?

Not at all. The sound I have never fit SC anyway. It doesn’t fit Atlanta either, but they’re way more receptive to it. It’s kinda disappointing at times knowing my people back home can “like” my shit, but never truly LOVE it the way they love another artist who may sound similar. Gil Scott-Heron said “home is where the hatred is…” and that may very well be true. But I’ve seen the best of friends get separated when one has to take basic classes while the other is placed in more advanced learning. And that analogy wasn’t structured for me to say I’m better than anyone back home, but a lot of folks see me as “different” while I just see shit differently.

Having a background in music, how important is live instrumentation in your beats?

It’s not as important as you’d think. I just prefer it. I’m the ugly definition of a perfectionist. I can fake the hell out of a sound only when I truly get fed up with tryna get it right for MY ears alone. So many beats you’ll never hear because I don’t feel they’re done, and some beats you’ll hear as incomplete musically but overcooked from a marketing perspective. Most of my peers begged me to simplify my sound, they felt it was too “orchestrated”. Mediocrity is too comfortable. Beats have a 3 to 4-sound standard now. A little 808 here and there and a sound effect and voila. But I always hear something that “should’ve been in there” when I get to sound number 3 or 4. So that live instrument can connect with all types of energy and emotion for you when you hear it. And if you’ll wait on me to give it to you, I’ll always choose to pick up my equipment.

In the age where attention spans are 5 seconds musically, how do you manage to stay consistent?

Being natural. I’ve been advised at times I tweet too much. But that’s one of the easiest ways to access my personality, remotely. So when you finally hear my music, you’re ready for it. It doesn’t bore you or shock you. It simply entertains you. I like to fill all gaps in a record too. Sometimes I clutter my tracks intentionally, then go back and strip it layer by layer until it feels the best. Until it feels like it’s worth paying attention to.

How did “She Say” come along?

I was actually home at my old apartment going through samples. I had just finished recording “A New Day II” and was simply digging through my crates. Then this mixture dropped online with this record from Que and Ty Dolla $ign. I loved the vibe and wanted a record that literally floated like that. So when I started on the beat, I wanted to use chord progressions that I use when I’m playing in church but I wanted to switch them around like they haven’t been used. Basically just experimenting. And the “She Say” instrumental came out sounding like another record I already heard before. So I didn’t do any writing until I brought some more creative minds in the process so I wouldn’t sound like a biter. The beat was about a month old when my brother Jah Jah heard it. I started humming a melody for the hook, then he did too. While he was humming I kept saying “and she said, and she said”. The light bulb went off LOL. I told him let’s do the cliché “fly nigga” record, but put a twist on it. Make it where “I’m not fly because I say so, I’m fly because SHE says so”. And days prior to this, he had told me that Jet had been wanting to meet me and work with me and the timing was just perfect. Jah got the concept of the hook started, and Jet made it fit his style. The rest is history. Long explanation, but I love telling that story LOL.

What separates “Thank you For Listening” from the the sucessful previous project “27” and how do you think your fans will react to it?

“Thank You For Listening” will be a very familiar vibe to an unfamiliar audience… I usually wouldn’t leak a detail like this, but I gotta give you the exclusive. With “27”, that was a last minute idea. It was something to do for my birthday. So naturally it was supposed to sound exactly how it does, like a celebration. But with TYFL, I told myself I wanted to challenge my style and still have it sound like me. The actual mesh I’m going for is somewhere in the middle of Tory Lanez and Kevin Cossum, smoothed out on an H-town tip. And it was incredibly hard to explain that to my team until I played them records from both sides. So we all were a little frustrated when Drake’s “How Bout Now” premiered because that’s damn near the exact sound. Undeterred, I feel TYFL will be easier to digest because I’m aiming to make “mood music” this time. I wanna make something to drink to. Something to smoke to. Something to ride to. Definitely something to fuck to, for those who have music playing during those times. It’s just gonna be a concrete vibe.

Any last words to leave with the readers?

Thank you for reading… until “Thank You For Listening”. Peace and love.

 

Interview by @RahThePrez

The Mixx Magazine Guest Writer Section. Where creative thinking is turned into words.