“I would definitely say that 2020 pushed me over the edge, to the point that I needed to express myself more than I ever had,” Greentea Peng tells Apple Music. Recordings for MAN MADE—her debut album—first took shape in the early months of 2020, coinciding with a pandemic-induced lockdown and shortly after some sad family news. It led her to use the work as both a means of rumination on the pains of modern life and an ode to his memory. Creating a makeshift studio out of a friend’s house (nicknamed “the woods” from its location in the greenery of Surrey), she spent time alongside longtime friends and collaborators including her band, The Seng Seng Family, and executive producer Earbuds, diving into eclectic genres—ska, soul, trip-hop, dub—to “deliberate my inner workings, and inner conflicts,” she says. But there’s also an underlying effort to weather that conflict through messages of oneness and healing. The bulk of the project is deliberately mixed in 432 Hz (a frequency below industry standard) by legendary engineer Gordon "Commissioner Gordon" Williams, inspired by Wells’ research into the power of vibrations to provide comfort and restoration. “We're living in a very conflicting time,” she says. “Amidst the huge paradigm shift globally, physically, and spiritually, things are intense. I always want to help uplift and bring people into the spirit, ignite a little self-belief and sovereignty inside.” Explore MAN MADE with her track-by-track guide. “Make Noise” “This is a manifesto for the album. The song started from a beat that SAMO and Josh [Kiko, UK music producers] brought to the woods. We were listening to it, the band started jamming it. It ended up turning out really different to the original. I was in a very free state of expression, channeling like Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry. It's not meant to be an easily digested piece of work; it's meant to be somewhat niche and provoking.” “This Sound” “My band and I were in a perfect environment—very comfortable, there was a heat wave—and we got very trippy. We were making an untold amount of music and things would just happen, the boys started playing, and again, it just came. When we were making it, I wasn't thinking of any influences, but when I listen back, I think Fatboy Slim, or Quentin Tarantino movies. But that's just it—no song on the album really sounds like the song before, but in a way they all do.” “Free My People” (feat. Simmy and Kid Cruise) “Simmy [UK musician] and Cam [Toman, UK musician known as Kid Cruise] are my bredrins, they've been my bredrins for years. Before the lockdown I'd always ask them to open up my shows; we're almost in a similar kind of vibe the way we mix up the genres. I invited them through to the woods and we actually wrote that song together on the spot.” “Be Careful” “Swindle [UK musician and music producer] came with the beat and then we recreated it with the musicians. ‘Be Careful’ was cool because it's probably the most different tune on the album; it's quite modern-sounding, almost trappy type. And in terms of the lyrics, I feel like it's one of the simpler songs—it's straight to the point.” “Nah It Ain’t the Same” “When I say ‘being a man today,’ I'm talking about how being human today is just not the same; when you read scriptures, the word ‘man’ is what human is referred to, like, ‘We are all man at the end of the day.’ I guess I was playing devil's advocate a little bit because I knew people were gonna be like, ‘What about women?’ But I'm going beyond that, beyond all of these ideas of man and woman. For me, I think everyone should be actively seeking to try and balance both their masculine and feminine energy; it doesn't matter what people identify with.” “Earnest” “The words just came to me—I think I just was waiting for the opportunity to be able to purge and release all of this shit. I'm kind of channeling Barrington Levy and other kinds of reggae, but also just exploring my journey with faith and my connection with God, exploring that in there. It’s very honest.” “Suffer” “I originally started writing this about my man—he lost his dad basically the year I started going out with him. Initially I started writing about seeing him upset all the time and feeling his pain. I'm very sensitive, and very much an empath. When I then also experienced loss, it gave ‘Suffer’ a new lease of life. I touch on the topic of inherited trauma as well; it's such a massive thing that people just don't realize or know about.” “Mataji Freestyle” “That was one of the ones we made at like five in the morning—we jammed that song for about two hours straight. Me and the boys were in altered states of consciousness a lot of the time. Obviously we're making music in 432 Hz as well, so that definitely added to the energy of the house. It was very meditative and intense, like I was crying whilst recording that song. It's also quite a complex song if you break it down in terms of technicals; everyone is on a different time.” “Kali V2” “It’s controversial; I knew certain heads were not gonna like it. But at the end of the day, the album isn't for everyone. I guess it was kind of like a battle tune, a kind of rebel tune—the whole album is, to be honest.” “Satta” “I got the term ‘satta vibrations’ from [UK singer-songwriter] Finley Quaye. I wrote it one morning outside Highbury & Islington tube station on my way back from a party, still kind of buzzing. Just sat on a bench watching my surroundings—seeing a woman cry, bare feds everywhere, pigeons. ‘Satta’ was also produced by Commissioner Gordon, too.” “Party Hard Interlude” “I referenced [UK musician] Donae’o on this. It was essential to have on there, like a nice little break. I knew I wanted the album to have interludes, skits, to go in and out, I wanted it to be a journey. We were all on copious amounts of mushrooms when we made this, so I felt it would be rude not to have a little ode to mycelium on there.” “Dingaling” “We all went to Anish’s [Bhatt, UK producer known as Earbuds] studio after being back from the woods; we met up and were going through the album. Anish showed us that tune and we all ended up just getting a bit waved and being there all night with our instruments out. Before we knew it we’d recreated [his beat]. Again, it’s a re-lick of Blak Twang [2002 single ‘So Rotton’] and 2Face’s [Idibia, now known as 2Baba] ‘African Queen,’ with my own little bit in the middle.” “Maya” “‘Maya’ for me is a mad one, because I've never sung like that before, especially at the end where I'm proper wailing. This was a time where I really just expressed myself freely. I don't do that often and am not able to do that often yet.” “Man Made” “This is probably the most overtly political tune, but to me it’s more spiritual. You can take the song literally, but also metaphorically: how these man-made seeds are being planted in society and in the collective. Materialism, consumerism, individualism—it's only once you’re able to shed these accessories that you actually start remembering what it is to be human.” “Meditation” “This song literally was a meditation. This track could have been like 15 minutes long; initially we recorded for over an hour. It’s meant to take you inside yourself. And with the 432 Hz as well, it's tranquil, to say the least. When you can actually submit to the sound and the frequency, and you're not distracted by anything else, you can actually just listen to it.” “Poor Man Skit” “I’m questioning the idea of what it is to be rich, to be successful in the modern world, and what it is we should be striving for. Concepts of happiness have kind of gotten distorted. This is really just delving into that—like what does ‘poor’ even mean? Is it the person with no money, or the person with no empathy, compassion, or connection?” “Sinner” “This one came from a slightly darker place. I played the bass on this one, which was sick; I came up with the bassline first and just built the tune around that. I was feeling quite sinful at the time, I guess—just questioning myself, my intentions, faith, morals—questioning everything, really.” “Jimtastic Blues” “This is a sentimental one. It's funny because it probably has the saddest lyrics, meaning, and sentiment on the album, but is maybe the most upbeat tune. It's one with Swindle; we’d made it in the woods, then Swindle took it away and added the brass elements at the end, which kind of took it up a notch. It seemed like the perfect way to end the album."

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