Bad With Phones has returned today with his standout new track, “Living & Surfing“, out now on Don’t Sleep/[PIAS]. The rising South London artist recently released his much-anticipated debut mixtape Marinade, which was Jamz Supernova’s #1 EP on BBC Radio 1Xtra and received great support from Radio 1 and BBC 6 Music.
Bad With Phones’ sound is arrestingly minimal at its core. Powered by irresistible grooves and often overlaid with lo-fi acoustic guitar loops, his sound and ethos is rooted in the consistently rebellious and exploratively spiritual, making for a personality-packed, multifaceted musical experience. Hot on the heels of his greatly-received debut mixtape Marinade, Bad With Phones’ new track ‘Living & Surfing’ is a love letter to his favourite place, Berlin. Opening with a grumbling bass guitar, the track flows with an infectious immediacy, showcasing the young artist’s distinctive, Andre 3000-esque vocals. In his own words, “Living & Surfing is a song about ‘couch life’ – my journey being out in my favourite city Berlin. Living off the bare minimum.. meeting friends that I’ll know for the rest of my life, having my heart broken, breaking hearts (Of course), eating falafel wraps every day, sleeping on park benches, being harassed by the police and last but most importantly sexy bass lines.”
Like many good stories, Bad With Phones’, or Manny to his friends, begins in a small black church. Born in Deptford to Togolese parents, Manny spent much of his childhood in church, watching his Pentecostal pastor-father preach and his older brothers play in the church band. At home, his parents listened exclusively to gospel singers like Fred Hammond, Kirk Franklin and The Winans, so he looked to his brothers’ record collections, falling hard for Sade, Wu Tang, Puff Daddy and TLC. He also cites Bootsy Collins, Larry Graham and Jaco Pistorius as great inspirations.