Young Sydney artist Manu Crooks is red-hot right now. His new track “Buddy Buddy” recently debuted on Zane Lowe’s Beats One show and continues his upwards trajectory. Over sophisticated beats Manu lays down some tight lines. He may roll with the squad but he's definitely out front.
He’s also just announced a national tour culminating in his first hometown headline show. Noisey is presenting his gig at Sydney’s Hudson Ballroom. We caught up with him about live shows and owning the stage.
Noisey: Can you remember the first concert you went to?
Manu Crooks: I think the first concert I went to was when I was in my teens. It must've been Ja Rule in 2009. He played at the Big Top in Sydney and there was mad girls screaming and that. It was wild!
You’ve been playing some festivals as well as your own club shows. Is is the buzz different?
Both are very energetic. Club shows are more condensed if you know what I mean, whereas a festival is outdoors and there’s usually way more people.
What do you learn performing alongside someone like Stormzy?
He's super energetic you know, mans like Stormzy don't play when he's on that stage! It's hype from start to finish. I've learnt to stay composed and not run out of breath or even get caught up while I'm on stage.
What's going through your mind backstage before a show? What are you doing?
Most probably I have a bottle of Hennessy in my hand, sipping slow, tryna calm down my nerves. Ideally I would like to be by myself but sometimes having people around you can help.
You seem to have more involvement with the style and direction of your videos. Is this something you enjoy and will continue to do?
Yes, definitely. I feel like it's a part of being an artist, this is your art, I'm the one making the music, telling these stories, and the way I see it, it's my story, so who better to portray the story but me?
Noisey presents Manu Crooks Dec 7 at Sydney's Hudson Ballroom. Tickets available here.