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Nura Rediscovers — Joel Manduke Listens to 'Songs in the Key of Life' by Stevie Wonder

Full Name: Joel Stephen Manduke
Born: Los Angeles, CA 
Based: Los Angeles, CA
Can't leave the house without: my laptop

Joel Manduke is a musical Swiss Army knife. A drummer, keyboardist, producer, director, composer and songwriter, Joel’s rise as an in-demand producer began (in deeply 21st century fashion) with him producing music and video content for leading Youtube stars. Working with channels with millions of subscribers and billions of views, he credits this early pressure with much of what he’s achieved today. Which, to be clear, is a whole damn lot. 

Joel has performed and produced with music legends across the globe, including Anderson .Paak, T-Pain, Aloe Blacc, Jason Mraz, Avicii, Wyclef Jean, and many more. He’s also played events like the American Music Awards, VidCon, and the Hollywood Palladium, and worked commercially with big-name clients such as Coca-Cola, HP and GoPro. Now, Joel’s conquering a new phase – his solo career. His debut single, ‘Easy Love’, was released in October 2019 and it’s nothing short of what you’d expect from a man with this much talent. 

We caught up with him recently for our Rediscovers series to chat about his first love, Stevie Wonder, and watch him freak out over the Nuraphone. In Joel’s words –  “I’m sure this is how Stevie wanted it to be heard”.

Describe 'you' to our audience:

Music is involved in some way shape or form? Count me in. Whether it’s touring as a musical director, producing for labels/artists, or directing and producing commercial content, I love challenging myself in different musical buckets of the industry. This diversity pushes me in my own music and personal creativity as a producer, drummer, keyboardist, and songwriter.

Tell us about your new release:

In October, I released my newest single, “Easy Love”. In out of sessions and writing camps for other artists, I found it tricky to find my own voice over the years. This single marks the beginning of new solo project for me with many more coming in 2020.

Tell us about your evolution as a producer:

It started with me making pretty questionable beats in my dorm room at UCLA. I was introduced to many artists posting their music on YouTube, and my eyes were quickly opened to a totally new side of the industry. I was fortunate enough to be able to work with some of the leading music artists on YouTube and rack over 2 billion views on content I produced over these few years. While collaborating with many other label artists and international music artists as well, I continued and continue to travel around the world producing and performing. Some artists I’ve had the privilege of collaborating with include: Anderson .Paak, Aloe Blacc, T-Pain, Jason Mraz, Wyclef Jean, Avicii, and many others.

Tell us about Songs In The Key Of Life by Stevie Wonder

Stevie Wonder has been and continues to be one of my greatest musical inspirations. With a degree and background in jazz performance, I’ve found Stevie’s ability to make complex harmony and musical arranging tangible to popular audiences. I’ve listened to Songs In The Key Of Life 10,000 times, and I have plan of stopping.

Tell us about that first moment you tried the Nuraphone:

It truly is one of those things you have to experience to believe… Don’t get me wrong. The technology behind it is unbelievable. But once I tried it… HOLY ****. I was hearing things on records I had never heard before. I was hearing my own music in ways I had only hoped for. Just try it. it speaks for itself.

What's your favourite track to relax:

Right now, Bon Iver’s i,i is on repeat.

You can binge watch our full Rediscovers series on YouTube

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