Q+A : Five minutes with MANTi

On Renegade, the B-side off MANTi’s Call Out EP, lush afrohouse beats sprawl atop a low, ominous hum – a hum that grows more urgent, before catalysing into a buzzing onslaught of shuddering bass and industrial synths. The whole thing seethes with gargantuan energy, fusing together influences from a myriad of global styles and percussion. It speaks toward the LA-based, Iranian producer’s approach, which she says is the result of her diverse musical background. Her NXT party series reflects this, with lineups featuring the likes of Innellea and Lee Burridge – artists known for innovation, while her own music has grabbed the attention of tastemakers such as Kevin de Vries and Oostil. Due on October 27, Call Out will see MANTi make a striking debut on Turkish DJ/producer Elif’s new Marginalia imprint. We caught up with her ahead of its release.


Pre-order Call Out here


Set the tone for us. Where did your journey with music begin? 

My journey with music began at a very early age, as I discovered my passion for it through watching music videos and learning dance choreography from my favourite artists. Music quickly became a significant part of my life. However, it wasn’t until December 2016 that I decided to turn my enthusiasm into something more. I enrolled in the Music Production and Sound Design Course at Point Blank Music School in LA, where I learned how to make music. I also started taking DJing more seriously and began practising. In 2017, after completing my course at Point Blank LA, I landed my first gig at a wine bar in Beverly Hills and the promoter wanted me to play Hard Techno. It was quite strange as that music did not go with the venue at all, but I was grateful to be there DJing in front of a crowd. While DJing started as a hobby, I continued to make music and practice regularly. I also started producing music events in LA, organising and performing at various shows, especially within the underground music scene. Through consistent efforts and networking, I began to gain recognition, leading to more bookings. Between 2018 and 2022 my music production journey went through periods of activity and hiatus, primarily due to my day job and event planning commitments. It wasn’t until December of last year, when I made a conscious decision to prioritise music production, with the goal of eventually focusing solely on it and producing only a few shows per year.


What would you consider your key inspirations as MANTi? 

My inspirations are deeply rooted in my upbringing in Iran. Growing up in Iran, I was exposed to various musical styles, encompassing both Middle Eastern and Western sounds. This diverse musical environment had a profound impact on me and as a result, I developed a genuine obsession with music and dancing. This passion played a pivotal role in my desire to pursue a career in music.


Your upcoming EP ‘Call Out’ features some heavy hitting percussion. How is rhythm an integral part of your craft? 

For me, rhythm serves as the heartbeat of the track, driving the energy and providing a foundation for the entire composition. It’s not just about creating catchy beats but also about using rhythm to convey emotions, tell stories, and connect with the audience. 


‘Renegade’ has many influences woven in, from afrobeats to deep, melodic techno. How would you describe your sound and the styles you most associate with? 

My sound is a fusion of diverse influences that I tried to combine together in ‘Renegade.’ I don’t want to limit myself to just one sound which is why you hear a variety of styles in this track from Afro House to hypnotic melodic techno. I would describe my sound as a dynamic blend of different genres. It’s a musical journey that incorporates elements from across the electronic music spectrum, allowing me to create a unique sound.


‘Call Out’ is being released on Elif’s Marginalia imprint. What has the experience been like with this label? 

Working with Elif’s Marginalia label has been amazing! The label’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of electronic music aligns perfectly with my artistic vision. Their team is not only exceptionally professional but also deeply passionate about the music they release. 


Do you weave your rich cultural heritage into the music you make? How do you think this offers electronic music a unique point of view?  

Absolutely! My cultural background brings diverse musical traditions and flavours, which I love to incorporate into my work. This cultural infusion adds depth and authenticity to my sound. By embracing these cultural elements, I believe I’m contributing to the diversity and richness of electronic music, and offering a fresh lens through which to experience the genre.


What does the new year look like for MANTi? 

Working on new music and collaborating with other artists. These collaborations will help me explore new sonic territories and continue to evolve as an artist. 



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