MNEK (that’s: em-en-ee-kay) has been writing songs since he was 9 and producing hits since he was 14. “Us black musicians can deliver something different than your ordinary take your shirt off and dance like Michael Jackson affairs,” he said at that age, when Geri was his favorite Spice Girl. Born Uzoechi Osisioma Emenike, he’s 19 now. He’s got a perfect flat top.
Behind the scenes, MNEK has been a big deal in the UK for a while, working on three top 10 singles since 2011. But now he’s finally recording his debut solo LP, which will twist up all the soul and skill he’s soaked up from the best of ’80s, ’90s and ’00s pop, and add a big dose of internet-baby cool. Download the excellent album preview mix MNEK made for a sense of what that sounds like. Basically: these are songs to go dumb dancing to, but they’re not dumb.
3. Listen to the gorgeous, stripped-down version of MNEK’s new single, “Don’t Call This Love.”
How does he already know so much about what the world can do to your heart?