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Life & Work with Manda Malina

Today we’d like to introduce you to Manda Malina.

Hi Manda, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
I’ve been singing all my life, almost dreamt of being on big stages and becoming a songwriter. My dad is an audio-engineer so I’ve been around music since I was a little kid and remember my first “Roxette” concert he engineered in the 90s and how I just longed to be them one day. I’ve always been very outspoken with strong opinions and values and always felt that it’s through music and my songwriting that I want to share my stories and inspire others.

I started my career when I auditioned for Swedish X-Factor in 2012, and I ended up 7th in the finals. That catapulted my career in the Swedish music industry to then released my first single, “Sweeteest Heartbreak” in 2014 that peaked #1 on the Swedish iTunes single chart. I then went on to perform at the Swedish election of the Eurovision Song Contest “Melodifestivalen” in 2014 with the song “Glow” (Warner Music Sweden). I learned so much being a signed artist, but I missed my creative freedom and independence so I went indie and moved to Los Angeles.

I’ve seen a lot of success as a songwriter for lots of DJ’s and EDM artists, and it’s through those collaborations I’ve grown as a songwriter and started writing my own songs for my own project.

I just released my new song “fuck myself” that is about my coming-out journey from a bisexual woman to lesbian, how I learned to embrace my own sexuality and how important it is for us women to speak up for ourselves in every aspect of our life but specifically in bed.

My goal is to be an inspiration and a voice for the LGBTQ+ community and for women and to bring uncomfortable subjects to life through my songs that I wish I heard about growing up as a queer woman.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
It’s hard being a female artist in a male-dominated industry. My struggle as a female artist has been that men don’t take me seriously, and most men in music has either tried to sleep with me or date me in some capacity in exchange for helping me out in my career and it makes you feel very invalidated and disrespected. I’d like to bring that side of the music industry to light because it isn’t talked about enough.

It’s also hard being an indie artist because you have to wear many hats – you pay for everything yourself, you’re the creative boss but also doing everything else- the marketing, the press outreach, the planning, the bookings. On the flip side, it’s also empowering knowing how much you can do yourself and that you got the creative control in getting your story heard the way you want it to.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I am a pop singer, writer and performer. I write all my songs by my own or with co=writers, which I love so I can get my stories heard through my own words. I didn’t use to write my own stuff, and it’s such a big difference releasing your own work because it’s very personal, and my new project is almost like I’m letting listeners read my diary.

My music is very y2k inspired because that’s my most favorite music era. I grew up listening to Celine Dion, XTina, Westlife, Britney Spears, Anastacia, Brandy – so subconsciously, everything I write and sing have a 2000’s twang to it. I’m also a part of the LGBTQ+ community, so being a queer artist is something I’m proud to be labeled as.

We’re always looking for the lessons that can be learned in any situation, including tragic ones like the Covid-19 crisis. Are there any lessons you’ve learned that you can share?
I learned to stop procrastinating. Since I couldn’t play any shows, be in sessions, hang out with my friends or travel, all I had was myself and my laptop so the things I needed to get done, I had to do, cause what else was there to do? I’m a procrastinator so It was important for me to learn to just sit down on my ass with only myself and I.

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Image Credits:

Justine Lisz Angel Rivera

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