Sunday 29th April 2018
Creating authentically fun pop music, Michael Mancuso’s songs have the ability to resonate with any listener from the first note. Describing his sound as, “A mix of Justin Bieber, Nick Jonas, DNCE and Ariana Grande,” his work is an extremely powerful blend of today’s Top 40 Pop. Michael’s new single “Give It To Me” marks the beginning of a sexier, edgier chapter in his career. “Let’s just say I was going through a dry spell in my love life. My producer/co-writer, Dan Whittemore decided to play me a track that he had been working on. When he played it I freaked out! I immediately thought of a melody line for the chorus. When I sang it over the chords, Dan got just as excited as I was. From there it came time to decide what we were writing about. Even though we laughed, we both knew it was a fantastic idea and ‘Give It To Me’ was born.”
Photo Credit: Monty Limon
You’re the first artist that I’ve interviewed who has been part of an award winning a cappella group. Could you tell me more about the experience, and how it came about?
I joined The SoCal VoCals at the beginning of my 2nd semester at USC. I was inspired by the level of musicality each member possessed and felt extremely motivated to become better in every way so that I could keep up with the sheer talent in the group! I can tie almost everything I’ve done professionally back to the people I met during my time as a VoCal. While in the group, I got the opportunity to perform at the Beacon Theater in NYC, the Hollywood Bowl, the Queen Elizabeth Stadium in Hong Kong, and the White House during Obama’s presidency. I also toured Florida, Hong Kong and London. Other notable things I did with them include performing at the world premiere of both Pitch Perfect 2, singing at the BMI Pop music awards honoring Taylor Swift, opening for Chris Martin from Coldplay for the Universal Pictures executive retreat, and much more! I wouldn’t trade my time in the group for anything. Those people and the memories I made with them will last me a lifetime!
What music did you listen to when growing up, and has there been anyone in particular who has inspired you to make a career out of music?
One of my biggest musical influences growing up was a group called The Canadian Tenors (who later changed their name to The Tenors). One of the members is a man named Clifton Murray. He was my musical idol! To this day, my friends still tell me that my belt sounds similar to his. I’ll truly know I’ve made it when I get the chance to share the stage with him.
Could you tell me about your writing process? Being a solo artist do you have anyone to bounce ideas off of?
I thrive in collaborative situations! I rarely write alone. I find that if I don’t have someone to bounce ideas off I can’t get out of my own way. To this day I have never released a song that has been written 100% by me, and I couldn’t be happier about that!
To break down my writing process a bit, I usually start with a conversation. I try to find common ground between myself and the person (or people) I’m collaborating with. I consider myself to be a pretty open book, but in sessions there really isn’t anything I won’t talk about! I feel like the only songs that have a chance of going somewhere are songs that come from an authentic place, so I try to find a genuine angle on a genuine topic that everyone in the room can put some real emotion into. Once we have a few chords that we all agree on, I like to try to find a melodic line for the verse, pre and chorus. After the chords and basic melodic structure are locked in, I like to get going with lyrics and finish up the song!
Your single “Give It To Me” has been released for a few days now. How are you finding the response to your music?
People have received the song so well! Every now and then I get tagged in an Instagram or Twitter post that’s related to “Give It To Me” and it really makes my day.
Will there be an accompanying music video for the single?
Yes! We will be premiering the music video soon, so stay tuned!
How does “Give It To Me” compare to your previous material, and how do you feel you’ve grown as an artist?
Give It To Me is a true single, in the sense that it doesn’t necessarily reflect where I was or where I’m going as an artist. But, truth be told, I loved the song so much I couldn’t leave it unreleased. I truly enjoy the pop-rock vibe of the track and the energy of the chorus, but my music following this will be as close to main-stream pop as I can get! Very excited to have “Give It To Me” out in the world, but also extremely excited to share my next couple of songs.
Are you looking to release an EP or album in the near future?
As of right now, no. I will be releasing songs 1-by-1 as singles!
You enjoy creating memorable moments for your fans, such as responding to messages and taking photos. How important is it for you to interact with your fans in this way?
It is probably the #1 reason I want to be “famous”. If people are kind enough to show me and my music love, I would love nothing more than to interact with them and thank them personally for making my dreams come true. I want to be known as the guy who accepts random invitations to things like birthdays/weddings/parties, surprises sick fans wherever they are being cared for, and takes time to stop for any selfie or autograph.
Word has it that you’re a gamer in your spare time. What are you currently playing?
I’m definitely on the Fortnite bandwagon. I don’t have a ton of spare time now-a-days, but when I do have a minute I love jumping on my Xbox and playing with a few friends from college!
What have you got planned for the year ahead, and do you have any tour dates lined up?
No tour dates yet to speak of, but I’m actively searching for a booking agency to help land me an opening act position in either the USA, Europe or Southeast Asia! Follow me on Instagram to see who I sign with and where I end up going!