Born into a Greek-Italian heritage in July 1985, Alex Gilardino aka Maniks was born and raised in downtown Montreal. Growing up, he always had a passion for art and all genres of music ranging from reggae to black metal. As a youth he played electric guitar and piano, and was drawn to composition in his teens. A self-taught artist, he later turned his focus on urban art and concentrated on creating street murals and paintings. His works have left an indelible mark on Montreal’s landscape. For almost a decade, he ran his own music venue and promoted local and international artists. Emerging into the underground music scene in Montreal, he played in a couple of local punk bands before eventually moving towards the hardcore rap genre. This transition felt like a natural evolution for him as a lyricist, composer and performer. His first full-length rap album Maniks Unleashed, which sheds light on the underbelly of society was produced in collaboration with MakeWay Studio. It has created a strong buzz within the Hip Hop community and received great feedback for its powerful beats and penetrating lyrics.