Sunday, December 15, 2013
Pittsburg is known for being a hard working steel town as well as for the baseball team The, but it's also know known for producing many talented musicians including Manny Emmanuel Deada, who is helping putting his hometown on the music map. Born and raised in the town, Manny got his start in music by performing in a school musical, which later lead to him honing his singing and songwriting skills by studying many legendary R&B and New Jack Swing icons including Michael Jackson, Keith Sweat, New Edition, Guy, Marvin Gaye, Donny Hathaway, and Jodeci. He later became a member of the R&B group Crave which scored major hits in their hometown, before he was tapped to become by Hip-Hop/R&B group Pretty Ricky to become their third lead singer, where he became a household name and performed on the group's self-titled album and their hits "Tipsy In Dis Club" and "Say A Command" as well as performing on 106 & Park and with H-Town and Snoop Dogg. The talented singer is now hard at work pursuing his solo career with his solo debut which is bound to be a hit. I was grateful for the talented down to earth performer took time to chat with me via email about his start in music, tenure with the musical horny toads, and the importance of the media showing love and respect to "thick gals."
Da-PROFESSOR: This is Ra Shawn Da-Professor interviewing Singer/Songwriter/Musician and former Pretty Ricky lead singer Manny Emmauel DeAnda. Thanks for allowing me the opportunity to interview you. Let the viewers/readers know who is Manny Emmanuel DeAnda.
EMANUEL: Thank you bro, My name is Emanuel, former lead singer of legendary local group in Pittsburgh Crave and also platinum selling R&B group Pretty Ricky
DA-PROFESSOR: Cool. How are things been going for you bro?
EMMANUEL: Things are going well. Working hard on all of my new projects. I just released my first solo mixtape/album called Cuffin Season Volume 1. It's available on iTunes, Amazon, Samsung, Google Play and anywhere else you can buy music online.
DA-PROFESSOR: Alright. Tell me how did you become involved and interested in singing and playing piano?
EMMANUEL: I've been singing since at least the age of 8 and my first performance in front of a crowd was in 3rd grade and I played the part of the cowardly lion in The Wiz. I was scared out of my mind but I did it. Since then I was extremely interested in music. I actually just picked up playing the piano about 5 years ago, so over that time period I've taught myself how to play some things. Now I'm entering the production phase of my career.
DA-PROFESSOR: Which singers influenced you and what was it about them that grabbed your attention?
EMMAUNEL: I grew up on Michael Jackson, Marvin Gaye, Donny Hathaway. Then later on I became inspired by guys like Keith Sweat, Teddy Riley and Guy and Blackstreet. Jodeci, Boys To Men, New Edition, Johnny Gill, Musiq Soulchild, Bobby Brown and R. Kelly. These guys were all unique in their own way and the thing about them is they are all so soulful. I was born and raised in soul music. I love it.
DA-PROFESSOR: Interesting. You were also a member of the Singing group Crave, how did you become a member of that successful quartet and what hit records did you record?
EMMANUEL: Crave was started after we appeared in the movie The Temptations which was filmed in my old neighborhood in Pittsburgh. We just decided to keep it going and found monumental success from our hard work and assistance from MSE Management group headed up by Big D.
DA-PROFESSOR: I Learned that you was very popular in your hometown and received many awards and honors for your songs
EMMANUEL: We had 3 #1 singles at radio in our market, which at the time was unheard of especially for local artists. We broke down a lot of barriers and accomplished a lot of things like getting a proclamation of Crave Day and receiving the key to the city. It was very gratifying for us and it helped us achieve more along the away.
DA-PROFESSOR: Fans know you as the 3rd and final lead singer of the Hip-Hop/Soul group Pretty Ricky. How did you become the musical horny toad's lead singer?
EMMANUEL: Lol well they came to town for a show with Trey Songs and heard us bumpin at radio. They brought us down to the venue and had us open up for the show and it was over from there. That show turned into a tour with them on the Late Night Special tour, then a trip to Florida to start recording an album. After I went solo and left Pittsburgh, I joined the group in 2008 and we dropped a self titled album Pretty Ricky in 2009.
