ImMannyiRoc is an electronic DJ based out of Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina. As a producer, composer, and artist he creates electronic music with and urban feel as well as create bass-heavy remixes of popular club and hip-hop favorites. Make sure to keep an eye out for his most recent project is titled, “Aye.”
Was there something (an experience) or someone in your life that was the "catalyst" for you to start writing music? Tell us about it.
Growing up I had always been different. I never really cared much to fit in, as a result, I was always picked on a lot in school. As I got into middle school, it became more than just teasing, I started to get bullied heavily. It got to a point where an altercation was inevitable and had to defend myself. Even though I was the one being bullied, and was defending myself, the school determined that I should be expelled from the school system, instead of the bully. Because of that incident, I had to be homeschooled, I lost a lot friends, and no one in the area wanted to associate with me. I went through a time of feeling isolated and alone, and for the longest time all I had was music. During that time, I really got into producing, writing and sound design and I came out with my first song "Thought I Was Out", on myspace music over 10 years ago.
Let's get this out of the way. What is the CRAZIEST thing that has ever happened to you in your music career?
I've had a lot of crazy things happen in my music career, but the CRAZIEST is definitely when I had Kendrick Lamar personally reach out to me. A few years back I was in the DJ Mag Global Mix Competition and I really wanted do something different, so I decided I would mash-up four songs by an artist, and make all four songs sound like one big cohesive song. I originally did one with four of Wiz Khalifa's tracks, and after I decided to do one to four of Kendrick's tracks as well. I posted both to MixCloud and about a week later, I got a Direct Message from Kendrick. He told me he loved the mash-up and that he wanted a direct download link.
What has been the high point of your music path?
Even though, I have been steadily producing music for over 10 years, I focused on pursuing other things for a little while. I really didn't start pursuing music and dj'ing full time until 2015. Around august that year I decided to start an Instagram to really promote music and engage with potential fans. In a year's time I saw tremendous growth, from zero followers to over twenty-thousand, and over one hundred thousand video views. That's a high point for me because with seeing so much growth, it makes me feel that I really have connected with people. I've had so many other young artist and producers reach out to me, for advice and/or feedback. With music, all I ever wanted to do was to connect with people and knowing that I have, has really made me appreciate where I am at right now.
So, how do you approach songwriting or what is your creative process like?
For me, creativity is always flowing. I tend to get inspired by everyday things that are around me, and even real-life situations, I've experienced that end up being inspiration to write a song. My newest track "Aye" is a perfect example of that, it's based off of real interaction and conversation that I had through social media with a love interest I was pursuing at the time. I've always heard the saying that art imitates life, and I really believe that to be true. Especially being that for me what really sparks my creativity is real life experiences and things around me.
What do you see as the biggest challenge facing Indie Artists today? Or, if you could ask the music industry to change one thing, what would it be?
Politics. It's really no secret that nowadays, there's really no way for an indie artist to really make a living off of just releasing music. So for a lot of indie artist, they need to perform in order to really somewhat generate income. Performing can be a lot easier said than done, especially from what I've experienced. I've personally dealt with a lot of promoters who have their favorites or "clique" and there way of booking artist doesn't seem to have anything to do with what actually matters for an artist to be qualified to perform. Because of this deserving artists that can really use a opportunity to gain experience are overlooked for the wrong reasons. My advice to any artist currently in this situation right now, keep focusing on your music, and connecting to others around you and most importantly don't be afraid to invest in yourself!
If you could share the stage with one other artist or band, who would it be and why?
This is a very tough one, there are so many great artist that I could choose, but if I had to pick just one I would have to say, Lecrae. He's a Hip-Hop artist that comes out with very uplifting, encouraging tracks. His music got me through a lot when I was younger and everything I was going through. I actually met him, this past October backstage at his concert. I told him that, "One day I would be producing and performing with you." One day I really hope to make it a reality.
What are your rehearsals generally like? Or, how do you prepare for a live show?
Being that my show is a mixture of performing my original tracks and dj'ing, when it comes to preparing, I really look to find the energy I need to perform my songs for the show throughout the course of the day. When it comes to preparing what songs I'll have in a set, I'll let the energy that my performance radiates influence the type of songs that will be in my set that follows.
Pick one song that was your greatest challenge to write. Tell us about it!
The next single I'm currently working on has been one of the most challenging to write lyrics for. It's a song that really talks about the ups and downs I've experienced with music and touches a little bit about what I talked about when it comes to biggest challenges for Indie Artist today. In this song, I take a more aggressive approach in the lyrics and it's something different, than what's expected of me. It's going to be called "Out My Way" and I'm excited to share it with everyone later this year.
What's coming up in the future?
Last year, I really started focusing on planning my own concerts. This year, I will be funding and promoting those concerts all throughout North Carolina. I'm really excited to perform along with my good friend Retrakx, and I look forward to meeting and connecting with fans!
Where can fans can access your music.
You can find a lot of my music is on Apple Music and all other streaming services!