The 6 1 5 Featuring Manny Blu
Recently, Manny Blu has received TikTok attention for his videos that showcase his personality and music style. You can view his latest TikTok which has received 500K+ views HERE. Manny continues to develop and mold his unique vibe to country music–a sound he introduced with his debut EP Leave It Like It Is (2019), followed by his 2020 release, New Ink. Despite the difficulties that all artists had to face in the past year, 2020 was a landmark year for Manny Blu as he continued to make himself seen in the country music community. The promising artist expanded his team to an international level through added representation in the US and the UK, successfully releasing his EP New Ink filled with major songwriters like Josh Osborne, Ross Copperman, and Rhett Akins, and finding success with his debut release from that project "Born to Ride," reaching over 360K views on YouTube and surpassing over 1M streams worldwide.
Tell us a little bit about your Live & Turned Up Series 2? What has that experience been like? The first one was really cool but also had a little bit of a learning curve. It feels very unnatural to put on a full show with energy to just a few cameras, so doing Volume 2 I was able to get comfortable in that space and learn from the first one how to really take it to another level. Obviously, filming the second one at Exit/In was also a huge honor and being there naturally adds motivation to the whole thing. We really wanted to do a great job. Looking back at the videos and knowing that I have those songs captured with the neon Exit/In sign behind me and the band is something that I will be able to keep with me forever.
How would you describe your new EP to be released later this year? In one word I would say ‘diversity’. I strongly believe that we were really able to capture dynamics on this project, and really showcase all the abilities that I've gained through the pandemic. I’m really proud of this work and I can't wait to have all of these songs out into the world.
What is one thing you would want fans to know about you? I’d just want people to know that I make music because it’s fun. Jelly Roll put it perfectly when he said, “As musicians…we have 3 minutes to make sh*t right.” Though I’m aware all of my songs might not be for everyone all the time, I think we have enough diversity and dynamics through the catalog that I've released, and have coming, that I think people could find something they like throughout. Music is fun, music has feeling and emotion and I just want to bring something different and enjoyable to anyone who puts on a Manny Blu song.
Manny Blu's Top Six
Most under-rated thing about Nashville? Everyone knows about Nashville for its unbelievable history in country music, but as time has gone on, I think it really has become such an amazing hub for all types of music and musicians. I truly think it is the best place to be for musicians, artists, or anyone willing to work in the music industry.
How would you say your hometown differs from Nashville? As Nashville is growing, it is quickly growing out of being a small town and transitioning into an undeniable city. It still has some of that small southern town charm that I fell in love with on my first trip down. Montreal is a bona fide big city, and though it has great qualities, there are some negative ones too that I really dislike. Nashville really has become home!
Of course we love your style, any favorite Nashville shops or is everything custom? I’ve always loved fashion and style and making a statement with clothes. I have a couple of things that I've asked Travis Austin for. He's great at making statement pieces whether it's a hat or a jacket. While not being a patient person, I had stylistic things I wanted to add to clothing that I already have. I began customizing my own clothes as well because I could just do it, have it done, and wear it that night. I’ve always stood a little outside of the box and my style as an artist is no different.
What makes Nashville special to you? I call Nashville ‘a big town or a small city’. There is just an atmosphere, and an energy here that is like no other. I love that it has two sides. There are the trendy spots with cool drinks and unreal views. Then there are the really small hole in the wall dive bars that only take cash and only serve beer, and I'm here for BOTH! I’ve been fortunate enough to have travelled around a little bit and there has never been a place that I’ve felt was a place that I could potentially live for the rest of my life, until I moved here.
Say you had a completely free day in Nashville - no work allowed - what would you be doing? I’d start the day with breakfast at Hermitage Cafe. Later on in the day, I would hit up TopGolf for a few hours while they bring a rotation of buckets of Bud Light and just hang with friends or guests that are in town. I would then go to one of my favorite steakhouses in town, Jeff Ruby’s, and end the night at one of my favorite bars, Red Door Saloon.
What are some of your favorite Nashville restaurants? I’m a big fan of steak, so most of my favorites will have a common theme, haha. As mentioned before, I love Jeff Ruby’s, as well as Oak and Morton’s. However, I do love Hattie B’s Nashville Hot Chicken as well. Also, I can't forget about The Stillery.
One Thing About Nashville
How has Nashville influenced your music? Wanting to be part of the country music community made me realize that I don't have to be. I tried to break all the things I just love to do, like stand out with clothing or sounds, or anything that wasn't traditional ‘country’. While doing that I felt like I was letting down a side of me that wanted to be different and stand out in my own way. Once the barriers came down (in my mind), I was able to use the diverse musical knowledge and space that is in Nashville to inspire Country Punk. This town is so open to all styles and inspirations, that I think it allows for such fun fusion of genres that I don't think you are going to get anywhere in the world.
Best Broadway bar? Paradise Park no doubt! $6 pitches and the old school vibe in there is unbeatable on Broadway.
Best place to grab a beer? I like a good sit-down spot where you can hang with friends, talk and the music isn't too loud. To me, any spot on Demonbreun Hill is pretty good or of course Red Door Saloon. Springwater also has to be mentioned, one of the oldest dive bars in town.
Best steak? In terms of quality and consistency I would have to say Morton’s or Jeff Ruby’s, but Oak Steakhouse is quickly becoming one of my favorites.
Do you have a favorite music venue? Exit/In! I’ve seen shows there and we got to film our Live and Turned Up series Vol 2 there. The next step would be to play in front of a live audience. The atmosphere when I’ve been there was so cool, it's definitely a bucket list venue I want to play.
Favorite place to go on a date night? A great date would be a fun, casual dinner at The Sitllery in midtown and then going across the street to Kung Fu and playing arcade games while enjoying drinks. The only issue is that I’m very competitive so I never ‘let’ anyone win, haha.
Music (Spotify / Apple Music / etc. ): https://fanlink.to/mannyblu