The place to find and share independent music. From hip-hop to pop, dubstep to drum n bass; Beatnik is your filter.
words Stevie McMinn / photography Paul Bence
Welcome to the sound of the Man Like Me, the North London Trio who two years ago rampaged into the UK’s music scene with single ‘Oh My Gosh’ and hit the gig circuit, tearing up the stage with their outlandish and uncompromising cheeky cockney bravado. If you haven’t already come across this band and heard the track ‘London Town’, the immensely catchy and enchanting second single, then you clearly haven’t been to enough parties.
Beatnik got a chance to catch up with front man Jonny Langer as the band release their new Lovestruck EP and prepare to tear up the festival season with dates that include Glastonbury, Outlook, Lovebox and Bestival to name but a few. As we pumped up our inflatable dingy and put Jonny in it on Camden canal, he helped us get to grips with a band that describe themselves as Powerpop/Glam/Psychobilly.
Along with helping make sense of the genres they delve into and the sounds they throw into the mix, he also uncovers the bands early beginning and how Man Like Me come to be.
I’ve heard the term Hip Hop/Electronica thrown around when it comes to you guys, how would you describe yourselves?
Every interview we’ve ever done someone has asked this question and we are still no closer to finding an answer. Sorry.
What was it that lead you to make music in the first place?
My career options were looking bleak, I didn’t get the best grades and I didn’t want to go to a crap uni up north and waste time doing a degree in a subject i wasnt interested in, so I carried on my job as a gardener and made tunes in my bedroom and I’m pretty much in the same position today.
Where did the name ‘Man Like Me’ come from?
A rude boy we knew from school always used to refer to himself as man like me, so after the numerous times he probably jacked me, I finally got to jack him, haha.
Can you give me a brief band history . What has been the most monumental moment so far?
The journy has been fabulous. I cant really re-live it now and it would probably be a bit boring to everyone else, like when all your mates went on holiday and you weren’t there.
When you were 14 years old what music were you listening to?
Drum and Bass.
What song has the most hits on your iTunes at the moment?
Busta Rhymes and Janet Jackson – ‘What’s It Gonna Be’.
Nowadays everybody has their own home studio, what piece of equipment is most vital to you?
Yeah this is pretty much my process. The mic is the most important thing. That’s all you need to get down.
Do you guys play instruments?
I don’t play an instrument. Gutted, as I wish I’d taken my parents advice and learned to play one. My songs would be a lot better.
How do you go about creating music and coming up with a track?
I come up with a track usually when I’m on the night bus home and sing whatever I’ve come up with into my phone. If I have writer’s block I go onto Red Tube and take your mind off of things.
What is it that inspires you today?
My friends and family are my inspiration, standard but true.
Which 5 albums would you take to a desert island?
1. Tricky Maximquaye, 2. Waterboys Fishermans Blues 3. Van Morisson Astral weeks 4. D’angelo Voodoo 5. Brockie Skibba, Shabba and Det My 1999 Kool FM Tape
Is there anything happening in the British music scene at the moment that you’re into or particularly excited about?
Not that I know of. I still think MC Shabba is the coolest cutting edge thing in London which shows how much I know.
What current British producer would you like to work with?
Paul Epworth makes pretty banging sounding records.
What are your aims for 2010 and your hopes for the future?
To buy a house and a car.
If you weren’t making music what do you think you’d be doing?
I’d be an interior designer.
And finally if you won £56m on the EuroMillions what would you do with the money?
I’d buy Buffon for arsenal.
Read Beatnik Review of Man Like Me’s Debut, Man Like me
Man Like Me myspace