With releases on multiple respected labels (Anjunadeep, Hot Creations, Culprit, etc.), New York City-born-and-raised music producer/songwriter/DJ MANIK (aka Chris Manik) is definitely one to watch. He just released his Get It Together EP via Nurvous Records, and this month SoCal fans can catch MANIK in San Diego and at Palm Springs’ poolside festival Splash House. Whether heard in a live setting or through headphones, MANIK’s funky, progressive-electro beats are sure to keep your feet moving and your booty shaking.

I recently had a chance to chat with MANIK about what he’s currently listening to, his advice for aspiring producers, and his go-to joint for a good burger in LA.

How did you find your way into producing?

Basically I took a liking to making music around high school. I was making hip hop and electronica/electronic music. It was all on a really cheap laptop with a couple basic software programs and some samples. I loved the feeling I got after completing a song or starting an idea. Then I started listening to DJ Premiere and more and more American hip hop, UK bands like Prodigy and Portishead and Aphex Twin, and then eventually some house music around 2005 when I was a sophomore in college. All of that influenced me.

What are you listening to right now?

Right now I am listening to the new Future Classic by Seekae. Also really liking the new Chet Faker and some older Toro y Moi from last year, “So Many Details.” The new Chromeo album is fun, too.

If you could give a younger version of yourself advice, what would you say?

I would tell myself to have a glass of whiskey and chill the fuck out. I think when I was younger, I was so methodical and nervous about things. These days, I just do me and whatever comes of that will float to the surface. Life is really too short to be worried about stuff. Caring a lot and worrying too much are two different ends of the same spectrum.

MANIK Get It Together

What would you tell someone who wants to be a DJ/producer?

I would say just do you. Whatever you want to be, stop listening to trends and what you think would sound good and start making your art. Your interpretation of the world is your art and nobody else can duplicate that.

Just for fun, what’s your preference: beef, chicken, pork, or other?

I prefer all three. I love a good burger, pork shoulder, or fried chicken. All of them sound good to me. I just love to eat. Father’s Office has a great burger in LA.

What’s coming up next for you in 2014?

My Nurvous Records Get It Together EP just dropped on Beatport. Happy with both of the tracks on this release. I recently had my debut EP on UK-based Black Butter come out, too. Got a lot of support on RINSE as well as Radio 1xtra.

As for touring, I get to play Splash House in Palm Springs on June 13th followed by my debut for Bang Bang in San Diego, which is a special place for me. I love the city of San Diego.

Finally, I have a couple of big remixes about to drop, and I’m also working with a few singers and vocalists. New music on the way for Anjunadeep and Culprit. On top of all that, my band Shadow Lanes has their debut single and music video for “Sea And Back” out soon. Shot in the desert and excited for people to hear that. It’s fun indie/electronic pop.

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