Granada Introducing.... Manchester Rapper OneDa who is one the rise

Video report by ITV Granada Reports correspondent Elaine Willcox

OneDa’s signature lyric ‘Manny on the rise’ is a brilliant self description.

After branching out on her own, the Manchester Rapper has signed to a new label and is about to release new music.

OneDa started playing the trumpet and reading music from the age of six, after growing up in a musical family in the Hulme area of Manchester.

Her Nigerian parents ran their own church and the whole family sang in the choir, but OneDa fell in love with rapping.

At 17, she entered the Urban Superstars rap competition and won. The prize was a studio, worth £7k. It wasn’t a good time in her life and she ended up selling the kit.

It’s been a stop-start route to where she is now.

OneDa's latest single 'Vibes' waves off bad energy

The Covid pandemic lockdown gave her time to refocus. She's signed to Heavenly Recordings and has been working with the Manchester producer, Mr Scruff and Gabe Gurnsey.

OneDa is about to release her latest single 'Vibes' at the end of April, which she describes as 'waving off those bad vibes  and bringing in the good energy, all the good vibes'.

OneDa and Elaine Willcox chatting at Albert Hall in Manchester

OneDa chose to meet me in Manchester's Albert Hall, and we filmed overlooking the stage.

She said it was 'an extraordinary venue, just sitting here you feel magical , 100 % I will play here one day', and you get the sense that's only a matter of time.

'Busta' is one of her recent tracks and has a powerful message particularly for women.

The lyrics include the lines, 'I've never been no fool, no Busta', 'try to be what they didn't raise me to be', downtrodden as a woman that's slavery to me'.

She told me, 'Busta' came about last International Women's Day.

"When I was writing it, I realised there was a lot of narrative about helping women, because we are weak, we are downtrodden. I wrote that to say I am not a downtrodden woman, I've never been a fool or a busta. I've never been anyone to look down to as a woman."

'Manchester Inked' is another of her powerful anthems, and includes her signature lyric, 'Manny on the rise' - the city and her roots play a massive part in her sound.

OneDa says, "I feel like I am Manchester and Manchester is me."

Some of our other Granada Introducing, the Wigan group, 'The Lathums', 'Red Rum Club' from Liverpool and 'The Mysterines' from Liverpool and New Brighton are all touring America.

OneDa says their success inspires her too. Her dream is to play the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, California.

She says she's 'already envisaged all of that, that's going to happen.'

Now based in the Gorton area of Manchester, OneDa also runs hip hop therapy sessions for excluded pupils in East Manchester to give back and inspire others.

She has had rave reviews and her next solo gig is Sounds From The Other City on Sunday 1st May at Islington Mill. 

For new fans of her music she said, "You get a powerful, lovable, worthy woman, with positive energy and good vibes and hopefully you will be skipping home after seeing me perform". 

She’s on a writing roll, generating lyrics that catch the mood and planning more high energy performances to keep people talking, about this particular, 'Manny on the rise'.

Find some of the other Granada Introducing artists here: