MNYS’ Engrossing Debut EP & Exclusive Interview
Posted by jeffwbaird on August 30, 2015
The best part about being a blogger is finding a new act that you feel like everyone should be listening to, and would be if only they were more widely known. Given the tremendous ease of sharing one’s music these days, though, those kinds of artists are a definite rarity.
The most recent relative unknown to really excite me on a deep level is the 24-year-old Orange County, NY native MNYS. There is nothing exceptionally unique about his work on a sonic or lyrical level, and yet it’s still as engrossing as any pop music being created today. His debut EP, My New York Summer, is a cohesive and engulfing six song effort, produced by the talented and versatile Skinny Atlas (best known for his work with Dylan Owen).
Eager to learn a bit more about the man behind the music, I spoke with MNYS about his process for creating this EP, and what we can expect to hear from him moving forward.
On your social media accounts, you neglect to classify your work within a major genre. How would you define your sound, and who are some of the primary influences that you think come through in your sound?
I would have to say alt/pop – but your guess is better than mine! More recently, I’ve been listening to a lot of Future Bass. It helps me develop vocal melodies/ideas I don’t think I would come up with writing a normal structured song.
What was the process like working with Skinny Atlas? The production is very textured and nuanced, and I wonder if you had that intention for the sound going into the work, or whether that’s something that was borne out of your sessions with him.
He’s one of my closest friends and I have been nothing but fortunate. He’s a huge part of every aspect of my music. I usually write songs out on guitar or piano with a simple drum loop. Our sessions are started from scratch with straight trial and error for different sounds. The music’s direction definitely comes from lengthy sessions.
What song are you most proud of from a lyrical standpoint? Do you have writing influences that are distinct from those who impact your sound on a larger level?
Off of the EP, I think “Interstate” took the most thought to write. I feel like the song may not even make sense to others unless they can actually hear what is going on in my head:
I use the word car to illustrate someone who’s trying to make it to that next point in life, but ends up breaking down. Rather than admitting defeat and saying we’ve tried our best – it’s much easier to make an excuse to cover up any struggles or embarrassment we have along the way. Nobody’s perfect – nobody should feel ashamed of doing their best.
From Ben Howard to Frank Ocean – I look up to the writers who can tell complete stories in 3-4 minutes.
This is your debut EP. How long have you been making music, and what made you feel like this project was the right one to use as your introduction to the world?
I’ve been playing music for almost 10 years now. I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember and was a drummer in a bunch of bands back in high school – which was really fun. Right before heading to college, I ended up picking up guitar – since I didn’t have anyone to really play with.
As for this project, I scratched about 20 songs I wasn’t sold on. I kept listening to them over with an outside perspective – always thinking, “would I listen to this if it wasn’t me?”
What can we expect from you in the coming year? Is there more music in the works?
I have been writing nonstop – for both other artists and myself. I plan to build my catalog and work with as many artists as I can. Expect another MNYS EP before the end of the year too.