• Claire S.

Upcoming Artists to Watch - Mannikin

The sound of his mom’s voice singing as she cleaned was the first thing that popped into Mannikin’s head when thinking about what got him hooked on music.

Despite this early connection, Mannikin only started getting serious about music recently. His unsuccessful attempts with music in middle school discouraged him for a while, but in high school he started to learn more and regain his confidence after joining music club and having a great mentor. College was where Mannikin developed his talents even further. He joined the acapella club, and despite not staying which them for long, pushed his team to the semi-finals of the ICCAs (International Championship of Collegiate Acapella) with a last-minute solo. After struggling to get over a relationship, Mannikin finally rediscovered his passion for music and wrote his first song, “Not My Type”.

Although he is still discovering his genre, Mannikin’s music tends to lean towards a mix of neo soul, R&B, and hip hop. He typically centers his songs around toxic love, real life situations, and his internal thoughts. Love is almost always the center, though, whether it be platonic love between friends, romantic love, or even familial love. His songs “Way Downtown” and “Real Ones” focus on fake friends, while “Birds” delves into insecurities about what his friends really think of him.

In terms of his creative process, it is important for Mannikin to never be under the influence when he writes. He said, “I didn’t want my soul creativity to be based something that wasn’t me.” His music has evolved for the better and he is able to get deeper with the subjects.

Mannikin is also very organized when making his music and has found that he can produce music relatively quickly. He is most proud of his hooks. He elaborated, “I have a really nice way of creating a hook or chorus. It comes so easily to me.” When inspiration strikes, he hums it out in his voice notes or write lyrics down on anything he can.

In terms of his favorite song to perform, Mannikin likes “Not My Type” because he gets to sing in the point of the heart breaker, not the one getting their heart broken like a lot of other songs. He also finds it fun to perform because people enjoy it so much. Mannikin likes to tell his fans what his songs are about, but he keeps them in suspense at first because he loves to hear other people’s interpretations of his music. He believes that on a certain level, his songs only mean what people want them to mean.

Mannikin has a bunch of artists that he’d love to collab with, or “dream features,” as he calls them. He loves the sound that Khalid, Billie Eilish, and Daniel Caesar have, among others. Mannikin stated, “people tell me I sound like Khalid all the time. I don’t want to sound like somebody else, but if I had to sound like somebody famous, I’d be Khalid. He just has a way of singing that brings everyone into a chill moment.”

Mannikin has found that the music industry, especially on the east coast, can be cutthroat. That’s why he founded an unofficial club at his college as a networking system for artists who want to collaborate more. He is trying to be the change that he wants to see in the industry.

Mannikin has several big things happening right now. He just dropped his music video for “Nights Like This" on July 31st and his freestyle “Three Wishes” on July 25th . He is also releasing new songs “Magic Words” and “Be Mine” in August. He also has several collabs coming up and is definitely someone to keep an eye out for.