MNEK has been penning pop gems for the past few years and released his own EP
The 20-year-old producer and songwriter for Madonna, JoJo and Kylie is ready for his time in the spotlight.

MNEK has been penning pop gems for the past few years and released his own EP, Small Talk, in the U.S. last week.

One of his first singles, “Every Little Word,” has a mellow energy that perfectly encapsulates his vibe as a solo artist. It doesn’t try hard to be chill.  The vocals are strong but nonintrusive as they glide over the beat as he steadily chants, “do you **** to this ****,” in the background. On paper, it sounds like a it would be a complete mess, but it somehow just works.

Combining the soulfulness of Sam Smith and the energy of CeeLo Green, MNEK is carving out his own niche in the music world. At just 20, he isn’t a newbie to the music industry either. He wrote the pop hit “All Fired Up” for the Saturdays when he was just 16 year old.

His music has a colorful, lighthearted, 90’s flair that has bled over to his personal style. He is usually seen in bold patters along with his equally bold flat-top haircut.

The crooner  has quite the presence standing at about 7 feet tall. You would think he’d be accustomed to the attention. However, fame is something he isn’t quite ready for. He recently said, “it’s never ideal to lack that privacy but it comes with what I do. That’s one sacrifice that I know I have to make to get to where I want to go.”

He recently sat down with Digital Spy to discuss his transition from writer to pop star, and what working with some of the biggest artists and producers in the world is like. 

On his transition into the music world as a singer:

“I think there’s a lot more groundwork to do in the sense of getting people to understand what I’m doing… it’s not as accessible. I don’t think a tall black gay man singing about the rhythm isn’t going to do as well as, like, someone else in a suit singing about relatable songs. I’m just trying to my own thing, and I can only hope that people understand it or at least respect it.”

On working with Madonna on Rebel Heart:

“… It was a really nice session, she was really lovely…and I guess as the song (“Hold Tight”) came out, her fans seem to respond it really well, so yeah, awesome! And she’s a legend, and it’s an awesome opportunity to work with someone like Madonna who’s literally shaped the careers of so many artists that I’ve wanted to work with and that I look up to. She’s the queen!”

On working with legendary producers in the studio:

“I look up to …[Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis] so much, and so many of my favorite songs of all times have been produced or written by them. I suppose it was generally lovely knowing I had to be in the room with them and to create and come up with ideas and for them to respect what I’m doing.”

“I was [also in the studio…with Babyface, Todd Edwards, and…Darkchild.”

His latest single “The Rhythm” lives up to its title as he continues the pop, soul, fusion he is slowly becoming known for.

He may be focusing on his singing career at the moment, but his solo ambitions aren’t getting in the way of his producing. JoJo recently tweeted that MNEK will be working on her upcoming album.

I’m excited to see what MNEK continues to bring as a solo artist and pop producer, are you?