On November 18, 2017, Los Angeles’ iHeartRadio hip hop station Real 92.3 had their annual concert known as the Real Show at the Forum. This year’s show brought together a mixture of household names and rising artists that included headliner J. Cole, French Montana, Yo Gotti, Cardi B, Jessie Reyez, Zoey Dollaz, Cozz. Other artists in the Bay Area’s growing stars SOB x RBE, RJ, OT Genasis and Ty Dolla $ign made an appearance during Young California’s set. Though before these established artists hit the stage one singer/songwriter from Montebello, California opened up the show and set the mood for what turned out to be a legendary night in Los Angeles. Her name is Mandi Rose.
Mandi’s commencement of the show immediately established her as an all around act. Partnering with her family and friends as background vocalists and dancers, Rose put on an outstanding performance of her single “Bout To Ride“. First impressions revealed an ecstatic, graceful individual who’s able to sing and dance in front of 17,000 people. An Instagram story video of her performance acted as the bridge between Mandi and I, and my eventual research unveiled an even more interesting person behind the microphone.
The 22-year old doesn’t have much information online. Through her Soundcloud, Bandcamp, and social media sites, Mandi shares her life on a surface level: a college student majoring in Business Marketing and minoring in Music. With a background in cheerleading, the singer/songwriter’s day job enables her to coach aspiring cheerleaders at a local high school.
Her 2016 EP Back for More confesses her personal and relationship-based guilty pleasures. You’ll find she’s in need of quick mental vacations on records like “Roll One” and “Hennessy“, and that her relationship – despite any “Lies” – is strong enough entice her to say “Don’t Go Away“.
However, her music could only tell so much. It was interesting to find an up-and-coming artist who’s both a singer who discusses love amongst family, personal relationships, and self, and has an adolescent fanbase whom she coaches. So I begged the question, “Do you feel like you have to filter yourself in your music since you directly work with your younger fanbase?”.
As a fan of music, I believe that every artist has a responsibility to their fans with every song; not in the sense that their music is specifically geared towards their fans, but rather through their instrumental choice and lyrics that they are completely honest about who they are at that point in time. Personally, I don’t expect the artists I listen to to be perfect, but I do expect honesty since it’s the foundation of building a relationship between two human beings.
We may not get the chance to have one-on-one moments with the people we hear on the other side of our speakers, but that’s why it’s important for artists to be as honest as they can with every song. Though my one-on-one time with Mandi revealed the most honest aspect regarding her career: she’s destined to be a singer and therefore, she’s willing to open up about her truest self with every song.
Her honesty opened opportunities for her to work with Montebello-based rapper Johnny Flohs on three records: “Rockets”, “Here” and”Same Ol’ Thing”.
Mandi Rose is the rising star that you want on your playlists for her amazing vocal range, her ability to effortlessly control a crowd, and most importantly, honest lyrics. The Montebello-native is looking to push a website and more music in 2018.
(Photo Courtesy: Joel Marasigan)