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Exclusive Interview: Meet Def Manic


Exclusive Interview: Meet Def Manic

What first drew you into music and rap/hip-hop in particular?

I started listening to Hip Hop when I was a little kid, basically right after I moved out of Serbia during the war & into Australia. I think the first rappers I ever heard were 50 Cent, G-Unit, Eminem and that whole camp. Didn’t know English but quickly picked it up and there was something about the lyrics and the rawness of the rappers I started listening to that really resonated with me at the time & made me feel a part of something bigger than myself. I think I related to the struggles they spoke of but in my own way since I was an immigrant kid trying to belong somewhere. I was exposed to a lot of crazy shit early on so I started writing poetry to cope with it at 12 and then started actually recording at 16 because I wanted to show myself & other people that I had a voice & was bigger than the perception I was given at the time.


Your track “Journey at 4am” is very modern and the lyrics are amazing! How did you achieve such a great signature sound in such a short time? Also, what is your creative process like?

Appreciate that! This track was interesting to make because I was on some weird creative flow one rainy night in Brooklyn & I had this record sent to me by my publisher so I just freestyled the entire track – it was basically a collection of all my sporadic thoughts at 4am about life – hence the title. That’s usually my creative process too, I just freestyle and let myself go on a record & see where it takes me, sometimes I land on something amazing first go, other times it takes me a few recordings & I choose the best parts from them and tweak it afterward.


You have worked with many great producers and artists in the past, If you could work with anyone who would that be?

Would love to work with Kaytranada man, that’s the production Lord right there. Durkin is super dope too I’m going to try and work with on my next project. Oh and would love to work with XXYYXX & Flume/Taku one day, big goals for sure.


You have recently released a track titled “Suave Girls”. The track is a modern Hip-hop/R&B fusion and we wonder if you plan to release more R&B sounding tracks in the future.

100%! I’m always experimenting with different sounds & try to incorporate a mix of Electronic/Hip Hop/R&B in all of my tracks, especially the hooks – I think my hooks will always stay very R&Bish just because it’s really dope & who doesn’t love R&B?


What are your musical goals for the future?

In the short term, I want to release a huge debut album which is made from start to finish with my favorite producers, something that really expresses my signature sound & is a beautiful, complete body of work & something that I’m fully proud of. Longer term I’d love to play a few of the larger festivals here in the US, tour Asia (played a few shows out there but really want to hit every city) & start my own licensing/curation company where I find dope up and coming artists and get their music onto games, movies, TV etc. This was a huge boost for me & what got me known outside of my local area & it’s something artists aren’t exploring enough of.


What are your goals for the coming months, any upcoming projects we can get excited about?

Definitely! I have a little mini EP I’m dropping with my brother Alj called JUI$$Y this month & I’ve been working on my new EP which I’m hoping will be done by the end of the year, I’m already about 15 songs deep but just want to make sure it’s sonically dope before I release. I’m working with some real talented producers here in BK & it’s definitely a little more experimental/vibey then my last – keep an eye out!


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