Mannywellz’s Independent Success Proves, A Record Label Is Never Entirely Necessary

Mannywellz pictured at the historical Howard Theatre on Mar 4, 2023. Photo taken by Zama Holley.

Emmanuel Ajomale, otherwise known as Mannywellz is an artist of Nigerian descent from Maryland. Being apart of the diaspora himself, he is relatable. He first gained a lot of traction from the song Coquito by hispanic artist Andy Mineo, featuring Mannywellz and another artist of African descent from Maryland, Foggieraw. While Mannywellz isn’t signed to a label, he has still successfully released three albums between 2018 and 2020. The song Danfo first appeared on his second album, Mirage, released in 2020. While he does speak English in a majority of his work, he has continued to pay homage to his Nigerian culture through his career. The word “Danfo” in Yoruba means confusion. In the song he says, “All your angles drive me crazy like danfo driver”, implying confusion when it comes to a love interest. It is common to say that love drives us crazy. Mannywellz takes this notion and uses Yoruba to elaborate. In one of the verses, he uses the word “Omoge” meaning stupid. With the context explaining body shape,“Omoge your angles”. Boldly introducing Yoruba in his music is not something Mannywellz had previously done on his first album Soulfro. However Mirage incorporates much more Nigerian slang like “Ginger me” meaning to motivate, used in a flirtatious manner in the song Skedaddle, also featured on the album Mirage. His music falls into the R&B/Soul category. Mannywellz has recently wrapped up his first North American tour, “Unwanted”. For his last show he returned to the DMV (DC, Maryland, Virginia) area where he performed at the historical Howard Theatre on Mar 4, 2023. Sakar drums are popular instruments in Nigerian culture. Aside from keys, I’d say it is one of Mannywellz’s most used instruments. His crowd on Mar 4, had the privilege of witnessing him play the Gangan or “talking drum” live. His newest single Ouu Ahh has already begun to trend on Instagram and TikTok and something tells me Mannywellz is on the verge of abundant success now, especially with Yoruba at the forefront of his artistry. 

Listen to Danfo

Skedaddle Music Video

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