Manic.’s debut alt/pop single “Gone” is a phenomenal introduction to an artist who manages to create an entirely new, unique sound that brilliantly blends personal emotions with bold and unapologetically catchy melodic layers. This debut not only deeply resonates through the honest, relatable narrative, but carries the dynamic elements of a track capable of captivating contemporary listeners from the midst of a curated New Music playlist.
Formed in 2015, Manic. is the project of New Orleans native producer, multi-instrumentalist, & writer, Nicholas Banos, who spoke with heirwaves about the songs origin, establishing himself as an artist, and the beauty of sincerity in art.
“To me, the song is about some of the things that go through your head when you are in a toxic relationship, when you start doubting yourself and overthinking and this other person is starting to bring out the worst in you and they couldn’t care less,” Nicholas explains. Through candid lyrics such as “it hurts. i’m always your last, i made you my first” and “i don’t wanna be someone’s sometimes,” he candidly expresses the genuine heartache that stems from losing oneself in someone that’s already too far gone.
“It came to me in pieces,” he continues, “the lyrics in the bridge had been sitting in my back pocket for about 3 years.” From jotting down lyrics and poems on the go in the Notes app on his phone and in notebooks, Nicholas admits that songwriting is how he processes things. “A lot of the words will be parts of conversations or a thought I have throughout the day. I am honestly relieved to finally have it out. Releasing music is like therapy for me.”
Nicholas says that “Gone” had ultimately been placed on the creative back burner until this past May, while his laptop, speakers and keyboard were set up on his mom’s dining room table in Florida and he continued to search for what would become the “Manic. sound.”
Fascinated with the concept of blending analog and digital, or old and new, Nicholas allowed himself the freedom to find that sound without backing himself into the corner of a set style. “I had been trying to put myself in a specific box for a long time, but for this one I just had fun with it,” he explains. With the overall concept for the track coming together in just about an hour an a half, the recording was done nearly a year later with producer Kris Crummett in Portland, Oregon.
“I purposefully take inspiration from as many styles of music as possible. Personally, I don’t care for artists or songs that sound too much like something else or are too much in one specific direction,” Nicholas shares, citing artists producing hybrid, genre-blending music such as Twenty One Pilots and The 1975 as paving the way for the future of music.
“I don’t know very many people that only listen to one genre of music, so I try to create the way that I consume,” he explains, adding that he always tries to truly speak from his heart as opposed to following specific songwriting equation or following a trend.
Currently residing in Nashville, Nicholas finds himself surrounded by artists who ultimately share the same dream of “making it” – a setting that makes it increasingly tough to rise from the crowd. “It is very difficult to stand out in all of the noise,” he admits, “I still have a long way to go and there is a lot of work to be done. At the beginning of your career, you definitely need to prove yourself to a lot of people.”
In striving to stand out, he is standing up as the most sincere version of himself. “I think in the digital age we are in where a lot of people are doing the same thing, people appreciate a more human element,” he recognizes, “I definitely want to inspire other people to think outside the box & to express themselves sincerely.”
“I’ve met a lot of people that are afraid to write & talk about certain things because they buried a feeling too deep or they are afraid of being vulnerable. I hope that sharing my story & being vulnerable & real with my fans will inspire them to do the same, so that they can overcome whatever may be weighing them down & liberate themselves. We need each other, now more than ever,” Nicholas says.
“We need open our minds & our hearts,” he continues, “Above all, I really just want to build a community where young people and all types of people feel welcome, excepted, and understood & to remind people of their power.”
Aiming to release new music soon, Nicholas emphasizes that this is only the beginning. “It starts with this.”
“Gone” is available for streaming and download on all platforms.