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Pittsburgh Artist of the Week: Mani Bahia

Tanglewood Films

Mani Bahia just released her impressive debut album "INFERNO." The self-produced record features the song “Fisher” – a moody R&B slow burner that imagines flirting as fishing – get them hooked and the fish becomes the fisher.

Mani spoke with WYEP’s Joey Spehar about feeling music in your bones, growing as an artist, and a healthy distrust of saltine enjoyers.

This conversation may be lightly edited for content, clarity, or length.

What’s your musical history up to this point?

Over the years I’ve tried new things when I’m exposed to them. I use what works and what I’ve learned to get better and keep moving.

How do you describe your sound?

My question is, “How would you describe sound without listening and letting people hear?” You gotta let the vibrations and frequencies of the music speak for themselves. Until it’s felt, sound is unspoken for.

Tell us more about the song “Fisher.” What inspired you to write it?

“Fisher” is based off the idea of fishing. Setting out bait and pulling back once someone is hooked, but the fish becomes the fisher.

What was the first album that really changed your life? 

The first album that changed my life was my own, go stream "INFERNO" by MANI BAHIA. Working on it forced me to step up to the plate in a way I haven’t before. I’ve gained new skills and life lessons from it.

There hasn’t been an album that changed my life, but J. Cole’s "4 Your Eyez Only" made me look at passion for the art differently and helped open my eyes in a different way. Lauryn Hill’s "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill" was definitely one of the first pieces I listened to in its entirety at a young age.

What’s the best part about making music in Pittsburgh?

The best part is feeling at home and knowing where to go for resources and help.

Any other super interesting things we should know about you?

I believe anyone who eats Popeye’s biscuits, Fritos, and saltine crackers with peanut butter should be detained and psychologically evaluated.

Learn more about Mani Bahia here.

Check out previous Pittsburgh Artists of the Week here.

Joey Spehar is a Pittsburgh native who started as a volunteer D.J. at WYEP, fresh out of college in 2006. He took on any job they’d let him do like editing audio, engineering remote broadcasts, and shoveling snow.