How did you come by your stage?
I think I came up with MNA when I searched for years for a stage name. I couldn’t find one that really fit. I even tried to have like this profound moment where I typed my name and information into a rap name creator website and I thought, “let’s just keep it simple, don’t try too hard”. My full name is Matthew Nino Azcuy, so I just went with my initials MNA.
When did you discover your love for your craft and what made you realize you wanted to pursue a career in it?
When I was sixteen years old, I needed an art credit to graduate. I wasn’t good at painting, I couldn’t draw, and I had dropped out of photography as well. My counselor told me about this electronic music class where we made beats, and recorded songs, and I just fell in love with it.
It became my whole life and a source of happiness. When I saw others pursuing a career in music, and when I see all the possibilities as either a beat maker, producer, or artist, I see big opportunities to do something I love.
To what or whom do you accredit your sense of style?
I would say my style is influenced by the music that I listened to growing up. Emo rock groups, electronic groups, and my favorite rappers. For example, I wear a lot of black shirts and jewelry like rings and earrings like these rockers,
But then I’ll wear some Black Air Force or Timberlands with some looser-fitting jeans like the rappers. My style is simple but I know what I like. Lots of blacks.
MNA Matthew Nino Azcuy Interview with Muzique Magazine
On your current project, how did you come up with the concept?
Mercenary was actually inspired by the Slade Wilson DC comic. I saw the life of this hitman (Slade/Deathstroke). I saw the money, the cars, the beautiful women, the luxury, albeit built on pain and suffering, and sadness.
I wanted to draw a comparison to an entrepreneur like a soldier or a hitman, but for profit. I also wanted to show how the glitz and glamour of the music and financial world can be rather dark, and sometimes very lonely.
What are some of your greatest challenges, and what is your greatest attribute when it comes to your work ethic?
The greatest challenges include staying focused on one thing at a time, staying hopeful every day, being grateful for how far I have already come, staying close to God, and keeping my faith up. The greatest attribute of my work ethic is that I love to work.
I’m not someone who can sit around and just lounge. If I get more than 2/3 days off, I start to get stir-crazy. I love to keep busy, and productive, and put in the hours.
Are you the best at what you do in your opinion?
No. Not even close. I think the top of the top is famous for a reason. Number one, there is always somebody better, so I can never be the best, but I can never be the worst either.
There are many people that can sing better than me, rap better than me, make better beats than me, direct better than me, etc. However, no one else in this world can be me. I would say musically I fall to the middle of the pack, but I love doing it, so for me it’s never a comparison.
What are your plans for the near future?
Keep making music and keep creating content. I hope to record a lot in 2023. We did this promotional circuit and it’s been amazing but, I want to make some new stuff. I’m ready to go.
Is there anyone you’d like to thank, any shoutouts?
God and Jesus Christ, and my friends and family.
How can fans find you?
Search MNA or MNA Matthew Nino Azcuy
What suggestions do you have for other artists like yourself?
Keep going, and live your life how you want to. Be practical, and realistic, but that doesn’t mean you ever give up your dreams.
You never know when those bad days will turn into something good. Never surrender. It’s all about discipline and consistency over a long period of time. Also, don’t overthink it, just go and create.