Gracing us with a remarkable interview to teach us all about her emotional debut album, Songs My Mother Never Taught Me, the tenderly expressive Canadian artist Manella shows us through the different stages of heartbreak and healing. Inspired by her Mom and her 1st music teacher, we are blessed to be in the presence of a proper musician who sings with a spine-tingling beauty to behold.
Q: Hello Manella. Thank you for chatting with us today. Where in the world are you located currently and what was the last song you listened to?
A: I am in Montréal, Canada, and the last song I listened to was The Mysterious Vanishing of Electra by Anna von Hausswolf, really powerful stuff!
Q”Please tell us more about your new album Songs My Mother Never Taught Me?
A: Songs My Mother Never Taught Me is a concept album about the stages of a breakup and then subsequent healing. It’s not your typical breakup album, however, diving into themes such as mental health, objectification, sexual violence, and the loss of innocence as we grow older. The lessons of life that a parent couldn’t prepare you for, but rather you have to live through. But don’t worry it comes with a pretty hopeful ending!
Q: Why did you release this music to the world and has it been scary dropping your first release?
A: For sure the whole process has been scary but also incredibly exciting! It’s wonderful to be able to share the music I’ve been making over the past year and a half and finally show it to the world! The why is that during the pandemic as live music stopped, venues closed their doors, and I graduated from music school, it was finally time to believe in myself and record my music. It has been a slow process and I’m a perfectionist so it took even longer to get everything to where I wanted it to be, but I had a great team of people who helped and supported me every step of the way, I’m definitely eternally grateful for them!
Q: How did you get into music and do you remember the first time you were on stage?
Q: Ever since I can remember I’ve been singing, and I started playing piano from an early age as well. My first music teacher in elementary school, Ms. Primeau, encouraged my mom to get me piano lessons and got me singing in all types of musical projects at school. My first time on stage was in those days as well, I was 5 and had to get dragged off stage by my parents after singing for a classroom of students in Mexico via Skype.
A: Who inspires you to be the best at whatever you do?
A: My parents for sure, they are incredibly encouraging, inspiring, supportive as well as honest when they need to be. Whenever they give me advice or motivation it comes from the heart, and I always want to do my best for them.
Q: What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
A: “Be a sponge!” It sounds kind of weird but I remember going to a Meredith Monk masterclass in university and when she said this, it stuck with me! She was saying that in whatever artistic environment you’re in you should be taking all the lessons and knowledge in, like a sponge! So I take this advice into every collaboration, workshop, lesson and session. You can learn so much from fellow artists if you’re willing to open yourself up to their knowledge and experience, it’s definitely how I’ve grown the most as an artist.
Q: Are there any special music spots in your local area we should check out?
A: Oh man, there’s so many! I’ll give three local spots I love that host a variety of diverse local and indie acts! The Diving Bell Social Club, L’escogriffe, and Verre Bouteille! I love going and hearing new music at all these venues, and have also had the chance to perform at each as well! I highly recommend checking them out if you’re ever in Montréal!
Q: Last, what are your goals for the rest of 2023?
A: To collaborate as much as I can, and of course, be a sponge! I really love working with and learning from other musicians and artists, it’s one of the best ways to grow not only artistically but as an individual. I have some great collaborations lined up this next year that I’m really looking forward to, and I hope to be a fully drenched sponge full of ideas, lessons, and musical moments by the end of 2023.
Hear more from this fine artist on Spotify.
Interview by Llewelyn Screen