Published May 12, 2009How many legit 14-year-old R&B geniuses can you name off the top of your head? Heck, I'll even give you five minutes to Google that shit and see what you can find. Well, try Mnek (pronounced the way you would spell his last name, which is actually Emenike, first name Uzoechi). From southeast London, which means he's sure to be ignored until his fourth album, this young upstart not only produces his tunes but he also has a voice silky enough and lyrics clever enough to make him the ultimate package. And he just hit puberty! (It's not fair.)
A self-confessed pop music nut, Uzoechi does everything in his bedroom, where he apparently began making music at the age of nine. Nine! Speaking to FADER, he said he feels that "us black musicians can deliver something different than your ordinary 'take your shirt off and dance like Michael Jackson affairs.'"
Well, it's funny then because "Devil in Pumps" has a moment in the beginning of the chorus that's straight out of Jacko's "Rock With You," but I'd hardly call it an MJ affair. Instead, this "electro teddy bear" uses all sorts of retro-futuristic (bedroom) studio tricks (G-funk synths, Auto-tune, electro clap beats) for an anthem that's just dying to be blessed by the mixing skills of Timbaland.
It's still pretty early for this kid but I'm sensing big things are on the horizon... or at least that Diplo will be sniffing around his flat momentarily.
Mnek "Devil in Pumps (She Dips)"