For many people, music is a calling too strong to ignore. Manoo Halati, the creator of New York City’s Exile Kings is one of those people.
After years of letting his dreams fall to the side Manoo left behind the security of the nine to five to dedicate himself to his passion. The result? A truly astonishing debut album that is likely to shake up the indie music scene.
Shine, the product of six months’ worth of inspiration and a fair helping of blood, sweat and tears, combines the songwriting know-how of a Damien Rice or John Frusciante with the pop and rock sensibilities of bands like The Verve or Coldplay.
Exile Kings is a particularly apt name for the project Manoo embarked on.. He was a man who felt himself exiled from his true passion and, in a way, exiled from life. The name also comes from Manoo’s background as an Iranian-American. While physically distant from the struggle for freedom going on in his fatherland, the emotional connection remains strong, as seen by some of Shine’s more powerful lyrical moments.
Before the album began to take shape, Manoo met Brooklyn producer Craig Levy – aka Little Pioneer. Together, the pair crafted a unique sound for the Exile Kings.
It was an organic process, with many of the songs remaining ephemeral experiments right up until the moment they were finished. Sometimes the music is an explosion of creative energy, while at others it is an intimate whisper. But throughout, the Exile Kings sound remains both unique and captivating.
Naturally given the disillusionment Manoo felt before finding his musical salvation, the songs are about loss, alienation and broken hearts. But they are also about hope, joy and redemption.
In fact, Shine is about everything that a great rock album should be about-life, with all its highs and lows. And, on a personal level, it is about one man finding his path through the world thanks to the miraculous redemptive power of music.
Shine is out on January 25, with a series of New York shows to follow. Watch this space!