Long-standing Grime stalwart Manga Saint Hilare, who started off in Roll Deep back in 2004, has been carving out his own solo path since around 2014-2015, and has established himself as one of the most consistently lyrical artists in the Grime scene. His latest project continues the trend that has set him apart from the rest, as one of the best, an outsider of the scene.
‘Glow in the Dark’ is a 12-track project from Manga Saint Hilare, produced entirely and exclusively by legendary Grime producer Lewi B, engineered by Freeza Chin, that reflects Manga’s futuristic, forward-thinking sound and ability to convey a message through his various works.
Manga kicks off with ‘Community Guidelines’, which starts off on a sombre note, Lewi B providing rather retro-sounding yet futuristic mellow synths, that transition into a heavy-hitting grime/drill production. Manga opens up on this heartfelt song about his family bereavement in the last year, yet portrays a ‘smile through the pain’ attitude, and a positive outlook that drives him to continue and, never a quitter, build on the legacy his Grandma left behind.
‘NRG’ lifts the vibes as Manga rides the wave on a Grime-come-Dancehall production from Lewi B, and does exactly as it says on the tin. Manga delivers skippy flows as he reflects on his relationship, expressing his gratitude for his lady, whom he feels a certain type of energy with, connecting them both to each other. Female singer Ikhana provides some beautiful, graceful vocals on the chorus. This one would definitely go down well in the dances.
‘Me & Mine’ and ‘Activated’ both up the tempo, two rapid grime bangers that Manga takes the opportunity to focus a bit more on his clever wordplay. The former is a skippy affair, as Manga reiterates that he is just focused on his business, outside when he’s in his zone, locking off from all of the foolery. Along with ‘Activated’, ‘Happy Place’ is a personal favourite, as Lewi B cooks up two disgusting, grimey beats, with ferocious basslines. ‘
The other song to be released previously is ‘Don’t Just Sit There, Do Something’, which lyrically is introspective from Manga, as he looks inwards at his own perceived flaws, yet following his own instinct, allowing positivity over negativity in his life. Humble and boastful at the same time, Manga could go anywhere, in reference to the hook. Another inward-looking track is ‘Control It’ that explores Manga’s own demons he faced, the emotions he’s felt and how he has dealt with and overcome them. A well-versed story-teller as well as lyricist, Manga seems to have a transition, an equilibrium within the lyrics. A well-written song, in my opinion, is ‘DFKM’, that details a mental crisis for Manga, fluctuating attempting to uplift his peers, and feeling depleted and low on energy, perhaps from giving all of his own energy.
‘This Too Shall Pass’ and ‘No Drama No Drama’ are mellower, more for the vibes. The former a Grime/Drill fusion, featuring polished singing vocals on the hook. The latter brings the dancehall vibe. ‘Human Resources’ is a splendid closing to the project, with Manga reflecting on the time that has flown by, and brings together many messages. To keep moving, stay positive through all the pain, let the universe pan out the way it will, work on your own goals. Put out positive energy, and receive it back. Don’t waste time on negativity. #GLOWINTHEDARK
Born of St. Lucian and Vincentian heritage, Manga Saint Hilare is a MOBO nominated story-telling lyrical artist, that explores life on the outskirts of popular culture,possessing incredible rapid, skippy flows, and stays true to the Grime sound, whilst putting his own unique stamp on his music.
Manga’s accolades include national radio support from the likes of Sir Spyro and DJ Target, 4 sold out shows, and a MOBO nomination for ‘Best Grime Act’. His fanbase is ever-growing, spanning the UK and worldwide. Manga is a Grime original, a true pioneer of the scene.
Check out the fun visuals that accompany the third single from ‘Glow in the Dark’, Lewi B-produced ‘NRG’ featuring Ikhana. The animated video by Theo Blackledge follows Manga’s journey with his ‘ride or die’, taking on the world side by side.
Out now on all streaming platforms, purchase ‘Glow in the Dark’, and let us know your thoughts and opinions.
Stream & Purchase: https://orcd.co/mangasainthilare