If you can remember the 1990s get ready to feel old. Singer, producer and current chart sensation MNEK - real name Uzoechi Osisioma Emenike - who featured on Gorgon City's Ready For Your Love, along with his own tracks, argues the music of 20 years ago was much better than today, but here's the catch... he's not 20 himself until November...
I love 90s music: 90s R&B. 90s hip hop. 90s dance-pop. It’s music that I listen to at home. It’s music that I gravitate towards when I’m in the nightclubs. It’s even a core of what my debut album is sonically inspired by. But the irony is that I was born in 1994 - you may now feel old!
I didn’t grow up within the 90s (well, kind of, the last four or five years of it) to appreciate music as it was “fresh” and “never before done”. I often think I was born too late... into a world that doesn’t care (sung in the style of MySpace sensation Sandi Thom, never forget)... But, to not drift from the subject, I grew up around 90s R&B via my parent’s own playlists. Where my parents lacked in actual musical talent (love you, Mum and Dad), they excelled in musical taste. Whenever my dad would drive the family out to parties, or take me and my brothers to school or wherever, he always had his Best Of Fela Kuti, his Bob Marley Greatest Hits, UB40, but a mainstay in his car stereo were his Pure Swing CDs. Montell Jordan, Aaliyah (back back, forth and forth), R Kelly, Bobby Brown, Brandy, Adina Howard, Blackstreet - my brain basically had those songs ingrained in memory as a young kid.
I knew all the adlibs. All the runs. Meanwhile, my mum’s playlist was more geared towards the pop divas. She was a massive Whitney Houston fan. I couldn’t stress it more. She loved Whitney. She had all her albums on vinyl. She also loved Anita Baker, Chaka Khan, Celine Dion, and Mariah Carey (my personal fave).
I feel like everything from a creative point of view was so much better in the 90s. Especially, the music. It had so much character, the artists sang with more emotion. The production had something about it. But don’t get me twisted. I do love current music. A bit of EDM is good in small doses. The point is that obviously I love the newer technology that makes music-making so much more accessible and ups the progression of electronic music, otherwise I’d use the equipment they used in the 90s that would make creating a single song take several weeks, months, years..
But I always go back to 90s music to reference and recreate an energy lost in current music as oppose to simply rip off the sound. MNEK @MNEK
For more head to Facebook.com/MNEKOfficial.