THE BIG CLOSE UP WEEKENDER IS ALMOST HERE! WE AT SHOPLIFTERS UNION THOUGHT IT WAS TIME TO TREAT YOU ALL TO ANOTHER CLOSE UP FESTIVAL EXCLUSIVE. NEXT UP ON OUR COUNTDOWN IS WELSH/CORNISH SINGER MANTARAYBRYN. THEIR HYPNOTIC ARRANGEMENTS AND INCISIVE LYRICISM BLEND TO MAKE PERFECT POP AND WE CAN’T WAIT TO HEAR IT LIVE.
Where did the name come from?
It was basically a nickname from school after I revealed that as a small child I ‘invented’ a swimming stroke that I called the ‘mantaray’: some friends thought this was funny and then Mantaraybryn was born.
Where does a lot of your inspiration for songwriting come from? Do you have a specific writing process or have a theme?
What inspires me to write is often that I need to get something out of my system or off my chest, similar in the way that some people would go running to feel better or to battle stress. I guess just life experiences, and then channeling those memories, perspectives, emotions onto something where you can scrapbook them later. I end up writing a lot of stand-alone sentences on my phone. I don’t think I have a single process; some songs have been in flux for years and some songs pour out fully formed.
If you could listen to one album for the rest of your life, what would it be?
How big, how blue, how beautiful by Florence and the Machine, that album is just full of drama, pain, elation; a total rollercoaster that has got me through some incredible and incredibly hard times.
If you could collaborate with one artist, who would that be?
Kid Harpoon. He doesn’t really release his own stuff anymore but writes with some amazing big pop acts. Everyone should go and listen to his album Once. If I could duet with Roisin Murphy too, I would die happy.
If you could support one band/artist (past or present) who would it be?
That’s such a hard question to answer, I might have to give you a couple. Florence (obviously), Eurythmics, Caribou, Yeasayer, Jungle, Kate Bush, and maybe Dolly Parton (just so I can be near Dolly Parton) – that was more than a couple…
Are you excited for CloseUp Festival 2022?
Of course! Such a great chance to see so many exciting acts under the same roof, and super accessible for a 3-day event. I’ve had a great time there before.
What have you got planned for the next 12 months?
New music is on its way in time for summer and festivals, I’ve leant more heavily into pop and making music with bigger energy, bigger outfits, more fun, just bigger.
What tips would you give for aspiring artists who want to go into the music industry?
Have a decent perspective of quality control for yourself; do you just want to release a song, or do you want to release something you’re genuinely proud of? And however small, you should be getting a fee as an artist.
Close Up takes place May 20-22,showcasing the nation’s finest emerging indie/electronic talent @ North LDN’s well known venue Colours. We transform the venue in, creating a 3 day, 2 stage spectacular in the capital. Grab tickets here: https://dice.fm/bundles/closeup-festival-av6v