Miz Mandy once got on Prince’s tour bus. “Nothing crazy happened. Sorry.”
Mandy Gasparich — aka Miz Mandy — is one of several female singers from the local pop band Liquid Blue to go from BlueGirl to solo recording artist.
“Historically, my music has been pop and dance, with an international flair,” says Mandy, who has landed two of her songs on Billboard’s Dance/Club charts: “In the Mix” peaked at #37 in 2007 and “Sweet Fury of Love” hit #48 in 2008.
“However, there are very few venues that specifically book pop/dance musical acts with a full band anymore. It’s hard to get gigs, other than sitting in on a dance/club DJ set without my band, [because] most venues seem to focus on a very genre-specific product other than pop dance. My next album has shifted gears a bit, with some acoustic, R&B, jazz, blues, and country songs I’ve written. Like, bringing a contemporary sensibility to a retro, 1960s pop sound. It’s very orchestrated and moody, yet sultry and chic, with heavy beats, lots of brass, and lots of strings.”
The as-yet-untitled album is planned for a summer release. “My new producer Ryan Franks and I have been in the studio since last year, and we have ten songs produced and are finalizing melodies and lyrics now.”
WHAT’S IN YOUR MUSIC PLAYER?
1) Janelle Monáe, The ArchAndroid (Suites II and III). “I just love her image and style. She’s very real.”
2) Fiona Apple, Extraordinary Machine. “She writes in minor keys and uses unique chord changes for an eerie torment that sounds a little off but is right on.”
CD YOU’RE EMBARRASSED TO LOVE?
“I love the old Queer Eye for the Straight Guy soundtrack. There are some great songs on there from Wildlife, Basement Jaxx, and Kylie Minogue.”
WHAT LOCALS DO YOU LISTEN TO?
“Roxy Monoxide, Danyavaad, Charles Lenud, Christopher Dale, Nodden, and Jayton tha Mac.”
IF YOU HAD A TIME MACHINE, WHEN/WHERE WOULD YOU VACATION?
1) “The 1920s, for the music.”
2) “Biblical times, for the experience.”
3) “Ancient Egypt, for the eye makeup. I mean, to see Egyptian history.”
HARDEST THING ABOUT BEING A FEMALE PERFORMER?
“Dancing in heels.”
“Scientific American and Scientific American Mind.”
DO YOU READ ELECTRONIC BOOKS?
“On long drives to L.A., sometimes I’ll do an audio book. The Myth of Male Power, by Dr. Warren Farrell, is a great one that really looks at the male perspective of many issues. He’s been hailed as an expert on gender issues.”
WHERE DO YOU HANG OUT?
“My house. I love having dinner parties. I bake artisan bread and have movie nights, game nights. And I play a lot of Rummikub online.”
BRUSH WITH FAME?
“I once got on Prince’s tour bus with him in St. Louis, back in the late ’90s. The concert after-party was at a local club. I was cooling off outside and didn’t realize I was right there between the tour buses, looking up at Prince, who was sitting in the driver’s seat and smiling down at me. I walked around and got on.... The band was loading up to leave, so my stay was brief. Nothing crazy happened. Sorry. But they did mention that they would take me with them. I declined and went home. That was before I was writing my own stuff, but now I kick myself for not having the foresight to more aggressively pursue a mentorship with him.”
WHAT REMAINS ON YOUR BUCKET LIST?
1) “I’d like to cruise the Amazon, the Nile, and the Yangtze rivers.”
2) “I draw and sketch out my many art ideas, so I have a few art installations that I’d like to see come to fruition.”
3) “I’ve been working on a few screenplay ideas.”
4) “Write a musical.”
THREE THINGS WE DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU?
1) “While on a flight from Africa to New York, I got to sit in the cockpit of a 747 plane to land at JFK. That was pre-9/11)”
2) “I lay a mean tile.”
3) “I used to own a restaurant called Le Passage that I designed, built, and ran with my ex-fiancé on State Street in Carlsbad. We later sold it to the chef who ran it for awhile, and then he sold to someone else. It’s still operating.” ■