Twenty years ago, Philadelphia-based musician and songwriter Eddy Mann made the decision to offer his creative gifts to God, penning songs that express his vision of hope, peace and understanding through the eyes of a loving heart. Over the course of that time, Mann has released seven albums and written countless songs for the church and the world at large.
In 2014, Mann released Dig Love, a collection of inspiring songs including “You, You Make Me Feel,” which garnered airplay on Americana radio across the country.
Mann is currently wrapping up his newest album, The Consequence, which will be released in November of 2016.
A consummate professional, Eddy performs a rigorous schedule of intimate coffeehouse sets, concert events, conferences, and worship services. For concert dates, visit eddymann.com, and follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
What were you like as a child?
Some people find it hard to believe, but I was painfully shy as a young child. I had a storybook upbringing, loving parents, a comfortable and secure home, but for some unknown reason I just found it hard to find my voice.
How did you initially become interested in playing music and performing?
Here’s where my story changes. My father played piano and had a jazz quintet and my mother would pass down culture through song, but it was picking up the guitar in high school that changed my life. I said earlier that I was a shy kid; but that all changed the first time I held that instrument. I found a confidence almost immediately and also the ability to express myself creatively and emotionally.
What was the first song you learned to play on guitar?
I don’t remember the first song I played, but it was only a short period of time before I started writing my own songs. They weren’t very good, but I was really intrigued by the process and always seemed to be inspired.
What was the recording process like for The Consequence, and how did it compare to that of your earlier albums?
My approach in the studio has always been to follow the creative flow as much as possible. I don’t like to fight the direction that a song takes; I really just want to enjoy the ride even when I’m not sure where it’s going. Recording The Consequence was just another adventure in allowing the spirit of the songs to develop, and to nurture the process along without hopefully getting in the way. The sessions were very relaxed and completed in two months. The release date has been pushed back to November due to a compilation album Re:Prize that will drop in September, but some of the songs will be finding their way into the live shows.
When you’re looking for inspiration, where do you turn?
I write everyday and find inspiration everywhere. I catch phrases in conversations, books and in the news; feel rhythms in the wind, between the words of a sentence and common everyday appliances; hear melodies in nature, a chain of words, or in silence. I often get lost between the brush strokes of a painting as my mind visualizes the story that’s taking place. It’s pretty much a non-stop condition that my loved ones have accepted.
How did you first become involved in leading worship services? What is the most rewarding aspect of this facet of your life?
An unknown pastor, at an unfrequented church, asked to meet with me concerning an album that I had recorded. Three hours later I was a Worship Leader with a very sketchy job description. Over that season I grew as a spiritual leader and was encouraged to write for the church. I released five worship albums that have been rewarding in the sense that they engaged people in a way that allowed them to spiritually grow in their faith.
What’s the best song or album you’ve listened to recently?
I’ve been spending quite a bit of time listening to the new Vince Gill album. Great songs and great guitar playing will get me every time. I listen to a very wide range of music styles. So on any given day, that question might be answered a bit differently.
How did you meet your wife?
I met my wife while in high school but she didn’t know I existed. I experienced the crushed feeling, I couldn’t get her out of my mind but she was living in another world from mine. Then ten or so years later she walked into a club I was performing at and saw me for the first time. Sweet huh? We’ve been inseparable since. I’m a blessed Mann!
If you could change one thing about the world or society, what would it be?
I’d love to see the world internalize my last album’s title and Dig Love… to experience love and to adopt the power of love as a way of life.
What would you like to do that you simply haven’t found the time for yet?
I’m trying as I write this to block out some time to travel our country from coast to coast. I’m constantly amazed at the unseen and unknown beauty that exists in our country. My dream is to travel it without a schedule, to just live it day by day.