The connections between creating music and playing sports are not difficult to point out. Both require perseverance, practice and passion. Hard work goes into both, and at the end of the day, it feels like you win some and you lose some. For rising artist Manny Rite, the key is to apply what you learned along the way in order to help propel your best self, and consequently, best art, forward.

From the football field to the studio, Rite has experienced several transitions in his career that have helped shape the motivational message he hopes listeners will relate to in each new song he releases.

Now that he’s primarily focused on his music in a different way, he’s finding that being his authentic self is the best possible fuel for his creativity. Sometimes it takes living life outside of one’s art to be able to create effortlessly, and as someone who was brought back to music several times after straying from that particular path, it only makes sense that Rite is now embracing his career in music, which he hopes will be permanent. After all, quality over quantity is another major key.

That kind of passion, hustle and wisdom is something that shines through in his music. While “Real Thing” is one of his first offerings since transitioning back into being a recording artist after focusing on his college football career, his ability to draw from a variety of different influences, emotions and experiences in an honest way makes his music and moves within the music industry stand out.

Inspired by the forward-thinking nature of Toronto, (and Drake, of course), the rhyme singer is finding his own lane while also taking notes from what the city is doing to push Hip Hop culture forward. From being located in the indubitably creative environment that Toronto is to his reestablished confidence refining his songwriting talents again, it’s safe to say Rite has all of the elements he needs on his side and there’s no better time than now to pursue his goals within music. Definitely an artist to watch.

In advance of his forthcoming EP due out sometime this fall, Rite has recently set free the first single from the project, “Real Thing,” which features dancehall artist Serani, and visuals directed by Saint of Motion 20.

The Source: How long have you been doing what you do?
Manny Rite: I started creating and taking music seriously about four and a half years ago. I released my first mixtape The Master Plan in summer 2012 and I’ve been consistently releasing music since then.

How did you get started?

I actually got involved in music at 10 years old when I started a rap group with my brothers. We would perform at local community and church events around our city. We kept it going until I was around 15-years-old or so. Around that time, me and my older brother were getting into a lot of trouble doing what 15 and 16 year olds do. My dad got us involved with football as he felt it would put us on a better and more positive path.

I started to really get serious about football and became a high school football star. After I graduated high school I left Toronto and moved to Troy, NY and attended Hudson Valley Community College to play football. At this point in my life I was all about football and had dreams of going pro with no thoughts of getting involved in music again.

While I was in school upstate New York, my brother who was in Ohio also for football started messing with music again and me and him started working on tracks together. From there, I just started getting deeper and deeper into it and my passion for creating music over took my passion for playing football. By the time I was done college it’s all I was about and all I wanted to do.

Is there an early memory you’d like to share about getting into your craft, such as when you realized this was more than just a hobby or a passion?

From a young age I always had a passion for making music which I knew because I went real hard with it as a kid but still got caught up in life’s distractions. It was when I was in college and started creating music again that the same passion came back, but 10 times stronger. I just knew this is what I’m meant to do and I could see myself making a career out of it so I started to treat it like that.

How do you describe your sound/ what you do to people you haven’t heard before?

I think with my sound you get a mixture of that early 2000’s aggressive rap flow, along with the current melodic sound of today’s hip hop. That along with my distinct tone I think gives people my sound where the old meets the new. I’ve also been working with 12Keyz, a producer from Toronto, who’s currently based out in New York City right now. He’s been able to create a lot of my new production around my style that has its own distinct sound.

Who are your influences? What is some advice that has stuck with you?

My biggest musical influences would be Fabolous, Jay Z, J Cole, Kanye West, and Drake. I’d like to think I’ve taken an element from each of these artist’s style of music and added it to my sound which I think has given me a well-rounded diverse style of music.

I would also have to say my man, Saint, a video director and producer who works with me in Toronto. He has been a big influence on what I’ve been doing musically, both on the creative and business side of things. I’ve learned a lot from him over the last few years as he’s brings a lot of knowledge being that he’s been involved in many different aspects of the music industry for over 15 years.

I would have to say the biggest advice that has stuck with me was something I’ve heard Drake say throughout his career: “just make great music and let the music speak for itself.” I understand there are other elements to this game, such as getting your music out there, but I truly believe if you consistently make dope music eventually people are going to catch on.

What do you hope people take away from listening to your music?

Since I started creating music over the last four years, I’ve had to deal with a lot of negative obstacles that have tried bringing me down. I’ve always found a way to stay positive throughout those times and keep pushing. I think that has shaped the type of music I create. That being said, I want people to get a positive feel from my music. I make music that has a good vibe and motivates a person to go do bigger and better things in their own life no matter what they’re going through. I always make sure there’s a message in the songs I put out and whether it comes off as good or bad, I try to make sure there’s some type of positive outcome in it.

Photo courtesy Steel Cut Photography