Some things are just meant to be......I rarely watch TV working every night, but I happened to be off one night and caught about 5 minutes of the TV show, "The Voice"....the same five minutes that Manny Cabo performed! I remember thinking how cool it was that a Jersey boy was rocking out on TV, but I turned the channel when he was done and that was that, or so I thought.
Fast forward to the current day, I get an email from the one and only Manny Cabo, we set up a Homegrown Spotlight filming date, and here we are! Manny, and his "boys", who I've met before in previous bands, are just a ray of shining light. They are the TRUEST form of talent from their humble personalities, professionalism, and their solid performing. I had the best time having everyone in to film for my blog, and I support them in everything they do!
Manny has a bunch of shows coming up, in fact one is this Saturday at Drom in NYC!!!! If you want a more local show, then catch them at Mexicali Live 3/2, or get all the information at his website.
Please give Manny the love he deserves!!! Check out the acoustic performance below, but first, we sat down and had a juicy question/answer series....
LINDSAY: Hey Manny!!! Working nights I hardly watch any TV at all, but I happened by fate to catch about 5 minutes of The Voice one day, and low and behold it was YOU on it!!! You were/are phenomenal, where do I even begin??? How about we start with what inspired you to even audition for The Voice?
MANNY: I did it to prove to myself that it's never too late to achieve your aspirations despite age, hardships (and I've had plenty of those), financial scarcity, peoples' jealousy, envy, lack of faith in my ability, and any other criticisms I failed to mention. Everyone deserves to be happy and to be given a chance to be themselves and "The Voic"e did just that, and with open arms.
LINDSAY: What was the audition process like? I acted in my former life before radio, so I know a little about the TV/movie world, but I'd love to hear your thoughts on how you felt the process was. Does The Voice audition contestants like other TV shows or not? How did you make it?
MANNY: Well Lindsay, auditioning for The Voice can be a very daunting task for those that are not prepared for it. First off, you have to be certain about your commitment if chosen, secondly you better make sure that you know the three songs that you choose inside out, backward,s and sideways, and make them your own. Third, the show has a lot to do with your personality.... just be yourself and talk about the things that define who you are as a person, and as an artist, and why you want an opportunity to showcase your ability. Finally, you have to be prepared to beat out 46,000 other worldly contestants, in a dark room with one spotlight filled with 20 executives with laptops staring at you incomplete shadow waiting for you to take that opportunity….. Easy enough right?
LINDSAY: When you actually made The Voice, what happened next? Tell us a little bit about, well, everything! Did you get to hang out with the amazing judges?? (Sorry, I'm sure you've told it before, but our WDHA fans who didn't know you, now do!)
MANNY: I'll never forget getting a phone call that Sunday evening a month after the initial audition telling me congratulations you made it to the executive auditions, you're flying out to Los Angeles. At that moment I had a myriad of emotions going through me including excitement, surrealism, bafflement and just utter shock. Then two weeks later I was on the plane and well, as they say; the rest was history. While on the show we spent some quality time with the judges talking about our musical experiences. Adam, who was my coach, was a very cool dude who dropped the F bomb like every other word which I thought was hilarious, and that made him more down-to-earth to me. Him, Blake and Gwen essentially just told me to be myself and that I didn't need to change anything, I already had rock star quality..But above all Pharell called my voice “Stratospheric' and coming from him, that was extremely humbling, hence the title of my EP. I must say the staff was beyond reproach and treated us all like celebrities.
LINDSAY: After The Voice, how did your life change? for the better? any worse?
MANNY: The Voice has indeed changed my life for the better, since getting back from Hollywood, I've been awarded the seal of Elizabeth, been given endless TV opportunities, been awarded front covers of magazines, been inducted in wall of fame's across America , instrument endorsements, and most importantly had Radio appearances like this one. I can honestly say I am truly and utterly grateful for such a rewarding experience that has afforded me so many doors being open.
LINDSAY: What's the next step? I heard you may be doing The Voice again?
MANNY: Well there is no next step for me, essentially it'll be the same thing I've been doing all these years, and that's forging ahead and pursuing all of my dreams as vigorously possible. I have never been one to sit around and wait for things to happen, I go after them and make them happen. As far as doing the voice again, even if I wanted to, which at this point there's no need to because I was awarded the highest possible award aside from winning the thin,g and that's getting a four chair turn during my auditions.
LINDSAY: How long have you been singing?
MANNY: I've been singing on off for about 15 years, and in the interim I took off for about four years because I just couldn't handle the political nonsense of the industry. Whether it was band bickering, creative differences, insecurities, dealing with greed and club owners, lack of appreciation and the list goes on.
LINDSAY: What's your favorite genre of music to sing?
MANNY: Ironically, I love singing Power pop music, but believe it or not I sing Latin music better than I do American but that's a hidden secret and nobody will know that..LOL unless of course it's Mark Anthony asks me to do a song with him.
