Musician, Rapper, Performer: Mani Marino

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BmoreArt’s Picks: May 19-25

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Art AND: Rosa Leff

Name: Imani
Stage Name: Mani Marino
Instagram: @ManiMarino

About Me: I am a hip hop artist with a number of different styles. I like to both rap and sing, and my music is heavily inspired by a number of things that extend from 90s/2000s R&B, to trap music, to storyteller raps, and beyond. Professionally, what funds my artistry is my work in the Youth Development field. By trade, I’m also a youth advocate, educator, mentor, consultant, and facilitator.

Age and Astrological Sign: I am 27 years old, and my birthday is October 2. I am a sun in Libra, something else in Aries, and another thing in Capricorn. As you can see, I’m relatively new the deep world of astrology but when reading my chart, I did feel like it was scarily spot on!

Wearing: A combination of a thrift store find, an H&M find, ASOS, and a pair of Converse! The thrift store find is the T-Shirt, which I copped from Savers on Joppa Rd.

My artistry gives me license to be all versions of myself in the most bold, honest, and unapologetic fashion.

Favorite Song or Lyrics by another musician: One of my favorite songs of all time is Renegade by Jay-Z (feat. Eminem) It’s literally so hard to choose my favorite lyrics from the song. The whole thing goes too hard. So I’ll just share the chorus: “Renegadeeeee – never been afraid to say, what’s on my mind at, any given time of day- cuz I’m a renegade. Never been afraid to talk about anything, anything, anything, anything!”

Why you make music: I make music because it’s arguably the place in which I feel the most free. My artistry gives me license to be all versions of myself in the most bold, honest, and unapologetic fashion. I also think I’m able to communicate to others that they can too, live in all of their truth and still be successful.

Dream Gig: To headline a globally well-known festival of my own creation! Think Broccoli Fest, except with a different name and the entire experience is fully curated by yours truly.

Listen: Mani Marino’s Overkill is an EP that effortlessly fuses in a combination of rap bars, lyrics, melodies, and inspiration from the past. With production by both Thomas Crager and PDubTheProducer, and accompanied by influences that range from Outkast all the way to Craig David – this is a project that is suitable for anyone, anywhere. This album is free and includes five tracks, including H.B.I.C., These Days (feat. Lonnie Moore), I’m On, LowKey, and Be With You (feat. Courtney Bennett).

Favorite instrument: Vocal cords.

Favorite music you grew up with? I loved listening to R&B soul music that my mother constantly played throughout my childhood. Whether it was the Isley Brothers, Luther Vandross, Jill Scott, Musiq Soulchild, Toni Braxton, etc. I loved it all.

How has the pandemic influenced your creative process? I’m someone who feels most comfortable in my writing process when I’m completely alone, so in that regard I’m grateful for the isolation of this time. I’ve been able to meditate, try new styles, sounds, and approaches. My virtual game has also been elevated a bit! Lol I curated my first virtual show called the “#WCW Virtual Concert” on Instagram and I have a series of other virtual offerings to come – all with the goal of promoting fellow artists, and giving folks a closer look into my creative process.


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