Ivana Vukmirović Manivi: Nobody knows where music comes from
I really cannot describe with words about today’s joy. We celebrate International Music Day, Summer 2017 has officially arrived, I had the wonderful opportunity to talk to a brilliant young woman – life is great, life is easy and everything is promising.
For a long time now I’ve had the desire to be able to exchange a few words and thoughts with dear Ivana, better known as Manivi and present her work and album to you. I responsibly claim that this album is one of the most beautiful things that happened within the music scene during the past years.
Without further delay, with great pleasure I present to you this sensational young lady made out of pure music – Ivan Vukmirović Manivi
Tell us the story of how Manivi was born. 🙂
Manivi is my pseudonym, derived from the word mani, which in Sanskrit literally means a jewel. However, it does not apply to any material goods, but to the wealth that a person possesses in a spiritual sense. Mani presents a different thing for everyone.
At the end of last year you released your debut album under the same name. How would you describe this achievement, as well as the music you enjoy and the one you work with?
I think I’ll always be in love with this album. It’s like a little book of memories of a time in my life. All that was happening to me then is there and writing helped me to process all those things. The recording process itself was both tough and wonderful. We recorded one part at the FDU, the other at the SAE Institute and many really wonderful people were involved in this process.
In spite of the scarce budget, a great, talented team gathered and supported this project. Indeed, it’s little to say that I am grateful to them.
As one who is exceptionally educated in the field of art and music, in your opinion, how much share does formal education, and how much talent and what is „God-given“ have in a person’s success in this domain?
Well, I wouldn’t say that I’m extremely educated. 🙂 Especially not in the domain of music, because I have been educated within the fields of chemistry, language and business, as well. I’m curious by nature and interested in many different things.
I think it’s very useful to read books if you want to write. Something about culture in general, psychology, philosophy and even fiction. A good book definitely stimulates the cognitive processes and helps in broadening our vocabulary. Formal music education in Serbia really has a strange system that is not clear to anyone, not even to those who created it I believe. I was taught many things that I have never needed in my life, nor will I ever, and left longing for genuine music, arts and creations. There were professors and subjects that were able to inspire me and pave the way to this subtle part of me where authentic art lives.
It can be said that it is „talent“, although this term is not fully defined.
Nobody knows where music comes from. This knowledge is unacceptable and frightening to society, so it has the need to designate and put some false labels on things that are not rationally explainable. Perhaps that’s why music is treated as a sport or some other measurable discipline, so I guess that’s where all that foolishness about music competitions comes from. The one who can play it faster is a better musician.
Music is also a profession that many people want to pursue, but often give up for various reasons, one of which is the material aspect. What does it mean for you to be successful in art and what would you tell young people, especially in Serbia, who dare to embark on this kind of journey?
As Amy Winehouse would say: „Write songs if you need to. If you don’t need to, better don’t.“ The same goes for any other form of creativity. Simply put, it’s not a matter of choice if there is an inner urge that makes you do something, because without that you are not alive. And on the other hand, if you do any art without that urge, your art will be shit. And that is that.
If you could do everything all over again, would you do anything different?
I cannot say that I am unhappy with anything in particular, but everything is subject to change.
What does Love mean to you and how important is it to you?
That’s all there is.
„Simply put, it’s not a matter of choice if there is an inner urge that makes you do something, because without that you are not alive. And on the other hand, if you do any art without that urge, your art will be shit. And that’s that.“
You sing, play the piano and guitar, compose and collaborate with a lot of talented and famous musicians, both domestic and foreign. What did it actually look like to create an entire album? Since the production of the album was a serious project, were there any obstacles and how did you manage to overcome them? Is there any story or anecdote related to this period?
As I said, I had a phenomenal team around me, not only when it came to music, but also companionship. Everything just came together and all the obstacles were easily overcome with the huge support I received from them.
In the end, you don’t even remember worries and stress when they come to the gig and know all the lyrics by heart. 🙂
You often perform in Serbia and around the world, and we know you as a performer who always creates an incredible atmosphere at clubs. How do you feel when you perform? Are you always in the mood for it, or so you sometimes have a bad day? Who is Ivana when she’s not on stage?
The exchange of energy at gigs is the primary reason we do this, and even when it’s a bad day, it is where we recharge our batteries. It is very important that there is cooperation and chemistry between the people in the band, because when we give this vibe to the audience it returns back to us multiplied.
Are there any particular activities that always make you smile?
The people dear to me, such my family, friends, the band. They give me strength and support for everything I do.
I didn’t ask you about your role models and the people you admire in work and life. Is there anyone specific, an artist of life?
Dalai Lama. 🙂
Is it okay to give up on some occasions?
Sometimes it’s necessary. You give up, let go and wait for something much better for you at that moment to come your way.
Is there a situation in which you would break the law?
You’re asking a person who is not the strictest adherent of legal norms. 🙂 Yes, there are many situations. I would happen to lose my driver’s license because I was in a hurry somewhere. I would arrive on time and then take a TAXI for the next few months. 😉
What are your further ambitions and aspirations related to your life and career? Summer is approaching, so will there be lots of nice outdoor performances? 🙂
What are you humming these days?
For the end, there is something I like to ask my interviewees. What would you tell a sad prženica that believes she will never become a French toast?
Even if you remain a prženica – it’s perfectly okay!
Cover photo by Vladimir Nikodijević