What inspired MNEK to put his own spin on Never Leave You (Uh Oooh, Uh Oooh), the 2003 debut single from singer/songwriter and emcee Lumidee? According to the 19-year-old London native (and DJBooth newcomer), he did it simply “for the LOLz.” But it’s hard to fault him for taking a less-than-serious attitude toward his work when the result is this dope. In contrast to the percussion-driven DJ Tedsmooth/Trendsetta beat that backed the original jam, MNEK crafts a chillier, synth-laced instrumental complete with a quirky chopped-vocal hook. His pipes are no less impressive than his prowess behind the boards. Laced with falsetto and accented by overdubbed harmonies, the Virgin/EMI signee’s vocal performance builds to an dazzling melismatic climax. This reimagining isn’t part of a larger set, but those who like what they’re hearing should stay tuned; I have a feeling we’ll be hearing more from MNEK in the very near future…
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