British-born Nigerian singer and songwriter MNEK landed one of the six coveted special award edition covers of Attitude magazine to celebrate 2016 Attitude Awards.
The 21-year-old Grammy-nominated talented artist, real name Uzoechi Emenike has been named as Attitude’s ‘Breakthrough Award’ winner, having written his record for The Saturday’s at the age of 15 and contributed to Beyoncé’s earth-shattering album Lemonade.
In the interview, he described coming out to his Nigerian parents as a work in progress admitting that while it was tough, his parents have been supportive.
“It is always quite tough when it comes to talking to your family about it and being like, ‘OK, so I am gay’. My parents are supportive. Of course, it’s still a work in progress. They’ll say, ‘it’s just a phase, it’s just something he’s going through right now’. You never really know the best way to make them understand, so you just have to live your life anyway.”
Apart from Beyoncé, MNEK has also written hits for Madonna as well as dominating the charts with his own songs, Never Forget You and Ready For Your Love. The rising star also shared his experience on working with Beyoncé.
“She is really sweet and really cool, she was really conversational. She was also really sharp. She is that kind of person, she is sassy and sweet, but then she can come out with something really quick as well.”
MNEK is one of the few openly gay black British celebrities wants to be the role model he never saw growing up in south London.
“I want to be what I didn’t see on TV and I want to inspire. Not to say that it means you have to be this pristine image. I’m a mess and I enjoy being a mess, and I enjoy being publicly a mess, too, so I don’t want to have to be this role model, but more so just if you see yourself in me then that’s really great because I never saw myself in anyone.”