“Ridin’ is an elongated version of a misunderstood male trying to figure it all out”
– Manu Crooks
Premiering on Good Nights with Linda on triple J this week, and on Pigeons and Planes this morning, " Ridin '" is the first single off upcoming EP mood forever - a six track EP of brand new material (Due August 18).
Sydney-based artist and producer Manu Crooks exploded onto the international hip-hop scene last year with his debut track “ Everyday ”, before exceeding expectations again with the follow up breakout single “ Blowin’ Up ” which, all jokes aside, BLEW. UP.
The clip has now massed over 1.7 million views, and the track was added to triple J rotation, featured by Zane Lowe on Beats One, premiered by Hip-Hop’s biggest music news site The Fader , and earned the opportunity to open for both YG and Danny Brownon their respective Australian tours. For an artist who spends most of his time in a studio in Sydney, those are some pretty massive achievements for such a short amount of time.
Although based in Sydney, Manu Crooks has a definitively international sound. Building a dedicated following with his “raw lyricism and seamless flow,” ( The Fader ) some have likened him to the hugely popular Atlanta scene, some comparisons coming out of Toronto, while some can’t place his accent at all.
Early on in his career, yet already viewed as a pioneer in the Australian hip-hop scene,Manu Crooks is bridging hip-hop hemispheres and proving that he “might just be our best hope for Aus rap to make a significant impact on the international scene.” ( Complex )
This universal sound comes from growing up in Ghana, before finally settling as an Australian citizen in Sydney as a young teen. Because of this, Manu’s palette of influences is lush and diverse – he speaks two languages, is a producer, an artist, and a rapper. This comprehensive creativity perfectly showcases a new breed of beats coming out of Sydney, breaking the traditional structure of hip-hop in Australia to reveal an exciting and interesting new soundscape.
"Being of a West African background is super dope.. Just from going to parties when I was younger and hearing the music that was being played even around the house growing up, it instills a certain rhythm in you! The whole African culture and sound is embedded deep within... Also now living in Australia, it's a very culturally diverse place, & being around so many different nationalities is always so inspiring" - Manu Crooks
Recently featured by SBS Viceland , this group of artists, featuring Manu as well as producers Miracle and Dopamine, along fellow artists JOY, and Anfa Rose – all work out of a studio called ‘Dream Factory’. They’re creating something special and representing a new era of music in Australia – an era of culturally diverse and sonically challenging artists who are telling stories of their life experiences and the world around them, and who are getting recognition on a global scale.
Hip Hop coming out of Australia has a new agenda and it’s only just getting started.
Working with producers Miracle and DOPAM!NE for his upcoming EP, Manu Crooks’ has a fresh perspective and a continent full of hip hop fans who are ready to root for one of their own.
‘mood forever’ EP will be available August 18th
“Ridin” is available to stream and purchase on all platforms from July 14th