The 22-year-old singer from West Oakland, California, burst into the scene last year with the buzzy single, "Uncomfortable." Currently residing in L.A., Mansa's hometown roots are clear. Growing up, he listened to "whatever my mom was playing," which included Bob Marley and John Mayer -- "of course, hyphy movement was real in my section of the world. I listened to everybody. Like the people in the hip-hop community setting the foundation, E-40, Mac Dre, et cetera."
Mansa's love for hip-hop goes beyond being a fan. Long before he was crooning, Mansa recorded music as a rapper under the name Manny Phantom. "I was playing off of the Danny Phantom cartoon. I didn't really start singing until I was about 16. And then I was like, 'OK, I can play around with melodies.' I started writing songs," he recalls.