Walt Mansa Speaks on ‘I Hope Your Happy,’ LFTFLD: Behind the Boards

Walt Mansa hails from Leimert Park, an area filled with many black creatives who work in a variety of avenues. From poetry to rap and visual art, there are plenty of places for inspiration, and it’s clear Mansa draws from much of it in his music.

Earlier in the year, Walt Mansa dropped his debut EP, I Hope You’re Happy. The producer drops TV clips and other vocal samples that bring the album to life, while intricately woven sounds supply plenty of depth to each song.

Read on to learn more about his story in Walt’s ‘Behind the Boards’ feature.

How did you get started with music?

“When I was 13, I wanted a mic for Christmas. After receiving a start up kit, it was my first time ever making music. Didn’t take it seriously at that point yet, but it was a start. Then, during my freshmen year of high school, I got put onto Wiz, which opened me up to a bunch of underground music at the time like Casey Veggies, Curren$y, Mac Miller, & that Section .80 Kendrick, which was a big influence for me.” 

Tell us about your latest EP!

“It’s called I Hope You’re Happy, and it’s my best work yet. It’s a 6 song EP, and the goal was to make people feel. Emotions of happiness, actual feelings….glow people music! To Pimp A Butterfly and different classic albums played a huge role with the inspiration behind the project. Starts on 10, finishes on 10.”

LFTFLD. Can you explain what exactly that is? 

“Me and Rasual always wanted to start an umbrella to put all our creative shit in. LFTFLD gave us the opportunity to do this. Started 4 years ago before I left for college. Spoke about what we wanted, how we wanted to be independent. LFTFLD is a family, a group of creatives.”

What is the significance behind the name?

“LFTFLD is left field, but with all of the vowels taken out. So when people say ‘Oooh that shit came out of left field’, it means that it was not expected.”

Who are you trying to work with this year?

“Ab Soul & Huey Briss.”

Another genre you’re trying to get into? 

“I’m interested in working with more singers, more R&B. Go into working with people such as Thundercat & Cozz.”

How would you describe your sound?

“Laid back, but with a bounce. It’s vibe oriented, that gets your body moving.”

Producer wise – who inspires the man behind the boards?

“J Dilla, Cardo, Hitboy, 40, Soundwave, Thundercat.”