LINDSAY: I've had the pleasure of playing, and listening to your newest EP Stratospheric, when will the rest of the world get their hands on this gem?
MANNY: I'm so glad that you enjoy the cuts off the new EP, the potential release date will be this week FEB 5th 2016 prior to our Huge showcase in Manhattan at club DROM.
LINDSAY: What went into the writing of Stratospheric? Do you have a manager, or are you DIY?
MANNY: Well let me put it to you this way a lot of late nights and plenty of DEWARS to keep us company LOL. Incidentally the album would've been released at least a year ago had it not been for my departure to the voice. But I can honestly say that this piece of music is the blood sweat and tears of my best friend, best man and co producer Michael T Frio, our great friend Leigh Wilson, who contributed some great ideas both lyrically and musically, and myself. We honestly put our heart and soul into this projec,t and I'm sure the world will agree once they listen to it. Right now no managers and everything visual like our logo, flyers, all of our social media interests, obviously professional photography and bookings are done by myself; thankfully working at Apple computers as a lead creative for so many years has afforded me all the tools necessary to be self-sufficient so I'm very grateful for that. But the music only comes alive with my four other brothers in this band.
LINDSAY: If a genie in a bottle could grant you three wishes right now, what would they be?
MANNY: Wow that's a great question but I'll take a stab at it..
First wish would be to affect billions worldwide into embracing peace and love for one another through my Music and my artistic pursuits.
Secondly, to wash away the greed and ego that's destroying this beautiful planet of ours….
And finally, to live out the rest of my days in this lifetime peacefully, with perfect health, and with my family while still rocking stages worldwide of course!!!! lol
LINDSAY: What's the most embarrassing moment you ever had as a performer?
MANNY: Well I never really had an embarrassing moment but I almost had a potentially disastrous moment. I was on stage at a sold out crowd in Boston but I didn't see the edge of the stage because of the front lit strobes, so as I continued singing I walked a little too close to the edge and fell forward. Thankfully it was so packed that I landed in the crowd and on the way down I was eased onto the floor, but I kept on singing and that's when they flip me over on my back and this girl had her knee in my chest singing into the mic with me . It all happened so fast that to this day I always think “What The Hell Was That”? The funny thing was that everyone thought it was part of show. The Crazy thing is I would gladly do that over and over and over again, minus that split second of fear thinking I'm going to smash my face on the floor LOL.
LINDSAY: What type of music would you describe your music as? Has it ever been compared to any other well known bands/artists?
MANNY: As far as comparing my music I would have to say it's a modern rock fused with a southern rock template with plenty of pop influences intertwined. I'm sometimes compared to having a Daughtry, Tonic, even classic Bad Company sound maybe a little Whitesnake here and there no pun intended..Ha
LINDSAY: If you were a superhero, who would you be and why?
MANNY: If I was a superhero, I would undoubtedly have to be the Hulk, because even in the most chaotic circumstances he always perseveres, handles all potential threats, is an undeniable and formidable apponnent who has that hidden humor and timidness that always comes out despite his apparent intimidating appearance and strength. No matter how intimidating he may be, his passion and persistence in finding a cure is humbling and perpetually in control of his vice until he needs it is what makes him a real superhero.
LINDSAY: What's the main goal for you right now as a musician? Do you want to tour the world, make more music, etc, tell us your secret mission!
MANNY: My ultimate goal right now is to entertain and fulfill all of my creative desires: yes I would love to tour the world, yes I would love to host an amazing TV series and star in Blockbuster films while inspiring our youth and my fellow baby boomers to strive for their dreams as well. But I can honestly say that music is my top priority right now, and consistency is key. Even if I'm awarded a Grammy for this initial effort I will always strive to exceed the expectations and deliver that apex Element of entertainment to my fans.
LINDSAY: Time to promo all that is Manny Cabo, any websites, information, and all that is you, please share with our WDHA fans!
MANNY: I am completely grateful for any type of advertising that I'm given, so here are all of my social media handles and I try to keep it simple for all of my supporters. Simply go to www.mannycabomusic.com for all of the updates. My social media handles are all the same as well @mannycabomusic.com everything and anything Manny Cabo can be found on these pertinent sites.
LINDSAY: Last but not least, for a new local original artist just starting off in the music industry today, what piece of advice would you give them?
MANNY: My biggest piece of advice to any artist is to stay true to your art. If you're a guitar player, drummer, singer, or what have you, make sure you master your craft and be the best that you can be in that respective category. When writing music never edit yourself and always write from the heart.... if anything revisit it later on. Start building an archive and library of originals for potential publishing deals, or any type of deals for that matter. Always expose yourself to all kinds of music! Don't limit your creative process, because you'd be amazed at how many nuances you can interject into your style from other sources of music. And start thinking of the brand that you want to exemplify and finding those that can relate to it.