Words and Photography by Verity Hayday
Manchester Born Artist BlackJosh sits down to talk about his Manny roots, his musical upbringing and his newest project Mannyfornia. Having a name in both Manchester and London has given BlackJosh a strong knowledge of the music scene and a strong team behind him. He’s in a confident spot when it comes to making music and his fans are only eager to hear more.
How are you feeling about your 4th Album?
I just do it because I want to, I don’t really think about it, it’s just another one.
How did the artwork for Mannyfornia come together?
James Nealson wanted to make my block in manny look like California, we got the pennines (the hills) and the Block was Compton.
Do you have a favourite project that you’ve worked on?
Yungsweglawd, that one gets my attention. It was when I first came to London as a young adult and just lived off being me. It’s like a coming of age, I knew after that I had to pattern up.
Lifewise, has it been a big jump moving from Manchester to London?
No, my family is down here, my cousins are right here. My dad is a chef so he’s in London whippin up for special people.
Would you say London is more of a home than Manchester?
I have a life in each, my roots are in Manchester but my escape in London. I chill when I’m here but they’re both two factors that made me a person.
What’s the Music scene like in Manchester?
Everyone knows each other, there’s bare people on it but once you know everyone if you need something patterned you know who to go to.
Who have you been listening to?
I’ve been listening to great classics all month back to back. Roberta flack, Bobby Caldwell and Drill to get my energy up. One of those ones. I’ll listen to it, but I wouldn’t rap on a Drill track, like I wouldn’t sing. My sister can sing though.
What do your family think about your music?
I haven’t asked them because they’re not supposed to listen to it to be honest. I’m talking in ways some of them aren’t meant to hear, but my dad backs the ting. My mum’s favourite tune is Linguine Limbs, mum backs it too.
How did Own Ting come about?
Everyone on the tune was at the gaff at the time, Ell Boy and Sniff were making the beat. I went to the Mic and started singing Own Ting. Now remember I can’t sing, so Eliza kind of sang it for me, and that’s how I got the hook!
What’s Next for you?
I’m Chilling. When a new idea or desire to do something else comes to me I’ll do it but I’m not thirsty. My next step was trying to get to South By SouthWest, networking in Miami but because of lockdown I’m just chillin for now.
Listen to his newest album Mannyfornia and Recent Track Fisher Price out now on Spotify.