A conversation with Manny Wilde about “Mulholland Drive”

Q: Hi! Can you share the inspiration behind “Mulholland Drive”?

A: I was asked if I had ever been to Mulholland Drive- never gone or had an interest until I actually drove up to see. When I reached the top or so, I had a perfect view of Los Angeles’ city lights. There’s something about having an aerial view that inspire me.

Q: Can you describe the songwriting process for “Mulholland Drive”? How did the lyrics and melody come together?

A: A buddy of mine was going through a rough period with a relationship at the time; it’d pain me immensely to see him be so consumed. So the beginning words came from there, I always thought that he had a difficult time communicating to his partner that their relationship isn’t going any further. So really, the verses are from his point of view, but the chorus is me. Just felt enlightened going up Mulholland Drive. 

Q: How does “Mulholland Drive” fit within the broader context of your music? Is it part of a larger story or theme you’re exploring in your work?

A: I suppose just having that yearning feel. That’s always been a thing with me since I can remember. Always searching for answers or unrequited love sort of thing.

Q: Reflecting on the song’s creation and reception, what has been the most surprising or impactful feedback you’ve received from listeners about “Mulholland Drive”?

A: Well, in less than 2 weeks it reached 10k streams on Spotify. Super thrilled about that! Makes me feel good too because I was trying to go for a more modern sound with Mulholland, compared to my last 3 songs. People have related to it lyrically, and musically. 

Q: How do you stay motivated and creative in your music-making, especially during times when inspiration might be hard to find?

A: I read. I don’t know if anyone feels this way too but certain times when I read a certain phrase from a book, it kind of sparks something and then naturally the ideas flow in bit by bit. Sometimes too during conversations, a person might say something that strikes me in a good way and I write about it. I’m very observant so that’s always been a positive in times where no words come through.

Q: What has been the most memorable moment of your music career so far, and why?

A: I’m not sure if I have one yet, I just take it as it is. Write one song, finish it, move on to the next best thing. It’s all very therapeutical for me.

Q: How do you navigate the challenges of the music industry, especially in terms of maintaining artistic integrity while reaching a broader audience?

A: I try to focus on what I want to say from the heart rather than be gimmicky to receive all the attention. There’s been many times where it all seems impossible with what’s trending here and there; it’s so exhausting to keep up with all that. You don’t have to be an extrovert to be a successful musician. I wish I was sometimes, it’d probably make things easier for me but it feels unnatural. I’d rather have a small audience of people that actually understand where I’m coming from rather than a large audience that just likes me because I’m flashy or keep up with trends. 

Q: “Mulholland Drive” seems to have a cinematic quality to its storytelling. Have you considered expanding this song’s narrative into other forms of media, such as a music video?

A: I like that you asked that- I’ve been thinking about that as of lately because I feel that too now. It certainly fits as the ending credits to an episode, in my opinion. I’d like to do a music video for it, and I’d want to be in the background of it- kind of like Chris Stapleton in his Fire Away music video. I’m too camera shy.

Q: Looking ahead, what are your long-term goals as an artist, and what steps are you taking to achieve them?

A: Next steps are to find a manager or a reliable booker to finally start gigging again. It’s been ages since I’ve done only my songs at shows. I think my main issue was that I didn’t have enough material and the right musicians. It’s all coming together nicely now though. Also on the list is my next single called, ‘Moonshine and Roses’.