Today: Apr 21, 2024

Guitarist from SCSU strives for originality in his music

Photo courtesy Jimi Mann
Mann started playing the guitar when he was 17.

Tamika AlexanderStaff Writer
Sitting back, reflecting on his musical talents, Jimi Mann, a junior music major at Southern Connecticut State University, described music as being in his blood.
“There was no spark,” he said. “I was born with a passion for singing and songwriting. I started playing guitar because it sounds best with the sounds I want to produce.”
He started playing the gui­tar at 17, he said, but had been a student of music for nine years before that, also playing the piano, harmonica and drums.
The music he plays “is just a reflection of my own interpre­tation of rock and roll. I let the mood I’m in determine how a song is going to sound when it’s done,” he said.
Mann said he likes Radiohead and Modest Mouse, along with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, who are recent inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of fame.

Photo courtesy Jimi Mann
Mann is a fan of many different types of music from rock to hip-hop.

Mann also said he listens to Nas, Mos Def and Wu-tang Clan, but doesn’t have a favorite song, band or artist
“I get bored with music very fast. There’s so many different rhythms, keys and words I’d feel like I let someone down if I picked just one,” he said. “Every artist has something different to say, or at least a different way of saying it, so I feel obligated to listen to as many of them as I can.”
When performing, he brings passion to his audience, Mann said.
“I want the audience to feel it,” he said. “When I look out at the faces watching me and their reac­tion moves me, I know I’m bring­ing it right.”
As he recollected one of his most memorable moments as a mu­sician, he described the feeling he likes to share with his audience.
“My band, the High Tides, played a show in Boston to an oversold crowd. We were nervous and excited that when we got in the huddle, none of us wanted to say anything that could ruin the moment,” he said. “We smiled, nodded to each other, and we were called back on stage for two en­cores that night. It was the kind of feeling you’d give a leg to get back.”
During his musical process, Mann strives for his own unique­ness, he said.
“I look up to a lot of musicians, but I find that if you have an idol you’ll end up trying to be like them and being an artist is about originality,” he said.
In one word, Chris Gal­lant, junior and accounting major at SCSU, describes Mann as “unique.”
“His music is original,” said Gallant. “It blends dif­ferent genres which aren’t usually heard together.”
Mann plays his own songs, Mann said of himself.
“I don’t want to sound like anyone specifically. When people compare me to other musi­cians I’d want them to argue about who I sound like,” he said.
“Anytime he sits on the couch,” said Gallant, “and just sings about the people and things around him, he improvises whole songs like that and makes everyone laugh. He’s really cool.”
He’s always writing songs and music and he’s very dedicated to his craft, said Delroy Clarke, fel­low classmate and music major at SCSU.
“Sometimes as artists,” Clarke said, “we pri­oritize music before we prioritize our education but it shows our dedication.”
With tal­ent, with perseverance, with work, Mann wants to write a song like no other, he said.
“My ulti­mate goal for my passion is to write the one song that says it all for me. The one I couldn’t write another after,” he said.

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