Our friend Manny Blu has released his much anticipated sophomore album New Ink. It’s a great collection of songs that shows just how much Manny has grown as an artist.
2020 may have been a rough year for most people, it has been a banner year for Manny. This year has lead to the development of global expansion with recognition and growth in the US, Canada and the UK. Topped off with the release of this brand new EP.
New Ink is a group of songs that showcase the growth in Manny’s sound and vocals. The songs match the energy and rock vibes of his live shows. We had the chance to connect with Manny to talk about this latest release, and how life in quarantine has been treating him.
Catch the full interview below, but first be sure to stream New Ink on Apple Music or Spotify.
Stream Manny Blu’s EP New Ink
Interview With Country Artist Manny Blu
Front Porch Music: Thanks so much for joining us on the Front Porch! We’re so happy to have you back on the Front Porch. Why don’t you tell us what you’ve been up to the last year since we last spoke? What have you been up to to keep busy ,throughout this pandemic?
Manny Blu: Thanks for having me! Well most recently, I released my 2nd EP New Ink, and playing a live show for the release party was unreal. To be back on stage again in 2020 was unexpected but I was super stoked we got to make that happen.
As far as the pandemic, we were able to adapt our live Blu Cru Happy Hour show to the virtual space, and y’all were helpful in promoting it.
Besides that, just working on new music, New Ink was already recorded way before everything shut down, so it gave us time to get ahead and have another album almost ready to go!
Front Porch Music: Your new album New Ink is a really great collection of songs! Your sound on this album has really matured. There’s some real depth to the songs you’ve included on this album. Tell us about these songs. What about these songs really connected to you. And what’s your process for selecting which songs to record?
Manny Blu: Though the 1st EP was fun to tour with I felt like I was separating myself from that kinda sound. The band and I have a little more kick to our live shows and I didn’t think the album did that justice, so this time around, I definitely wanted to add a little bit more of our personality in this one.
I wanted the stories to be raw and real, the ups and downs, one might go through. I fell in love with the blues for the rawness of the story and how the musicians use that feeling and let it through in their instruments. I feel like we really captured that on New Ink.
As far as how I picked the songs, I had a lot more direction on what I wanted, and when I hear a song I really connect to, or one that I don’t want to let go … that feeling is “I wish I wrote that.” I know that song is for me.
Front Porch Music: With the pandemic going on, how has recording and releasing new music changed since before the pandemic?
Manny Blu: As I mentioned, New Ink was recorded before all of this hit. But I did start working on some new music and it was certainly different.
I recorded the vocals in my studio at home with the whole team on a Google Meets on one computer, and our sound tech having access on another computer and running the software from a different location. Definitely an interesting way to do it, but when we’re faced with these kind of obstacles, we are forced to get creative and I couldn’t be happier with the way my team handled it.
Front Porch Music: Speaking of the pandemic – since you couldn’t really tour or play live shows, you had started a weekly livestream called the Blu Cru Happy Hour. We had the privilege of joining you for a number of them over the Summer. What’s it been like livestreaming for your fans and bringing other artists on with you?
Manny Blu: YES! I was so happy that y’all could be a part of it.
The coolest thing for me was still getting to connect with fans, and on the live stream people could comment and ask questions in a way that they don’t get to normally. But for me personally, it was cool to do it with some artist friends, or make new ones. We were able to get people on that I really respect, and got the chance meet/talk/and play with because we didn’t have to worry about being in the same place.
Front Porch Music: One of the Happy Hours that stand out to us is the one you did with Brea Lawrenson and David Boyd Janes. You all seemed to have such a great time and even went on longer than scheduled. What was it about this Happy Hour that sticks out to you?
Manny Blu: Ya, that was a fun one for sure. We had tried to get David Boyd Janes on before and he was having wifi troubles so he wasn’t able to participate, DBJ is an artist I knew of before hand and didn’t know how the next try would go, but he’s an unbelievable guy and had all of us laughing the whole time.
It was so much fun and I was able to create a really cool friendship with him because of it.
Front Porch Music: What’s next for you? Do you have more music coming out soon, what can we expect to see from you?
Manny Blu: I do! I feel like we are always working on new music and have 2 new projects coming together now, and we will start to release early 2021!
Front Porch Music: Thanks so much, and congrats again on the release of your new single, we can’t wait to hear what’s next for you!
Stream New Ink By Manny Blu
Watch The Blu Cru Happy Hour With Manny Blu, David Boyd Janes, and Brea Lawrenson
In country music, the Front Porch has long been a place of reflection. A place where you can look at the life you have inside that front door. A place where time almost seems to stand still, where you can get away. It’s also a place where you can go to observe the world as it passes by you. To think about your place out there beyond the driveway.