Manny Blu has always done things his own way.
Before Manny Blu was known as a Nashville artist with his own genre, three EPs, and 1M+ streams, he was playing tours throughout North America and Canada as an acclaimed M.M.A. fighter turned country singer and a true road warrior. Blu started his music career playing nightly shows supporting his 2019 debut album Leave It Like It Is while also sharpening the larger-than-life sound that would later fill his 2020 EP New Ink and his most recent 2021 EP, DEViL.
However, before Blu took the stage, he spent his days in the gym, training for a career as an M.M.A. fighter. When a leg injury left him unable to compete in professional matches, Blu found himself at home in Montreal, recovering from a torn quadricep and looking for a new passion for passing the time. What he found was a renewed appreciation for music. First, he was drawn to the guitar-driven blues of B.B. King, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and John Mayer. Secondly, he discovered a connection with the easygoing swagger and relatable storytelling of modern country.
Accompanying himself on the guitar and singing in an expressive voice, Blu began taking requests from the friends who'd come over to the house to visit. Those casual performances marked his first-time playing music for anyone, and the experience left a permanent mark.
"That was how it all started," Blu remembers. "All of my friends were living in other towns, playing hockey. They'd come back to Montreal during the summer, once hockey season was over, and they'd ask me to play the country songs they'd been listening to. I learned all the hits… and I learned there's a culture and a vibe to country music that's like nothing else."
Today, Blu has relocated to Nashville full-time and created a genre, Country Punk, which combines the lyrical style of country music with the heavy infused beats and sounds of punk rock. Country Punk brings Blu's own vibe to country music, creating an original sound that makes room for his blues and rock & roll influences. He introduced that sound in 2019 with Leave It Like It Is, a debut record that earned him thousands of new fans and presented him with the opportunity to hit the road.
Night after night, he hit the stage with a mission – aiming to win over the crowd with an undeniable live show. The guitars got louder. The drums grew even more pummeling, and the songs became even more anthemic. Out of that road experience, he emerged with OmniSound Studios EP New Ink. The EP was produced by Aaron Eshuis and hit songwriters like Josh Osborne, Rhett Atkins, and Ross Copperman. From "Born To Ride," which surpassed 1M streams / 350K YT views in 2020, to "Sink," these songs told relatable stories about love, loss, breakups, and everything in between, rooted in an amplified mix of country twang and heavy rock & roll attitude.
Blu's latest release, his third EP, DEViL, is gaining him even more momentum in his career. A tracklist that uses his Country Punk sound to express testaments of love and explain where he is at in his life right now, this new EP takes Blu's created genre of Country Punk to the next level. The EP features five songs written by several of Nashville's most esteemed writers: Michael Hardy, Ryan Hurd, Craig Wiseman, Ryan Beaver, Jessi Alexander, JT Harding, Aaron Eshuis, and more. The EP also features the vocals of Blaine Holcomb on "Circle Up" and Brittany Kennell on "Valet."
Blu describes his newest EP as "an ensemble of songs that have a variety of skill sets and sides of me as an artist that I haven't shown before and is probably the most complete project I've released to date. I think DEViL has elements that call back to what I've released before and what I have coming next."
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING
"IT'S A FROTHING ROCKER WITH LOADS OF ENERGY AND SIZZLE. HE'S ASKING FOR HER LOVE TO "HIT ME LIKE A TRAIN." THE RYTHM SECTION AND ELECTRIC GUITAR KICK SERIOUS BUTT BEHIND HIS YOUTHFULL WAIL"
"ALDEAN MEETS EDDIE VAN HALEN ON THIS BALLS-TO-THE-WALL SLICE OF JOY"
Country Music Rocks
"IF YOU ARE LOOKING TO HEAR A MIX OF COUNTRY TWANG WITH SOME ROCK & ROLL, THEN MANNY BLU IS THE ARTIST YOU NEED TO CHECK OUT"
BRINGING TO LIFE A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT SIDE OF THE MONTREAL-NATIVE, NEW INK SPEAKS DIRECTLY TO WHAT BLU HIMSELF CALLS THE “TRUE HEART” OF THE BAND’S LIVE SHOWS — “THERE’S MORE ROCK, MORE SOUL, AND MORE VOLUME THIS TIME AROUND. IT’S BIGGER AND LOUDER, BUT IT’S STILL ME. AND MORE IMPORTANTLY, IT’S STILL FUN.”