Interview with Stefano Manrique (@stefanomanrique)


Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path? 

Stefano Manrique, Colombian singer-songwriter and producer, 2 times nominated for the “TV y Novelas” Award, 1 collective nomination for the Latin Grammy and 1 nomination for the “India Catalina” Award, has participated in countless musical productions for other artists, television series and films. 

Throughout his career, he has interpreted as a singer the lead soundtrack song for successful international tv shows. He is also a former participant of “The voice” Colombia (2014).

He is currently working on his first album under a Latin Country-pop concept, highlighting the vocals that characterize him, a fresh, original, and commercial proposal for the global Latin market. 

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started doing this? 

I’ve had the opportunity to work on many TV and film productions, that have allowed me to explore many musical genres and learn from great masters. It is very difficult to choose a single story because there are many in my memory, I am very privileged to have lived so many musical experiences and to have studied so many genres with great artists. There was a time when I had to go live for a time in Valledupar, Colombia, the land of Vallenato to make the music for a series. Another time I went for several months to Cali, Colombia while we were producing the music for the “Grupo Niche” series, one of the most important musical groups in Latin America and the world. I have recorded the most important musicians in Colombia in recording sessions and I have also sung different musical genres. I have sung Rock, Pop, Reggaeton, Salsa, Vallenato, Country, and I have explored many facets with my voice.

Also one of the most important stories was when I participated in “The voice” Colombia. It taught me a lot about how to perform live and show business. I had the opportunity to work with Kike Santander and Andrés Cepeda thanks to that reality show. 

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”? 

The most important thing in this career is to persist intelligently. By this, I mean to self-educate, train, and be informed of various topics in order to have a broad vision of the music industry. A few years ago it was just about talent, not today. Talent is just one piece in a great puzzle to be accomplished in music. To be successful in the music industry, any artist, musician, singer, producer, manager, has to know about marketing, promotion, finance, social media, legal, and many other topics in order to create strategies that make them stand out. Even I lasted many years with the romantic thought of being discovered by someone or by a record label. Until very recently I realized that this no longer happens, it is a possibility in 10 million. You have to fight for your dreams, go for them, understand that no one is going to discover you, you have to go out into the world and make yourself known. For me, the key is to stop being just an “Artist” and become an “Entrepreneurial Artist”.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story? 

I completely agree. Without the support of my family and many people who have come at the right and perfect time, I would never have followed this path. I have a family full of artists who have influenced my career and have supported me unconditionally. My mom Chef, my father Actor, and several family photographers, journalists, painters, sculptors, designers, and musicians have taught me to appreciate the power of art from a very young age. My mentor Carlos Agüéra, a renowned music producer, has taught me a lot and was one of the first people who believed in my talent. Today I look back and I see a great list of people who have helped me at decisive moments, without all of them none of this would be possible.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world? 

For me, the power of music has no limits. It is the universal language, it transcends borders and connects us in a way that nothing and nobody does. This is my greatest mission… to connect people with my music, transmit messages, and unite people. My most recent song “Está Bien” has changed the lives of many people who have written to me. 

The song revolves around a transformative phrase: “It’s alright to not be okay for a while.” Despite the difficulties that may arise in life, difficult times are also part of the journey, and it is okay to recognize and accept them. “Está Bien” is a hymn with which we can all identify. An invitation to recharge with good energy and move on, a musical accompaniment to motivate, comfort, and inspire people.

Do you have a favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share a story of how that was relevant to you in your life? 

“I don’t train hard to be better than you. I train hard to be better than me yesterday”.- Allen Iverson

In this industry, you think that you are in constant competition with others and there is a lot of envy, disloyalty, appearances. This phrase changed the perspective in which I saw things … It’s about being better every day and achieving your goals just for you, without comparing yourself with the success of others. This path is yours alone. 

Follow your dreams, but train yourself to achieve them. 

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Stefano Manrique (@stefanomanrique)

Ethan Kenzey (@ethan.k.w)