Interview: MVNTA

Through dropping our Coventry’s lost clubbing series, we peeled back the layers of Coventry’s house and techno scene to find a gaping hole where keen clubbers desperately grasp onto one off smasher events, mastered by the City’s experienced promoters. We have listened to every promoter’s challenge from lack of venues to a non-existent clubbing crowd but kept the fire in our bellies for someone, somewhere to grab the scene by it’s balls.

It seems our prayers have been answered.

To cause a house and techno tidal wave takes more than knowledge and experience, it takes a fresh pair of eyes with a burning passion for music, sheer determination to put on a great party and the will to think ‘fuck it’, let’s take risks and see what happens.

Meet MVNTA, created by Tom (24) and Nelson (22), two mates from Chester who fell in love with the underground scene whilst at Uni. Between them, these guys boast a Master’s in Cancer Pharmacology and a degree in Computer Science. Intelligent, entrepreneurial and frickin’ nice guys – no attitude, just a real love for putting on great music events.

Their underground movement is gaining momentum combining the ones to watch DJs with solid residents, cherry picked from shit loads of mixes sent in by local DJs wanting to get on board. Talk about supporting the City’s talent. These guys aren’t showy and when you talk to them you get a real sense of stripping the house and techno scene right back, going underground – think old Warehouses, dark and grungy, raving in trainers with a bunch of house heads absolutely having it on the dancefloor. They haven’t pulled any punches by choosing one of the biggest venues in Coventry as their platform but the big, dark, dingy dancefloor of The Empire feels perfect for them and rightly so, they successfully smashed their first party in Fresher’s week, jumping straight onto the next.

This Saturday MVNTA has pulled in DJ’s Olli Ryder and Luke Welsh, Warehouse Project and Sankey’s favourites climbing the tech/house ladder, holding their own on rosters alongside headline big hitters hot since 82, eats everything, the Martinez Brothers and Appollonia.

We wanted to find out more about them plus hit them with a quick fire round of Q’s – and these guys don’t disappoint. Read, feel inspired and get your arse to The Empire on Saturday. Share this event like no other and wake the streets of Coventry by supporting the underground movement of house and techno.

Hey Tom and Nelson, good to meet you both! So firstly, what does MVNTA stand for?
Mvnta doesn’t really stand for anything, we got the name when we went abroad to the annual sports festival ‘Ilovetour’ in Salou (which has unfortunately cancelled due to complaints from local residents, parties were pretty wild over there so I don’t blame them), on our last night out we found a bottle of Fanta (not too sure if it was full or not) on the side of the road and as any normal person would do we decided to down the drink on the coach back to the hotel. We finished the bottle drink and a few moments passed we started feeling hyper, clearly the drink wasn’t normal Fanta so we came up with name of Manta (doesn’t sound as cool now, but we were proud of the name at the time). A year later we decide to start our own event and Manta was first name that came to mind. Replacing the ‘a’ with a ‘v’ was purely down to Facebook not letting us have ‘Manta’ as there’s another page with the same name.

When did you form MVNTA and what made you start the parties?
We both are really fell in love with the underground scene and music whilst we were at university in Chester. We met through a mutual friend at uni and then started going to events in Chester together such as Nghtwrks/Mango Club and events in the surrounding areas such as Sankeys in Manchester, Circus in Liverpool etc etc and really enjoyed it. We never really got into the DJing or production side of thing but always talked about starting our own night, wishful thinking more than anything… until one day we finally decided to give it a go, it was brought up and agreed on quite spontaneously looking back at it, but we agreed it’s always better to try and fail than fail by not trying and just went with the flow over the summer of 2016 in finding venue and DJs up in Bradford where Tom was just finished doing his masters. Prior to this we both worked as promoters for the same nightclub and student event’s company, from this we got a basic understanding of how events operate from the running of an event to the marketing and promo side of things.

You threw the first of your promised monthly parties at Empire in October’s Freshers Week, how did it go?
Coventry isn’t the first place when someone mentions house and techno in the midlands area, automatically one would think of Birmingham as the go to for such events, added that most people are more into their DnB we went into our launch event with an open mind, ‘whatever happens, happens and we move on from there’ sort of mentality.

Taking this into consideration, the event went a lot better than we expected, we had a really good turn out for a new event that goes against the norm in terms of nights out in Coventry.

You could tell there was a general divide on the night of the event, those who had never been exposed to such music and events and those that have. For the ‘first timers’ at the start of the night you could tell they really didn’t really know what to do with themselves how to dance or where to look, ‘do I face the DJ or face my friends?’… A few were overdressed for the occasion, for example wearing heels out, can be done but isn’t the most comfortable piece of footwear to wear out raving. Nonetheless, as the night went by everyone was really getting into the groove of things, all sorts of funky dance moves were coming out it was quite the sight, the vibe in there was on point.

