Manzo was the musical alias of songwriter, producer and multi-media artist Alan Hodgetts.
With a background in visual art, Manzo was never shy about trying out different mediums or materials to communicate his ideas and observations.
Music provided him with a popular platform to share his observations and social commentary, whilst providing greater opportunity for creative collaboration.
Applying himself in the very same way he did with his art – rather than visual collages, Manzo created musical collages, some abstract, some literal. Refusing to be boxed in to one particular style, this approach is reflected with the fusion of genres including pop, alternative, electronic, hip hop, reggae and more.
In 2015, as a creative concept, Manzo produced a CGI animation ‘Make Peace and Love’ along with a musical soundtrack. After this, he continued composing and producing music, bringing his compositions together into his 11 track debut album ‘Ultramarine’. Each track on Ultramarine is the result of a musical experiment.
Manzo’s second studio album ‘Outsider’ was a real step up in terms of production techniques. Featuring a range of talented guest vocalists and musicians drawn into the ‘Manzo web’, creating a community of talent and feeding the energy and expectations for the album.
Manzo’s third studio album ‘Attachment’ was released worldwide on 26 July 2019.
This is Manzo’s most complete piece yet. More mature, polished song and score-writing, with rich, punchy and spacious mixes. This collection takes the listener on a 47 minute adventure, each track flowing effortlessly into the next. Manzo’s influences are diverse and he flouts genre rules to bring a fusion of 60s, 80s, electro, pop, rock, blues, reggae and ballad on a smorgasbord of soundscapes. Manzo gets out from behind his DAW and takes on more live performances on this album, playing drums and synths throughout.
Social commentary is a key element of Manzo’s art. The album confronts themes of techno-dependence, the artificial replacing the real and the dehumanising of society. Even the music streaming industry comes in for a slap. This is juxtaposed against real human attachments, love, warmth, hope and optimism.
Family was at the heart of the Manzo approach. Acquaintances with similar or diverse musical tastes became colleagues then friends and then family. These collaborations and relationships gave warmth and depth to the music, and far more than this in terms of the joy it brought to Alan and Ellen.
If you can …
… please support the Big Kid fundraising exhibition by giving a little, making a donation directly to the Mary Potter Hospice, or by buying one of the works on display at LightSpace gallery, Academy Galleries, 1 Queens Wharf, Wellington, NZ from 9-18 June 2023.