Manny Ward has always been around music, as most musicians are. As luck would have it, he grew up with a Mom who’d send him out to buy records for her many house parties because he had a knack in finding great music that was not always charted. His stepdad produced R&B and Soul for artist like Jocelyn Brown, and Evelyn Champagne’ King. His step dad brought him out to his first club experience at the Funhouse in NYC. Then there was the fateful meeting with the Godfather of House; Frankie Knuckles in the early 90s who took Manny under his wing and launched his DJ career in NYC.
Through these journeys of following music, from DJ-ing when he was in the military at base parties, to playing along side Frankie Knuckles at New York’s famous Roxy, Sound Factory Bar, Tunnel, and regular gigs at Stereo in Montreal, to eventually producing his own remixes and tracks. Some of them now cult classics. This Staten Island boy saw a dream realized. Then this prolific talent left the industry for a few years only to be returned at the request of his friends/teachers Angel Moraes, Danny Tenaglia, and David Morales. This made him realize this was his calling. And thank goodness he did return.
This second phase of his career has seen many more milestones as he ramped up his production skills with notable remix opportunities. He has been able to collaborate with many talented producers and musicians, including Celeda, Lula, and DJ Gomi, with whom he reintroduced legendary Sandy B with new original music written by all three. “Resilience” was the result and has graced many DJ charts and on Hector Romero’s 2019 Weaving Genres compilation. In the Fall of 2017, he was asked by the legendary Nona Hendryx to remix a single off of her new album with Soul Clap. He enlisted long-time friend, Curtis Atchison (Midnight Society) to help out, with whom he had recently collaborated on a floor banger “Big Mouth” on Twisted Records.
That Fall, Retrotech was born. This partnership has proven fruitful as a DJ duo as well. They were given several remix opportunities in 2018. Black Stereo Faith (Ultra Naté & Quentin Harris), Lenny Kravitz, Nenah Cherry, and Kiwi Dreams with more to come. Incidentally, Kravitz’ “Low” became his first #1 Dance on Billboard. Manny has continued doing solo work putting out a single with remixes on DJ Pierre’s Afro Acid Records in 2019, which was getting recognition by DJ’s such as Danny Tenaglia before it even came out!
In between, he’s also been busy DJ-ing, criss-crossing the country, and a regular participant at ADE in Amsterdam, and N Y’s legendary party Birdcage. With everything going on, be sure to keep a watch on Manny’s next move because it will be nothing but delightful and surprising.
Previous editions –
2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 & 2012