The musically prolific Myele Manzanza has not only held down the drums as part of Wellington’s Electric Wire Hustle for the past 4 years but has also drummed for Olmecha Supreme, Sheba Williams, The Recloose Live Band, The Jonathan Crayford Trio as well as for his father – Sam Manzanza’s Rhythm Africa Band & countless other musical projects.
Myele only started playing drum kit at age 14 but has been hand drumming traditional African rhythms with his father Sam Manzanza from a young age.
“Growing up music and rhythm was all around me and I understood it from a very early age. Through my father I learnt the language of the drum probably at the same time as I learnt to talk! My dad was one of the first Africans to perform traditional African & High Life music live in New Zealand & he has been a tremendous influence & inspiration on my career as a musician.” says Myele.
Since graduating from the New Zealand School Of Music with a Degree in Jazz performance in 2008, Myele has dutifully dedicated himself to learning the new discipline of digital music production. In 2010 Myele was the only New Zealander selected to participate in the Red Bull Music Academy in London where he picked up a wealth of knowledge & skill from the many other participants from all over the world and expert lecturers such as Flying Lotus, Roots Manuva, Cluster, Moodyman, Dr Peter Zinovieff and DJ Zinc.
The rest of 2010 was spent living between Berlin & New York & touring with Electric Wire Hustle with laptop in hand. The fertile breeding ground of creativity of these cities provided the musical inspiration to put together his first album aptly titled One.
Created primarily in Wellington, New York and Berlin in kitchens, bedrooms, hotel rooms, parks, balconies and backstage One draws on many influences and experiences. Rooted in Myele’s musical “first language” of rhythm, the album also expresses his voice as a musician and producer outside of being a drummer which was a key motivation for Myele. “This album was a challenge to myself to broaden my own musical identity as a musician.” he says.
The guest features on ‘One’ are a diverse bunch and include Myele’s own father, Congolese master percussionist and musician Sam Manzanza, NZ’s own Ladi 6, Bella Kalolo, Mara TK, Rachel Fraser & the unmistakable Mark de Clive Lowe on keys. International guests include Charlie K from Philadelphia Hip Hop group ‘Writtenhouse’,Canadian vocalist Amenta and James Wylie’s Boston based woodwind section.
Myele Manzanza’s debut solo album One will be released in New Zealand through Every Waking Hour & Rhythmethod 17 February 2012.
Myele will celebrate the release of One in Wellington on the 10th of February at San Francisco Bathhouse along with his former band, Olmecha Supreme’s new album School Of Evil Laughter and in Auckland the celebrations will be held at Ponsonby Social Club on the 23rd of February.
See Myele Manzanza and the Estobahn Eclectic featuring Bella Kalolo, Rachel Fraser & live band -
10 February – San Francisco Bathhouse, Wellington (with Olmecha Supreme) Buy tickets here
23 February – Ponsonby Social Club, Auckland