Interview with musician Mannywellz

by Abigail St. Clair Thomas

photo by Toni O.

West coast editor, Abigail St. Clair Thomas, sat with Mannywellz at his private dinner and listening party. Overlooking the Hollywood Hills, they discussed music, Nigeria and “Soulfro”


Describe one memory from growing up in Nigeria that is closest to your heart. 

Well it’s two things.

One was playing with my cousins and younger sister hitting fruit trees with long sticks to get the fruit.

Another memory has to do with soccer. I was really into it growing up and once I missed a try outs for a league and remember being super annoyed. But, I have lots of memories of walking back from practice. We would stop and buy food along the way.


What is the biggest difference between the US and Nigerian concepts of love?

Oh, older men in Nigeria are a lot more affectionate without social fears.

But all in all, love is love. Maybe the differences are about the way people embrace each other.


“Soulfro” is how you describe your music. How do you know when your music is from your soul?

It just feels right. I’ve always been one to dig deep. Digging deep doesn’t always mean being controversial. I am always trying to pull something out of me. I just know when I feel a sense of relief. It’s a piece of me.


Where is your favorite place to fall asleep?

The floor.


No way?

Yes. I don’t always sleep in my bed at my house. It can be the couch or wherever. I just got used to it.


What song is the most important to you and why?

American Dream because it is so very “Soulfro”


What’s the last thing you said to someone over the phone?

I told my mom I was going to call her back.


What’s the last thing you wrote down on paper?

Something about trust. About letting go.


Is there a place you feel most at home when songwriting?

I like to create in different spaces. It’s all about the vibe in different spaces.


purchase Mannywellz Soulfro EP here
explore more of Mannywellz here and here

photo by Joshua Alexander

photo by Joshua Alexander