An Interview With The Dynamic R&B Duo, MANE Music on Their Scholastic Beginnings, Biggest Inspirations and More!
Posted On 10 Feb 2016
Tag: All Access, All Access Music Group, Allen Stone, Artist Interview, Chaka Khan, D'Angelo, Eric Benet, Eric Escalante, Harrison Crenshaw, Jill Scott, Los Angeles, Loyola Marymount University, MANE, MANE Music, Missouri, Missy Elliot, Neo-Soul, Nothing Lasts Forever, OutKast, Robert Glasper, St. Louis, Stevie Wonder, The Mint
MANE Music is a dynamic R&B duo whose mission is to fuse old school grooves with new age rhythms to create an intriguing, yet familiar, sound.
Harrison Crenshaw, MANE’s lead vocalist originally from St. Louis, Missouri, has developed his soulful sound in Los Angeles, California for the last 12 years. His versatile background in music imposed upon him by his family, mixed with his knowledge and skills gained while studying at Loyola Marymount University, have united to form the multifaceted performer he is today.
Eric Escalante, MANE’s lead guitarist born and raised in Los Angeles, California, turned his love of listening to music into the art of making music when he picked up his first guitar at age 14. Since then, Eric has strived for, and succeeded in, creating a versatile sound that caters to many guitar-loving audiences. His study of classical guitar and Ethnomusicology at Loyola Marymount University were crucial in molding his style.
MANE Music has spent the last several months performing at venues in Los Angeles, as well as completing their soon-to-be-released EP, titled “Nothing Lasts Forever”.
Follow the band for more information and tour dates:
Learn more about MANE Music in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time! So, how’s 2015 been for the band? What are you most looking forward to in 2016?
2015 has been a really exciting and experimental time for us. We’ve been able to build a great team as well as develop our sound and repertoire, which we feel has helped us get our name out there.
2016 will definitely be a time with more performances in new places, new music and hopefully something in the way of a residency at a venue.
How would you describe your sound to someone who has never heard it before?
We like to describe our sound as an organic R&B/Soul experience.
How did you all first meet each other and decide to start this group? What do you think makes you two work so well together?
We first met while we were both in school at Loyola Marymount University. We had a lot of things in common, as far as our musical interests, and just started playing music together. We didn’t really have the idea of MANE until summer of 2014. At that point we had already been working on music together for almost a year. The fact that we’ve spent so much time working together is definitely what allows us to work so well together.
Where did you come up with the band name? What does MANE meet to you?
MANE was one of probably 20 or so names we actually came up with. The original idea sprang from our connection to Loyola Marymount University and having a Lion as the school’s mascot. We knew we wanted it to be focused around Lions and MANE was the most R&B sounding option that we both liked.
You’ve played a lot of LA venues recently. How have those been going? What’s been a favorite show so far? Where would you still love to play at?
We’re still trying to add more variety to our list of venues, but things have been going well! We’re not sure about a favorite show right now, but we can say that we do love to play at The Mint.
What do you hope to release “Nothing Lasts Forever”?
We’re hoping to release our EP sometime this year.
What musicians have continued to inspire you as a band and personally too? Who would you love to work with in the future?
A lot of Neo-Soul and old school R&B artists influence us – Jill Scott, Eric Benet, Chaka Khan, D’Angelo, Allen Stone, Robert Glasper, Stevie Wonder and the list goes on. We’d definitely love to work with any of these great artists. We both would kill to work with Missy Elliott and Outkast.
Where do you get the inspiration for your own music? Is that constantly changing?
We get our inspiration from our own lives. It’s really the best thing because it allows us to be authentic, to really be in the music and not just play it. I mean, one of the ways we even got started before there was a “MANE” is I (Harrison) would come over Eric’s place and play this game – he would come up with a four-chord progression and a word which was my prompt for writing lyrics. Next thing you know, we ended up having 8 songs and we both looked at each other and asked, “Are we ever going to perform any of these?” We were becoming MANE without even being aware of it.
What do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope listeners take away from your songs?
We try to focus the message in our music to be about self-awareness and hope. Knowing who you are, what you’re about, what you won’t put up with and what you will, and using that to get through this thing called life. It’s the coolest thing when someone comes up to us after one of our shows and tells us how a song touched them or how they’ve been through a similar story. That’s the whole point – we hope the listeners feel something, anything that prompts positivity and hopeful actions.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers about yourselves or your music?
We’re really excited for 2016 with MANE. If you haven’t heard us yet, you have to come out to one of our shows and check us out on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Soundcloud so you can be ready when we drop our EP this year, “Nothing Lasts Forever”. Universal ideas combined with sophisticated vocals and groovin’ tunes – that is MANE.
All photos courtesy of Makayla Symmonds