It’s a pretty big venue to fill! What made you choose Empire to kick off MVNTA parties?
The Empire is an amazing space with amazing specs to match, we explained our idea to the director of the Empire, Phil Rooney, months prior to our first event and he was on board with the idea straight away. The empire has a lot of potential, essentially having two event spaces to work with. A more intimate upstairs balcony area overlooking the main room, which can hold just over 200 people and obviously the main room itself which can hold over 900. With this in mind there is a lot you can do with the venue and event, if we wanted to create a small intimate party with limited numbers we can use the upstairs balcony or on the other hand throwing a larger party we can use the main room.

What should we expect from an MVNTA night and its promise of cutting edge house and techno?
Raw underground sounds from start to finish offering a mixture of house, techno and all that falls in-between.

Coventry’s house and techno scene has taken a downturn over the years and it seems you’re ready to take the City on! Tell us why here and why now?
The House/Techno scene in general is on the up and has been for some time now. We believe Coventry and has got a great potential for events like ours to really take off and flourish, it’s just a shame nothing consistent has stuck because there is a demand for it in the City but we and a few other likeminded heads are working on changing that.

Your last DJ hook up was with Nghtwrk and upcoming headliners are Olli Ryder and Luke Welsh, from The Warehouse Project. Both nights are hugely successful and started off localised with a strong raw, underground vibe. Is this what you’re hoping to achieve in Coventry?
Most definitely. We consider ourselves an underground event in the way we operate, far different from your normal club night, we would never offer services such as booking PA’s from shows such a Love Island or Towie to come to our event to attract people to come in, or offer watered down juice shots if you come in before a certain time or even providing a dress codes. All we want to do is throw an affordable party each month, where people can educate themselves, listen to and dance to good music. real music. listening to tracks that you’ve never heard before and probably won’t ever hear ever again (that’s if you didn’t Shazam it of course) as opposed to hearing the same old songs each week at your local. And most importantly having fun.

You are supporting the City’s DJ talent, which is wicked! Tell us a bit about your residents and how you came to collaborate?
Prior to our first event, we set up an event page on Facebook where we would push our event and other content, once we got the venue sorted we started to promote the event and what we are all about as an event promoter. As time went by and news slowly started to spread, people started sending us mixes to become potential residents, we’ve had quite a lot of mixes sent in so we’re just going by who’s mixes we liked and when the mixes were sent to us, the only fair way to go about it really. We want to give everyone the opportunity to play but also keep a consistent set of residents with us, it’s a difficult one really as we only one room to work with, hopefully we can start doing multiple events each month in the not so distant future.

So where are you hoping MVNTA parties will be one year from now?
Tom: Hopefully see our brand at a festival.
Nelson: Hopefully branch out to another city or setting up another event in Coventry alongside Mvnta.

Quick fire round Q’s:

Track of the moment:
Tom: Stonez & Namazi – Zambezi
Nelson: The Streets – The weak become heroes (Elliot Adamson Edit)

Best upcoming DJ/Producer:
Tom: Latmun
Nelson: Peggy Gou (Female artist) Denis Sulta (Male artist)

Dream headliner booking:
Tom: Black Coffee
Nelson: Bicep (Male Artist) The Black Madonna (Female Artist)

Favourite party you’ve ever been to:
Tom: Abode in The Park (Abode 2017)
Nelson: Jackmaster & Numbers present Mastermix (Warehouse Project 2016)

Top clubbing moment:
Tom: Cocoon in the park 2016, first proper festival I had been to, seeing the Martinez Brothers for the first time was the icing on the cake for me
Nelson: A recent one wasn’t a clubbing moment centred around me but was witnessing one of the door staff at the Nghtwrk propose to his girlfriend in halfway through Denis Sulta’s set. It was first proposal I’ve actually witnessed in real life and the first I’ve seen on a night out hopefully it’s not the last, a truly amazing sight to see. (She said yes btw) …

Funniest thing you’ve ever seen in a club:
Tom: Seen a lad dance with a loaf of bread in his hand
Nelson: Someone crowd surfing with an inflatable raft

Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1922380334641555/
Tickets: https://www.skiddle.com/whats-on/Coventry/The-Empire/Mvnta-002–Olli-Ryder–Luke-Welsh-(The-Warehouse-Project)/13077727/

Line-up:
Olli Ryder b2b Luke Welsh (The Warehouse Project)
George Callaghan (Mvnta)
Matty Aldridge (Mvnta)
Lewis Murch (Mvnta)
Joshua Dunn b2b Liam Craig (Mvnta)
Craig Gordon b2b Grant Gordon (Mvnta)

Tickets:
Online Tickets: £4
Paper Tickets: £4

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