By Faye-Chantelle Mondesir
In the SpotLyght Feature Magazine rolls out our ‘Centre Stage Red Carpet’ for Manu Francois. Son of highly accomplished musician Ras Bonté and mother Kam Hamilton, he was birthed on the exotic island of Saint Lucia, but has been resident in New Zealand for the past 20 years.
He highlighted that the culture there is remarkably different from that of his birth land, in regard to his school, societal and cultural experience. Manu shared with the magazine. “I am full of love and learning how to gift it in the ways that work best.”
Manu’s passions are music, dance and life! “I love the mind and the journey which we are on, having to keep our hearts open through all the trials of life; supporting each other, love, honesty and courage. I am also a Kung Fu practitioner, so I enjoy training and teaching Kung Fu to children,” he disclosed.
“Dance is a great passion of mine, I think that great happiness and contentment can be sourced through the art form; it is in a way a type of prayer, letting your body go the way it wants to, while willing it at the same time. It is an interesting space between ‘Willing and Letting Go!’ he elaborated. “That is a lesson in spontaneity, important in life,” he added.
Manu continued to share, “In the same way, I think life goes in rhythms; catching the wave is important if we are trying to build momentum in this life.” Compassion is a great motivator for the diverse international artiste, “When I recognise compassion in other people, it is a great, positive thing. It shows understanding and allows for others to catch a wave that we were perhaps unsure about the first time around,” he shared.
Manu has enjoyed some interesting philosophies and philosophers over the years, the likes of Alan Watts and Terrence McKenna, however his greatest inspiration and mentors have been his parents, Ras Bonté and Kam Hamilton. He believes he inherited his philosophical nature from his mother, while his spiritual nature was gifted unto him by his spiritually-rooted father, a trendsetting and dynamic musician himself, in his own right.
Manu through the past couple years has been enjoying significant career achievements. In 2017, he released a Rap and Song album called “Check It” which was self-produced and promoted. Speaking of Manu’s inherited musical diversity, he single-handedly played all instrumentals on the album, apart from some specialty instruments which feature in the compilation, like the harp and tabla.
“… So last year I produced that album, I also enjoyed my first international collaboration with Australian Pop duo Chloe Adelle. I also dropped a couple music videos over the year and that really just set up the momentum for the next year’s efforts, as I began to write a second album called ‘Release,’ this time more directed toward Song and Dance.
Manu informed In The SpotLyght that in 2018, he has produced a number of music videos, one for ‘Check It’ called “When The Tip Top Topples” and some for future release, while some remain bubbling in the musical pipeline to be produced.
Manu continued to share, “Through my music I am simply expressing who I am, the constants and the aspects that change. I love to see people dance and sing along, this gives me great motivation! I try not to involve negative things in my music as I develop, but still express my range of feelings, as they are who we are.”
Highlights in Manu’s life were returning to Saint Lucia in 2014 and seeing his father again after 18 years apart. “That was probably the biggest one! … Some great travel adventures with loved ones, dangerous and new experiences we have come through. I am glad to have made it this far and feel blessed for the journey. It is an incredible journey and I think that there is much to be realised by us all in terms of the reality of life.”
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CHECK OUT MANU’S CENTRE STAGE INTERVIEW BELOW and BE READY TO RECEIVE HIS UPCOMING VIDEO.