DA-PROFESSOR: When it came to perform with them did you feel any pressure of being their new lead singer?
EMMANUEL: There is always pressure to be the best you can be in any situation. Even as a solo artist there is an immense amount of pressure. But I always handled myself like a professional and made sure I was well prepared for everything. From shows to interviews to appearances on 106 n Park, etc.
DA-PROFESSOR: You did your thang vocally and lyrically on their self-titled album. Some of my favorite songs are Say A Command, Tipsy In Dis Club, Menage A Trois, Doggy Style Lap Dance and Black. What were the inspirations for those songs?
EMMANUEL: Sex, um love making, making babies, lol. Whatever you want to call it, but that's what inspired most of PR's music.
DA-PROFESSOR: I love your solo performance on "Downtown" which has a mixture of Classic Soul, Jazz, Gospel and a D'Angelo, Prince Keith Sweat vibe. What prompted you to use those vibes on that song and did you play any instruments on that track besides sing?
EMMANUEL: Well that was planned because we wanted to showcase my vocal ability and come from a more soulful angle than just another slow sex record. And all of the production credit has to go to the man we called Doc. My productions are coming very soon.
DA-PROFESSOR: You also had the opportunity to perform with R&B Legends H-Town, Snoop Dogg and Jodeci. What was it like sharing the stage with those musical iconic legends?
EMMANUEL: It was surreal just to be on a record with these legends. Such a blessing. I can say that I have done a song with these greats and I have everlasting memories of doing the H Town grind with H town on stage while performing Knocking The Boots. These are experiences that i will treasure forever. I also have a song with Keke Wyatt and Bone Thugs and Jackie-O as well.
DA-PROFESSOR: After the group released the mix-tape, many had believed that the group was going to work on solo projects and reunite for the album Bluestarrs, but we later learned that the group had disbanded. I like to know had the band disbanded for good? What happened between you and the group and who came up with your former stage name Lingere?
EMMANUEL: PR will always be PR. No matter who is singing the songs. But it was time to go in another direction and I am very thankful to Bluestar and Pretty Ricky for the experience, it was a great ride. Actually Baby Blue came up with the L word lol..
DA-PROFESSOR: Wow. Now you're recording and performing as a solo artist and using your original name. How does it feel to be performing solo and doing the music you love?
EMMANUEL: It feels amazing because I finally feel like I'm giving my listeners the REAL me. It's a complete blessing to get another shot at this.
DA-PROFESSOR: Cool I noticed your last name is Latin. What is your heritage and nationality?
EMMAUNEL: DeAnda, I am of Mexican background. My father Lupe DeAnda passed in 2010. RWG pops. My mother is a southern gal with roots in Tennessee and Atlanta Georgia.
DA-PROFESSOR: Cool on to your solo joints. What was the inspiration for Thick As F**K?
EMMANUEL: That was just a quick remix for the ladies. S/o to Wayne and 2 chains. the women are always the motivation..
DA-PROFESSOR: That's wassup bro. There are many brothers who love thick ladies over skinny ones. Something the media doesn't show or acknowledge and if there are movies featuring thick ladies they're always portrayed as ghetto uneducated and undesireable.
EMMANUEL: I think that all media outlets need to give more respect to the "thick ladies" in the world. There is beauty that comes in all shapes and sizes. I love thick gals.
DA-PROFESSOR: You recently released the single Batter Up which is dedicated to the Pittsburg Pirates. What inspired you to pay homage to them and do you think they will use it as their theme song in the future?
EMMANUEL: Well I am a huge baseball fan and the Pirates will always be my favorite team so it was a no brainer. And we are hopeful that the record gets used in the future yes. There are possibilities of that happening.
DA-PROFESSOR: How is the music scene in Pittsburg?
EMMANUEL: The music scene in Pittsburgh is overflowing with talented and inspiring artists. I just hope the industry takes more notice of our talents in the upcoming future. Pittsburgh has influenced a lot of the music community. The west coast wouldn't be the same without the Pittsburgh influence. Now the whole world is getting touched by the Burgh. I'm proud of that.
