Like most artists, life was no fairy tale. We all know the story of a young girl from Harlem with humble beginnings and a desire for more. While the story may begin to sound the same, this artist is unlike any other. New York City’s very own, Mani Miles.
Early on, she fell into the hand of the streets chasing a “high risk-high reward” lifestyle. At 16, she watched her grandmother suffer from dementia and eventually pass away from Alzheimer’s. The pain of losing her grandmother shattered her heart, sending her into a grief-driven depression.
Music helped her cope, and she found joy again when listening to Missy Elliott and Ciara on Music Choice on Demand. Instantly, she was hooked to hip hop and started watching videos obsessively. This ignited her passion for hip hop and its ability to empower and heal.
She loved feeling the pull of hip hop on her soul. Dancing and singing in front of her mirror, Mani Miles saw the passion in her reflection as a call to destiny. This was something she wanted to pursue. She noted this to her uncle, an iconic figure in the hip hop community, and he told her to earn her stripes.
Mani was taken aback by his lack of support but it invigorated her drive to prove herself. In hindsight, she respects his choice to take a backseat and have her sprout her own wings. When she was 17, she got mixed up in a street conflict that almost cost (her) her life. Mani had a hard look at where her life was going and decided to make a change and follow her dream.
With her unique flow and raunchy attitude, Mani Miles drew the attention of hip hop innovators like Ron Browz and Poke & Tone of Trackmasters Entertainment, who have produced artist like Jay Z, R Kelly, Notorious B.I.G. (Biggie Smalls), Nas, Mary J. Blige and many MORE. As fate will have it, she interned for her family member’s business where she managed a list of clientele.
One of these clients was the one and only Ron Browz of Ether Boy Records, who widely worked with Remy Ma, Busta Rhymes, and Nas (producer of the Ether/ShEther records). She would prank call him with other interns and he would kindly entertain them laughing and answering their silly questions about the industry.
One day, he came into the office for a business meeting and he was finally able to put a face to the voice on the phone. Later, he asked her to rap a short verse for a song he wrote. She agreed, and he was taken back by her flow and natural talent.
From there, a beautiful and creative symbiotic relationship birthed records like “Flirtin”, “Dead Wrong”, “Bars” and the list goes on and on. Mani was soon introduced to Dexter Hazelton, partner at Pointdexter Marketing Agency and now a partner with Devon King (a successful NYC businessman) and Mani Miles to launch the NYC-based RiZ NYC label (pronounced “RISE”).
Dexter was integral in introducing Caribbean music to the US market. He was hired by the major labels to do promotions and marketing for artists like the Wu-Tang Clan, Buju Banton, Shaggy, Shabba Ranks, Born Jamericans, Patra, and many more. These were the perfect ingredients for making a star.
Mani Miles, the B.O.F. (Bitch on Fire), is bringing something new and eccentric to hip hop while staying true to her homegrown Harlem roots. Mani Miles is setting the bar for the music industry once again…
You can give the music video for her single, “Real Life” featuring Safaree, a watch below…