Every time I see MNEK popping up with a new track in my Release Radar on Spotify, the excitement wins me over: at only 22 years old, the British singer/songwriter/producer is a real banger factory. The production, the vocals, the lyrics – everything is equally good on every record, the Ultra Naté‘s Free sample from 1997 being the most delicious and tasteful icing on his latest cake named Paradise. ‘I’ve always loved Free, I grew up listening to loads of Kisstory, house and dance, so it was pretty sick that we were able to get it cleared. At the time loads of people were sampling these old skool R&B songs and I was like “okay, cool – but I would love to do the reverse of it and do a dance tune with an R&B vibe on it”’, he told Wonderland Magazine when the single got released last month.
The song couldn’t have been more appropriate in such dark times, and acts as a reminder that ‘it’s good to dream big and be optimistic even when things are hard’, explained MNEK. As much as it is important to be aware of all the sad and choking events surrounding us, it’s just as essential to practice self-care in order to cope and find hope. And, oh man, what a beautiful escape is the new acoustic version of Paradise! I initially thought this would just be a simple piano performance but when the sample of Free and the background vocals kick in at 32 seconds, they come with a wave of chills and goosebumps taking this pop/rnb gem to a brand new dimension.
MNEK is currently working on his debut album that he aims (and promised! – no pressure…) to finish this year.