If MNEK isn’t careful, the 19-year-old might actually succeed in his obvious quest to bring the ’90s back. His hi-top fade and geometric-patterned wardrobe deliver pure nostalgia for that brief, lost summer of house music domination on American radio, back in the day when Ten City’s soulful sounds ruled and techno just lived on the margins.
Already a Grammy-nom’d producer who’s spun chart-topping gold for Kylie Minogue and a slew of other U.K. hit-makers, the Nigerian-British musician (full name: Uzoechi Osisioma Emenike) has a legit heatrock in his own latest, “Wrote a Song About You Last Night.”
MNEK’s sexy emo voice really works its magic on this song and, like a Rorschach test, the tune could either be a lover’s lonesome lament or a slick kiss-off, depending on your perspective. “Lalala, you broke my heart in two/I don’t know what to do, you got me so confused.” The song is tart and plenty vulnerable, catchy and tender, and MNEK’s color-splashed video provides the perfect place setting for his display of boyish intensity. And when his voice jumps up an octave in that final chorus, whoo-sah…
The summer days of 2014 might belong to the Schmoney Dance and an endless parade of “***Flawless” remixes, but its summer nights belong to MNEK.—Sun Singleton