Barry Can’t Swim, But He Can Get Londoners Dancing
Nov 11, 2022
2 min read
Joshua Mannie, better known as Barry Can’t Swim, turned heads with a playful, jazz-infused house set from the heart of Mixmag’s The Lab LDN. The Edinburgh-born, London-based DJ and producer has experienced a meteoric rise in popularity since his debut EP in 2021; earning a coveted spot on Billboard’s 10 Dance Artists To Watch in 2022 and being supported by the likes of Pete Tong, Danny Howard, Jaguar and beyond.
Mannie gravitated towards jazz music at a young age, learning piano from the age of nine before working in a range of jazz bars throughout his teenage years. At university, he delved into a broader range of instruments from guitar to bass and drums before working as an intern at Glasgow's SOMA Records, which introduced him to the city’s underground electronic scene.
After moving to London, Mannie became further submerged in dance music culture, prompting him to kickstart his solo electronic projects. The lush textures, warm vocal samples, and sweeping orchestral elements of his productions came to a head in 2021 with his debut EP, Amor Fati, on Bristol-based label Shall Not Fade.Barry Can't Swim in The Lab LDN
Soon after, Mannie teamed up with rising talent Anish Kumar to release Blackpool Boulevard on legendary Ninja Tune imprint Technicolour Records. The critically acclaimed single received widespread support on BBC Radio 1 from Sarah Story, Jack Saunders, and Mixmag, who highlighted the tune as one of their Best Tracks of the Year.
Barry got 2022 off to a bang with More Content: a four-track EP that reflects the musical diversity of the English capital with an amalgamation of jazz, house, techno, and jungle.
"Living in London you hear so many different styles of music just walking about, out of cars or flats and shops" he explains. "I wanted to channel that energy and appreciation of those genres."