Producer, engineer, instrumentalist - these are all labels on the résumé of St Louis raised, Chicago based artist Drew Mantia. The self-described “one-man-band” parlayed his formal musical training at Webster University into a production career that includes time working with Chance The Rapper, Twista, and more.
On June 15, Mantia is dropping his full length album Feel Good Music. The collection includes the cuts “Good Day,” “Send It Back,” and “Kill Yo Ass.” The 24-year-old’s LP will also feature the ProbCause assisted single “No Lie.” The song was produced, recorded, mixed, and mastered by Mantia.
Drew Mantia connected with AllHipHop.com to premiere the laid back track laced with Prob’s rapid fire rhymes and additional vocals by Brittany Lee Moffitt. The multi-genre wiz kid also gave insight into how “No Lie” came together, the Hip Hop scene in the Windy City, and the variety of themes presented on his Feel Good Music album.
[ALSO CHECK OUT: ProbCause Feat. Chance The Rapper – "LSD" Produced By Drew Mantia)]
Who are some of your producing influences?
Stevie Wonder, Quincy Jones, Timbaland, Kanye West, Steve Jordan, Daft Punk, and Kimbra.
You mix and engineer all of your own music as well. How does having those technical abilities impact your work when producing an artist's vocal performance?
I'll make suggestions to adjust their vocal tone, so it's sounding out of their mouth closer to how I hear it mixed in my head. The good technical vocal performances I want as an engineer tend to also be the captivating and energetic performances I want as a producer.
You've had the chance to work with some of Chicago's biggest rap stars like Twista and Chance The Rapper. What's the creative energy like in the city at the moment?
Good vibes alongside hard work and opportunity. I know myself and the people I'm working with are having a great time and feeling as creative as we ever have. We also have confidence that if we do great work it will get heard. If you're making good music in the Chicago Hip Hop scene, there's a lot of opportunity for you right now.
Are there any particular artists that you haven't worked with yet that you would like to hear on your production?
Mick Jenkins, Joey Purp, Noname Gypsy, and Eryn Allen Kane.
What was it about the track for "No Lie" that led you to get ProbCause to add verses?
I gave him a pack of demos for his new album and he picked that beat. It's straight up a song I produced for his album. We later decided it added something more special inside the context of Feel Good Music than it did on the ProbCause album.
Plus, there was no shortage of my production and solid material on his album, so he could let me grab it. A few of the tracks were born that way, recorded originally for the artist's album. So you know they gave me good bars. [laughs]
The title is kind of self-explanatory, but what can listeners expect from the Feel Good Music album?
A lot of featured vocals. Expect it to deliver on what the title implies, but it's not a one-trick-pony, there are surprises coming. It's a big ask these days, but give it a beginning-to-end listen and you'll be surprised and feel good. Expect to possibly ask yourself on a few moments though, "This is feel good?"
The first singles "Send It Back" and "Good Day" are all "good times, we're feeling great." The next single "Kill Yo Ass" had some darkness to it. Even "No Lie" to some degree. I wanted more song content than the obvious lyrics "Feel Good Music" evokes.
Stevie Wonder made anti-war songs that feel good, sad songs, songs about evil that feel good, along with all the love songs. It's about the feeling it gives you, not necessarily the content of the song. So expect to definitely feel good, but expect a little more range than what "Feel Good Music" may imply.
Listen to the AllHipHop.com premiere of Drew Mantia’s “No Lie” featuring ProbCause below.