Cultures Collide In Manny Norte’s New Single ‘4 AM’
DJ, Presenter and Producer, Manny Norté brings together some of music’s hottest artists worldwide hailing from Atlanta, London and Nigeria on his new track ‘4AM’.
The track, which is produced by Norté, implores the vocal stylings of LVRN’s very own 6LACK, Nigeria’s rising star, Rema and the UK’s Tion Wayne for this first of a kind collaboration that’s set to take over the summer this year.
The visuals for the track, set in Accra, Ghana, West Africa follow the group across the vibrant planes of the city, as they are immersed in the local surroundings and culture. The visual perfectly complements the track as it details the allure, beauty and captivating essence of a woman. A relaxed, yet up-tempo track, with a highly infectious melody — the combination of RnB with the notable Afrobeat’s baseline is a perfect fusion for Norté’s first major offering as an artist, and one that places itself perfectly across the genres.
December 2019 saw an epic two-day video shoot with director Meiji Alabi in Norte’s parents’ hometown of Teshie – thanks to Afro Nation Festival, which took place at nearby Laboma Beach, Accra. “There’s no other time in the calendar where you’d be able to get these artists together in Ghana. I’m really appreciative of what has come to me, and I’m blessed,” Manny says, of the experience. “I’m bringing them together on my parents’ home ground. I was actually emotional in Ghana.” It’s unsurprising. This feat couldn’t have been pulled off by anyone other than Manny Norté.
‘4 AM’ is a reflection of Manny’s identity: from his days as a kid born to Ghanaian parents, introducing West London partygoers to rap and R&B records. “It is actually me,” he says. “If you listen to the song you know I’m about this life. It’s just real genuine shit with me. Whoever knows me, I like you to see that I genuinely care about what I’m doing.”
About Manny Norté:
You don’t become known as “the name you can trust” overnight. Taste-making DJ, presenter, producer and A&R Manny Norté has a connection to a global music culture that’s impossible to manufacture.
A typical day for Manny sees him waking up to host his daily radio show on Capital XTRA before rushing across town to his job at Polydor records where he works as a consultant on A&R, marketing and promotions. When the majority of his colleagues make their way home at the end of the day, he’s gearing up to play a prime time set at one of London’s clubs, or host an exclusive celebrity party. Once he gets his head to the pillow, it’s only a few hours before he wakes up ready to do it all again.
Born in Queen Charlotte hospital in Hammersmith to Ghanaian parents, Manny Norté started to express his love of music as a dancer, performing in fashion shows, battling colleges and appearing in music videos. He found DJing to be a natural progression and built a name for himself as part of the collective behind the legendary Rotation parties at Subterrannia in Ladbroke Grove, where the clientele included the likes of Puff Daddy, Prince, Jim Carey, Bel Biv Devoe, and Prodigy. Now as a MOBO Award-winning club DJ, he’s progressed to become a mainstay in Europe’s most iconic clubs and is the DJ of choice for global superstars like Jay Z, Naomi Campbell, Rihanna, and Beyoncé.
He first transitioned from the clubs to the airwaves through pirate station Code 10 and when the BBC launched 1Xtra in 2002, they invited Norté to be one of their first DJs. He’s since had shows on Kiss then Choice FM, which would become Capital XTRA where he can currently be heard six days a week. Appointment listening for fans of rap, R&B, and afrobeats, ‘The Norté Show’ is where Manny champions the artists he loves, breaking new music and hosting in-depth interviews with the likes of Stormzy, Cardi B and Nicki Minaj. “I care about the music, I care about the artists,” he explains of his approach to interviewing.
Manny’s journey as an A&R began in 2017, where he was identified by Polydor bosses as a strong asset to help them progress with hip-hop, rap and R&B in the UK, working across both homegrown releases, international signings such as 6LACK and Summer Walker, and those who bridge the gap like Ella Mai and Jacob Banks. “I’m around music 24 hours a day. When I’m DJing it’s like the best market research you could ever have,” he says of the role. “To be able to break a record is what I love. And on the record company side, to help make the records is what I really want to get into as well now.”
A natural connector of people, who is deeply embedded in music culture, Manny has dabbled in beat-making since his teens and is preparing to take his production to a new level this year. An ongoing music project ‘Manny Norté presents…’ will see him releasing music as a recording artist through Polydor, alongside his existing roles. The first track under the deal is ‘4 AM’.
In December, during Manny’s tenth consecutive Christmas spent in Ghana, he was able to get all of the artists in one place. Despite the high demand for Nigerian artist Rema, who’s music even reached Barack Obama’s playlist last year, he had mutual respect for Manny and loved the beat.
Tion Wayne was next to jump on the track, bringing his North London swagger to a studio session with Norté. “Tion is like a young LL Cool J to me,” says Manny. “He’s got the swag, he’s got the bars, girls love him!”
Having already had 6LACK as a guest on his radio show, and having worked his record through Polydor, Manny had a great relationship with the singer and his team and secured a feature for the track. To complete the track, Manny drafted rising South London beatmaker P2J (Stormzy, Beyoncé, Burna Boy) to contribute some additional production as well as Marshall Music.