Grant Eadie, better known as Manatee Commune, grew up as a classically trained musician in Spokane, Washington. After becoming completely enamored by classical music, he moved into the electronic scene. His songs have rich textures and layers that are in part inspired through his upbringing in classical music. He mixes organic sounds from nature with electronic elements that create smooth tracks that have been described as “groovy.” His songs have such a relaxing feel to them while also being exciting and keeping crowds engaged during his live shows. He’s becoming a staple in the electronic and dance community touring with big names such as Odezsa, performing at festivals all over the US, and being named “best electronic artist” by Seattle Weekly. His latest single “Growing Pains” is the final song to be released from his album PDA which releases Friday, May 3rd.
Listen to Manatee Commune’s latest track here:
Cliché: Can you tell me a little bit about your background as a classically trained musician? What pulled you into this creative world?
Grant Eadie: When I was a kid I was mildly obsessed with Celtic music. As early as I can remember, I wanted to play the violin and begged my parents to let me take classes. When elementary school rolled around, I finally got the chance. After that, I couldn’t get enough and wanted to play everything I could and to be the best at it.
In high school, music was literally the only thing I cared about. So I just soaked up everything I could in my little town of Spokane, WA. Then I discovered electronic music and my inspiration skyrocketed. I did my best to figure out how to make that kind of music myself and the rest, as they say, “is history.”
As a fellow violist, I really appreciate your use of viola throughout your songs, it’s not something you really hear all too often! Can you tell me a little about your instrumentation and choices behind it? It’s such a great mix of organic and electronic that creates such rich textures.
I think my classically trained background has given me the desire to make rich, four part harmonies and create sweeping, cinematic sounds. I find that strings usually accomplish that so well, especially when performed live. And I’ve noticed the richness of the sound that comes from human touch and I try to make it a point to at least perform all the parts of my productions, even if they are “synthetic” in nature.
Reading about your writing process for your song, “I Can Dream” feat. Effee, and how it all started with a beautiful spring day in Portland, it’s evident that you are inspired by the world around you. What would you say inspires you the most? Do you have a specific writing process or does it happen differently with each song?
Each song has its own unique inspiration. More often than not it’s captured in a small field recording that establishes the mood and then I tweak to blossom into a full blown track. The subtle details in the space inspires me the most. When I can close my eyes and listen to my surroundings and an immense feeling of calm washes over me, I know I got the right “sound” — like when you notice rain blowing through the leaves or the creak of a porch swing swaying in a gentle breeze.
You’ve collaborated with artists such as Marina Price, Effee, Flint Eastwood, and others. Who else would you love the opportunity to work with?
My ultimate wish list would definitely include Chelsea Cutler, Emily King, BAYNK, Chrome Sparks, Raveena and Tom Misch.
Your live sets are so interesting to watch because you’re the one making it all happen. What are some of the challenges you face when your performing live? What’s your favorite part about performing live?
A major challenge is maintaining the energy level. Performing live, triggering visuals and engaging the crowd requires tons of focus. Keeping all these moving parts well oiled while maintaining my stage presence is both invigorating and a little lonely sometimes.
My favorite part of performing live is hitting the drop with a full room of people and watching the anticipation on the crowd’s faces morph into blissful expressions as their expectations are surpassed and they find themselves lost in the music and the experience.
You’ve got a tour coming up this spring with Geographer. What are you looking forward to with this tour? Any stops along the way you are particularly looking forward to?
I’m so excited and honored to be supporting Geographer this Spring. Not only to be back on the road, but to debut bits and pieces of my new live set to the fans and cities I’ll be performing at for the first time. Off the top of my head, San Francisco and LA are the 2 stops I’m really pumped about. And I’m going to pull out all the stops to make those shows really special and memorable.
Apart from this upcoming tour. What else can listeners expect from you coming up in the near future?
I’ve got a full length album, PDA, out May 3 on Bastard Jazz with tons of featured vocalists. Dropping some limited edition, autographed white vinyl too for the project. The music video for my 4th single off the album, Growing Pains, premieres in May. Also did a special mixtape for Apple that drops a week or so after the album. Festival dates at Lightning in a Bottle, Shambhala and a few others this summer then my headlining tour this fall/winter and a special NYE 2019 performance. And most importantly, I’ll be documenting the process of growing out my mustache on the ‘gram!
Manatee Commune will be on tour this spring. Check out his website to see if he’s coming to a city near you!
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Electronic Artist Manatee Commune Talks New Music, Upcoming Tour, and Musical Inspiration: Featured Image Credit: Allen Daniel