“In the depth of Winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer”-Albert Camus.
Being different has always been considered to be a bad thing especially in today’s society. New heights requires an eagle’s mindset, wingspan and versatility. Meet MannyKSoul! This dynamic individual doesn’t know what it means to be “normal.” He is always willing to push the boundaries and never live in a box. We had a chance to chat with this eccentric young mind and what he shared was truly amazing.
- How did you start your career an artist?
Like many artists, my start came from the church. It was the perfect set up: I already had musicians & background singers (the choir/praise team), I had a platform, and I had an audience lol. That’s really where I discovered my gift and ultimately where I developed it. The more I sang, the better I got. The better I got, the more people would ask me to sing. If you think about it, the church really is a great place for an artist to get his/her start. I connected with and learned from a lot of really great singers.
- What is your definition of ARTISTRY?
Artistry for me is taking whatever gifts or talents you have and expressing yourself with those gifts or talents. Artistry is about impacting change, inspiring people, and evoking thought all while telling your truth, sharing your story, and bearing your soul. I aspire to incite self-reflection in people so that they might possibly learn to view the world from more than just their own eyes, but through the eyes of others, thus learning empathy. Artistry is simply a powerful tool which we can use to make the world a better place.
- Authenticity is a place where you thrive. What does it truly mean to be AUTHENTIC?
Wow, thank you! I believe that authenticity is giving yourself permission to be exactly who you are, at all times! It’s about being genuine no matter what. What it really boils down to is defining yourself, for yourself and then carrying that out, whatever the definition of “you” is, on a consistent basis. No matter who’s around or what’s going on, living an authentic life is about being unapologetic, unafraid, and unashamed. The first step to living authentically for me was first loving myself for exactly who and what I was and then being so in love with that person and realizing that he was worthy and beautiful and magical and powerful just as he is. Once I embraced that, I was able to wake up every day without an image to uphold or a facade to put on. My existence is authentic because it is what it is…I am who I am. My daily mantra is and has been for many years: B U B TRU B TRU 2 U.
- You’re very outspoken on your social media platforms. One issue that you speak on is SELF LOVE/WORTH. Why is it important to express your feelings about this issue?
I stress self-love so much basically because for a long time I didn’t love myself. And so I remember the things that I allowed into my space and the things that I did to myself because of the fact that I didn’t love myself. This world can be really cruel and as I mentioned before, it wasn’t until I started to love myself that I was able to experience life fully & authentically. That was a breakthrough for me and so I definitely want people to also have their own breakthrough moment because I know how it felt to finally be free. Self-love really is the best love!
- Social media allows people to say what they want wherever they feel the need to. How do you remain positive in such a judgmental industry?
First of all, I have to protect my energy. Feeding into negativity only breeds more negativity. If you feed it, it will fester. Negativity feeds off of attention so when you cut the attention that you give to it off, it will die. But then also, I’m a very empathetic person and I’m sensitive to the needs of others. I love people and I’m constantly thinking about that person who might not have the thickest of skin or who might not have the coping skills needed to deal with the hatred and negativity found not only on social media but in their day-to-day. I’ve been through a lot in my life and one of the worst things in my childhood turned out to be one of the best things for me in my adulthood. Being a victim of bullying as a child, I vowed never to intentionally do anything to another person that would make them feel the way that bullies made me feel. And that just stuck with me. I know there are so many people who are hurting and many you’d never know it. Some people are right on the edge of the ledge and all it takes is for someone to speak negatively to them and their spirit dies or worse, they take their own life or cause harm to others. I couldn’t live with that blood on my hands. People don’t think about that though. I just prefer to be the change. That’s why I’m always uplifting others and pushing love and positivity, even when I may not feel any of that myself, it’s important to me to be a source of light for someone who could very well be in the darkest moment in their life.
- Who inspired you to follow you dreams?
R&B singer, Monica actually. I’ve watched her since before she was the Monica we know today. We both had our start in the same church and so to watch her come from the same stock is encouraging. I of course didn’t begin as early as she did, but seeing how she has enjoyed so much success and remained so connected to her foundation inspires me tremendously. It makes my dreams seem tangible.
- What color describes your personality? Why did you pick this color?
Purple hands down lol. It’s just my favorite color period and it just also happens to be the color of my birthstone. Purple represents royalty and passion. It’s also like really magical as fuck, too lol. It’s a very beautiful color in any shade.
- When it comes to your music, what story would you MANNYKSOUL be writing?
I’ll be writing the story of that little boy who might not be the most athletic or who doesn’t quite know where he “fits in”. My story will be that of the dreamer, the writer, the singer who avoided his dreams because he didn’t want people to label him as gay. My story will be that of the person who forfeited their happiness in order to fit the mold and to be who he was “expected” to be. My story will be about that person who broke free and is now living in his happily ever after. It wouldn’t necessarily be WHAT story, but rather WHOSE story and the answer would be MINE. I often wish I had the luxury of growing up with a role model to encourage me and push me to be comfortable with and confident in myself. My breakthrough didn’t come until I was well into my 30’s, but I want to be that for anyone who might be struggling to break free…young, old, girl, boy, man, woman…it doesn’t matter. My story will be theirs.
- If you could use 3 adjectives to describe who you are as a person, they would be……
- What can we expect from you in 2018?
More music! I took a break but I plan to study more so as to perfect my gift. I would love to release my first single as I’ve been writing tons of material. I also would love to continue working with great photographers and learning more about photography, fashion, and modeling. I’m also writing a book! I’ve got a few things that I’m excited to share and can’t wait to do so!
Just like MannyKSoul, we should all embrace our inner unicorn. For more details, follow this beautiful SOUL on instagram @mannyksoul.
Know any artists whose talents should be featured on Kelliebrew.com?!
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