Las Vegas-native Manika grew up seeing amazing music. “It’s a major concert tour and arts stop, plus we have all the shows that are here all year long like Cirque du Soleil, Phantom, all that” she shared in a recent phone interview. Her first concern was Hillary Duff at Mandalay Bay. But, she explained, “my whole life I’d really been into music. Growing up, I was shy except when I was on stage, where I felt most at home.”
She still get nervous before shows, but, “once I’m out there, I’m good.” She started playing the piano in pre-school and now, she “plays around while writing songs — I taught myself the basic chords. The things I learned help it all make sense. Also, I have an app called Piano Chords, so if I forget something, I use that,” she laughed. For her, songwriting around 12. “You have to not be afraid to be bad — humming melodies to find what works.”
She writes about things she’s going through — “what other people my age are going through. My new single, ‘My Way’ applies to a relationship. It’s about how someone sees you and how you can’t listen to the negative.” It’s a message that is completely hers, but filtered through a multitude of her influences. “It’s different people for different things. Everyone from Michael Jackson and Beyonce to Pink, Avril Levine, 80s stuff, Aerosmith — I love Steven Tyler’s voice, how he screams but not really — to Alanis Morisette.”
You can hear those influences for yourself in the tracks here, but also on her upcoming release — a double album. It “reflects my journey. There’s even a booklet that goes with it.” You can find out more about the album and the upcoming tour on her Facebook page and Twitter feed.