The concept of pure pop identity is what propels him, although he's certain you haven't truly been introduced to his complete creative ego yet, no matter how many times a day you may hear his words come to life on the radio.

MNEK is a pop prodigy, carving his own way through the mainstream music landscape. From signing his first publishing deal at fourteen to earning a renowned reputation as one of the most accomplished young British songwriters by the age of 21, MNEK is a name that carries weight, with unprecedented writing and production credits for the likes of Beyoncé, Madonna and Kylie Minogue, and global chart topping collaborative hits with Zara Larsson and Rudimental. But as a solo force, Uzo Emenike is ultimately ready to show you exactly who he is, and cement his pop identity beyond accompanied clout with his forthcoming debut album.

The new record, slated to officially drop next year, will be MNEK's first full-length and a cohesive pop offering from one of the genre's most sincere current sonic innovators. It's a few days after Birmingham Pride when I jump on the phone to talk with the intuitive London-based artist, whose priorities moving forward, are as sharply defined as the mark he's determined to make.

First off, congrats on all the recent success, from your writing credits on Lemonade to your first top ten hit as a solo artist. How would you describe this creative space you currently occupy and how does it all feel?

I feel good. I feel happy. I'm glad that these things are happening all at the same time and that I'm always busy and people like the stuff that I'm making and the stuff that I'm a part of. It's very rewarding to do what i do, as well. It's fun.

How has your vision and your priorities shifted recently. You've been working for a long time and things have begun to take a different pace. How have your musical priorities shifted when it comes to what you're planning to accomplish now?

I think the balance of writing for other people and what I make for myself has always been a bit of a struggle, because there's always a bunch of people asking for stuff from me. With my own stuff, I take my time with it a lot. I'm not as much of a factory when it comes to my own stuff as I am when I'm writing for other people, because what I do is so specific. And I try to make sure that whatever I make is the best it can be. But the priorities have always been the same. I've always wanted to do my thing with my album but of course, I'm always busy writing for other people.

You're currently working on your debut album. You have been for a while. And that's coming out next year?

Yes, I started it again last year, because I just wanted a new mind-set on it. I started it again and it sounds so much better. It just makes so much more sense now. I've grown and I think I've just become more of myself as a person. That seeps through the music, which is just more me. I'm not trying to make a new jack swing album. I'm not trying to make this fancy thing. I'm taking everything that I've learned from music and just applying it to make my own sound. And it's good.

I saw a tweet recently from one of your fans who loves your ballads, the anthems and the singles that you've been putting out recently, but they were wanting more from you and you mentioned that we'll be hearing entirely who you are on this forthcoming album. What will you be sharing personally when the time comes to drop it?

Who I am creatively plays such a massive role in who I am personally. The sonic value of the album is going to seep through, because it just shows everything I've been influenced by and everything. I have released a lot of singles, whether it be me singing more or me writing them. There's a very scattered idea of who I am and a very scattered idea of what I represent and my point of view. I feel like this album - I've never had a real body of work. It's just been singles. I feel like that will really explain better than I ever could.

When it comes to your writing, obviously there's a self-awareness in the fact that you can write a ballad or write an anthem that's universally relatable. What does a day in the life of someone who's lived enough to write those kinds of songs look like?

I've never really thought about it that way. I write these songs from a perspective that isn't always autobiographical per say. Sometimes I hear stories that I hear from a friend and that impacts what I want to write about. I guess I just write what I want to hear on the radio. That's really what I do. And some people like it when they hear it on the radio.

And right now, it would be difficult to turn on the radio and not hear something that you've worked on, especially with Lemonade. What have you learned from the creative process of others, some of the biggest artists in the world that you've worked with, that showed you about not only them but your own process as well?

With the Madonna thing and the Beyoncé thing, they were both quite remote. I was in the studio with both of them. With Beyoncé, I went to the studio when she played me 'Hold Up,' the chorus, and I contributed everything that I contributed back in London. But it was cool to see how they work with their writing in sections objectively from the inception of the song. That part is fascinating to me.

What expectations come with being you? You're a pop prodigy. You signed a publishing deal at such a young age and have written for all these giants. Are there pressures to deliver on your own debut album? Do you feel those pressures when people come and ask you to write now?

I've always felt expectations, to be honest. The writing and producing has been so successful and I'm really thankful for that, but then I'm a real complicated artist to try and market. I know I have to work ten times as hard on my next project. But then, there's a little bit of pressure taken off, because I know that my stuff is completely different from what I'm writing for other people. It's more about me. It's tailored to me. Not me with Zara, not me with Beyoncé, not me with Madonna. It's what I have to say.

Then, there's your amazing production that is very you as well. What are your thoughts on current pop trends sonically. You talk openly about how you're such a fan of pop and the evolution of pop and I wanted to know about your thoughts on the fusions of things like afrobeats and dancehall coming to the forefront of pop at the moment.

I love it. I think it's really great. As a black man and as a guy of Nigerian heritage, I love hearing afrobeats within pop music. It's very reminiscent of what my parents listen to. It's my culture. I love 'One Dance' by Drake. I love 'Controlla' and all the stuff that Rihanna and Justin Bieber are making. It sounds great.

What are your thought so the line between cultural appropriation and culture appreciation in the realm of pop and where that line should be drawn now that you have new terms like tropical house implemented into the mix?

I think the line depends on if you're mocking the sound. Appropriation is mocking, really. If you're not mocking it then it's not a problem. If you're not being disrespectful to it and using it tastefully, even if it is out of your realm, then it's cool. Justin Bieber's 'Sorry' is a great record. It has a beat to it that's reminiscent of soca, but it's a pop song. So he's not trying to deceive anyone. It's just the rhythm. And it's a great song. When Rihanna sings work, she's singing like that because she's of Caribbean heritage. Patois is the mother tongue of where she's at. That's the line.

When it comes to you, where do you plan to either fit in or fit out of pop's current equation. And when it comes to your legacy, what are you trying to leave in the realm of pop?

I think my favourite thing about pop is, there are all these artists in pop and they all have an identity and they do pop their own little way. You don't even have to describe what the sound is, they just put them on it and their identity shines through in everything that they do. That's the mark I want to leave. I want everyone to be like, I love that because MNEK did that. That's me.