Welcome Mandy! Thank you for your time today. Before we jump in will you give us a background on your musical journey, where you started and where you are now?
Absolutely! I made my singing debut at 2 years old when I stole the microphone from my sister’s hand during a performance in church. I’ve been singing ever since, although I don’t steal microphones anymore! After years of performing in my hometown of Columbus, Ohio, I attended the Boston Conservatory and began performing in a band in Boston. After school, my career has taken me all over the world. Some highlights have been orchestral concert tours as a soloist, Disney Productions, cruise ships, recording sessions, acting work, and more. It’s been a wild ride and I’ve gotten to perform so many different genres of music. Today, my husband and I are based in LA. He is an amazing musician, so we collaborate a lot and also have an events band called Business Time Entertainment. I also continue to work on a concert tour called Disney World Beat every year. So between recording sessions and live performances/ tours, I stay pretty busy.
We are so excited because you have a new album coming out soon. What details can you share with us?
It’s an album of covers songs by some of my favorite artists, like the Beatles, the Beach Boys, Bob Dylan, Queen, Elton John, and more. The fun thing is that my versions of these songs are, for the most part, completely different than the originals. I love all the original tracks, but I wanted to reinvent them. A great song can be done in so many ways.
You shared that the new album will be cover but with a female perspective. We LOVE this. How did this idea come about?
It started with this idea that I wanted to cover male rockers, but on my own terms and in my own way. I think a good song is like a diamond: you turn it a little bit and new light shines. It really started with this unique version of Here Comes the Sun that started to develop in my head about 6 years ago! Soon I was relating the lyrics to things I’d experienced as a woman. An example is “Rocket Man.” For me that song became a metaphor for being a woman in the workplace. It’s like I have to go off to space and prove I can do everything a man does out here, but how to I deal with all the parts of me that are left back home? Also, I’ve always loved the song “Just Like a Woman” by Bob Dylan and thought, “What if I was singing this about myself and my journey as a woman in this world?” Pretty soon I had found a story with each song, and in an album order that tells a journey to and through womanhood.
Even though most people listen to songs individually these days, I love the idea of a whole album that has a cohesive theme and concept. My last album, a Christmas album, was songs from popular holiday movies, which was so much fun!
What do you hope listeners take away or feel after they hear the album?
I hope they will feel inspired and empowered. I hope they will feel solidarity in whatever they are going through in their life. Whether you listen to the album as a whole for the concept I’ve introduced, or you just listen to the tracks individually, I want it to lift you up.
If we were riding in the car with you, what song or artists would we hear coming from the speakers?
Oh man! Tough question because I love so many different genres of music! Top picks would be One Republic, Ellie Goulding, Jason Mraz, Sara Bareilles, Britney Spears and all kinds of 90’s Pop (I have a great playlist on my spotify profile!), Taylor Swift, and all the original artists on my cover album. I also enjoy French music, Jazz, Disney, and film scores!
Okay, tell us what is your favorite item in your closet right now?
I love anything GLITTERY! I have this gorgeous gold glitter jacket that always makes me feel fabulous.
Where can fans support you and connect with you online?
You can find me at LifeOfMandyDickson on Instagram where I post weekly cover songs and also lots of behind the scenes. I have longer videos on my YouTube Channel: Mandy Dickson Music. I also have an artist page on Facebook where I love to connect with fans, and my website, www.MandyDickson.com always has the latest news. You can find my music on iTunes, Spotify, Apple Music, and wherever music is streamed.
Photo Credit: Even Keel Imagery, Miriam Brummel