DA-PROFESSOR: If you have the opportunity to work with any artist mainstream who would they be (name as many as you like).
EMMANUEL: I'd say R. Kelly first and foremost. Musiq Soulchild, Missy Eliot, Pharrel, Teddy Riley, Tank, Timbaland, Wale, Miguel, Trey, Usher, Keri Hilson, Faith Evans. I mean this is like a Christmas wish list lol. But I could go on forever.
DA-PROFESSOR: You recently reconnected with Ambition and the other members of Crave. Are there plans of ya'll reuniting to record and perform and tour in the future?
EMMANUEL: Ambition is on my new album with a song called Lonely Place. It's a great record for the ladies. Crave has some things in the works as well.
DA-PROFESSOR: We recently losted many legends including Michael Jackson. How did his death affect you as a performer?
EMMANUEL: I was crushed when we lost Michael. And Whitney as well. With all of the mystery surrounding each of their deaths, it makes you think deeply about life and the music business and how things can get tragically out of hand.
DA-PROFESSOR: We also lost Soul legend Teena Marie as well. What did you think of her as a performer and how did her death affect you and the industry as a whole?
EMMAUNEL: Teena was a soulful legend. Her soul spoke to you on each one of her records. I grew up on her music as well and it hit me hard too. I just wish that we could all live forever in the physical, but legends like herself with live forever through the arts.
DA-PROFESSOR: Many were and still shocked at the unexpected death of Disco Icon/Songwriter Donna Summer who lost her battle with cancer. How did you think her loss affected the industry?
EMMANUEL: I believe plenty of people were affected by her passing. She also was a legend. it's hard to see people leave this planet.
DA-PROFESSOR: You was born and raised in Pittsburg, what was it like growing up there and from your presepctive, what is about guys from Pittsburg that makes them interesting and makes ladies want to holla at them?
EMMANUEL: Pittsburgh will always be home for me. It's a great city. Even though it's small, this city has so much character and that's what I believe attracts women and people in general to us. We have our own style and we have this fire in us because we are a blue collar city. We work hard for everything out here. S/o to the entire city..
DA-PROFESSOR: How do you feel you're gonna continue make an impact on the music industry? Do you plan on pursuing any acting modeling or having another business venture in the future?
EMMAUNEL: Like I said before, it's a blessing to have a second chance in this business and I plan on making the most of it. 2014, lets GO! I plan on using this music that I create to get into everything in the future. Especially tv and movies. That's the other side of the game I want to go into.
DA-PROFESSOR: Where do you see yourself in the next 5-10 years?
EMMANUEL: In the next 5-10 years I see myself still working hard with an even more intense focus and grind towards new and bigger goals.
DA-PROFESSOR: When you're not performing and recording what do you on your free time?
EMMANUEL: In my spare time i'm doing research online studying human life and art and music and politics. I'm also a teacher of music and arts in a few different schools here in Pittsburgh. I feel it's my job to give back to the youth and the community. I want to be one of the leaders to guide the youth in the right direction. Through my program "Say Something" headed up by myself and my music and business partner Akil Esoon, we are saving the youth through the arts. It's a pure blessing.
DA-PROFESSOR: What advise would your give to aspiring singers and writers who want to pursue a career in the music industry?
EMMANUEL: Take yourself serious, take advantage of every opportunity placed in front of you. Work hard towards your music goals everyday, get the right management in place and just work tirelessly recording music. It's your body of work and the quality of your music that eventually gets you the shot you're looking for. Do business the right way and you will receive success.
DA-PROFESSOR: I'd like to thank you for taking time to allow me to interview you bro. It's greatly appreciated. Strive for Excellence.
EMMANUEL: Not a problem, thank you for the opportunity! S/o to my entire team, MSE Management Group, the city of Pittsburgh, WAMO 100 and everybody else involved with the Emanuel project! thank You!!