International radio interviews, six figure fan followings, and support gigs alongside some of hip-hop’s biggest names. Normally these aren’t things unsigned talent can say they’ve experienced. But Manny Boy can.
Emerging as one of Australia’s best new urban acts, Emanuel ‘Manny Boy’ Wassef was born in Egypt, before immigrating to Australia with his family at age five. Growing up in Sydney’s south and western suburbs, Manny discovered his passion and talent for music at an early age, indulging in it as just a hobby until he finished school and produced his first mixtape.
The self-titled ‘Manny Boy’ mixtape was released in 2007 – a collection of tracks showcasing his lyrical talent, over well-known hip-hop beats. The buzz created from the tape reached from Australia to the Middle East, establishing the young artist in Sydney’s urban scene, and catching the attention of Australia and Egypt’s music industry.
When Australian hip hop heavyweight producer,
Khaled ‘The Formula’ requested to work with Manny Boy,
it proved to be the beginning of a long and fruitful working relationship. The first track they produced together was 2010’s Internet release ‘Getaway’ featuring Australian artist Faydee, who recently topped the domestic music charts with his hit ‘Say My Name’.
The success of ‘Getaway’ led Manny Boy to be invited to tour Dubai, Egypt, Central Africa and increase his fan base there, before returning to Australia, where he was given the opportunity to open for international acts Lloyd, Akon, 112 and Dru Hill.
Currently ranked number one on Reverbnation’s Sydney hip-hop charts, Manny Boy’s most recent success was the with the internet single release, ‘I Will Fly’ featuring the Dream Big collective
“I want to make music that inspires me, and inspires other people,” he says of the song’s uplifting message.
Produced by Nic M, the song features members of the Dream Big collective Manny co-founded in mid 2011, J.Dwight, Miracle, and X-Factor Australia’s Lazy J and Young Men Society.
Miracle, J.Dwight, Lazy J and Young Men Society all appear on the track as well as contributing to the writing of it. The accompanying video was self-produced, then shot, and edited by associate production company, Diamond Li. A story about a young boy’s hardships and his determination to achieve greatness, the video received over 20,000 views on YouTube in its first week alone, and was one of the highest watched Australian uploads on the site that week.
Bouncing off the hugely positive response of ‘I Will Fly’, Manny pushed to finish off his upcoming LP.
“Being a self-made album, I got to make it the way I wanted to,” he says of the LP. “It’s an experiment for me, to see what sounds works best. If people like it, then that’s just an added bonus.”
With production credits from Dream Big’s Nic M, Khaled ‘The Formula’, Divy Pota and Miracle. The fusion of hip-hop, RnB, dance and pop creates a unique sound unlike the stereotyped style that rap is commonly associated with.
“My sound isn’t a hard hip-hop sound. It’s not stereotypical rap, it’s not gangster rap,” he says. “It’s real life music, what I feel and my opinions.”