In this exclusive interview, Mandy talks to us about her new EP “Riot” and the creative process behind this project.
She kindly gave us a free download exclusively for TLL users, which you can get by going to
Mandy Rain was discovered by Nick Cannon, recorded with Mariah Carey, put out two records on island Def Jam as a member of the group “Schoolgyrls”, starred in two Nickelodeon movies, one of which was with Justin Bieber. So now what is she up to?
We here at The Looking List are so excited to interview you with the release of your debut solo EP entitled "RIOT EP". Tell us how excited you are & what this release means to you & your fans?
I am very excited about the release of the EP. It’s been such a journey creating this album, writing and recording it, and living the real life experiences that made the lyrics, and songs come to life. For my fans, this means everything! This EP has been a long time coming, and I think everyone really loves it so far!
It has been a couple of years since you released your single "Boogie", and you decided to release the "RIOT" single before you released the "RIOT EP". Tell us why you decided to do it this way (instead of releasing the EP & single at the same time?
I loved the RIOT single, so I was so excited to put it out, I couldn’t really wait for the whole EP to be done to release the single.
The song "RIOT" is a very catchy up-tempo song about female empowerment. Walk us through the creative process and how you wrote this song with the co-writers?
I had been through a very bad relationship, and was finally coming out of it, and i had headed to that session and had to write about it. I was in such a good place, and hadn’t been there in such a long time, so i felt like starting a “riot” haha. I loved writing with Abram Dean (Warner Bros), such a talented writer, as well as Isaac Hasson.
Both the single & video for "RIOT" has been very well received by your fans and has been featured on Blogs all over the world. Can you tell us about the concept for the song & the video?
The song is about starting a riot with that new person, that makes you happy, and just having fun, and the video reflected something even deeper. The video was about being in a bad relationship, and i just KNEW he was cheating so i went undercover, dressed up as another me, and tricked him into cheating on me with me! The audience didn’t see that until the end, and I think it was an awesome reveal.
You have written with some great writers on this EP including Maria Christensen (J-Lo, Celine Dion, "Lemonade Mouth") Isaac Hasson, (Demi Lovato, Selena Gomez, Hot Chelle Rae) Abram Dean (Andy Grammer, Brandyn Burnette, Bella Thorne) Phil Bentley (Christina Aguilera) & Streetz On Fire. Tell us what is what like to work with these writers on your project?
Every different song, was a new experience, in every way. Every time I sat down with a new writer, i learned something new about melodies, lyrics, placement, everything. Each experience and song really taught me a lot about writing and crafted me into the writer I am.
"Dare To Love" is a great duet with actor/singer Kenton Duty (best known for his acting on shows like ABC's "Lost", & Disney's "Shake It Up"). How did this collaboration come about and what was it like to work with a former Disney Star, especially since you came from Nickelodeon?
Kenton and I have been friends for years, but never worked together like this. Working on Dare To Love was awesome, not only did we get to write the song, we got to rehearse together, work together, perform together, do press together and he is such a great guy! It was a lot of fun!
The video for "Dare To Love" was shot at the Best Friends "No-Kill" Animal Shelter which we hear is very near & dear to your heart. Can you tell us how this video came about, what it was like to work with all of the dogs & cats at the shelter, and why your own dog Malone appears in the video?
I rescued my dog Malone from Best Friends almost three years ago, and fell in love with not only the dog, but the shelter. The work they do there is incredible, how they really care about every animal they bring in, and how no matter what the animals have a forever home at Best Friends. Of course, working with all the adorable cats and dogs was just a plus.
Besides the great songs on your EP, what other artist are you currently listening to? Do you have any songs from other artist that you are really into right now?
I really love Sam Smith, Shawn Mendes, Kelly Clarkson, and Trey Songz right now. Those are just some of my favorite songs/artists in my playlist right now.
"Turn On The DJ" is an incredible dance/club song. Tell us about how you came up with the concept? Walk us through the creative process of writing & recording this song?
Thank you. The funny thing about my party songs, is that I’m not much of a party girl! I’m actually the opposite! I love writing and recording songs like this because it really brings me out of my element, and pushed me to another side of me, that even though I don’t access it, is there through my music.
Are you planning on shooting a video for "Turn On The DJ" if you are, when can your fans expect to see the video?
No. I am planning on shooting a music video for my single “Thirsty”.
Your fans are very supportive of you & your music. They are constantly talking about you & interacting with you on social media and are very loyal to you. Tell us what your fans mean to you & do you have a message for them?
I love my fans. They have been so supportive and amazing throughout all of the years, and have truly backed me through very choice I’ve made. I am forever grateful for their undying love.
"Back To Bad" is another fab song. It has a very interesting concept. Tell us about the concept & if you had anyone in mind when you wrote this song?
Yes, a relationship from when I was 15 actually! I was dating someone, who kept over analyzing everything, and reading into every text, word, everything, and I started to get so fed up with it! It ended up coming in handy, because it created a great song.
Tell us about your writing style. Do you write to tracks, do you write to instruments? Do you have concepts, melodies, & lyrics ready to go? And what is the best part of writing songs for you?
It depends on the session. Sometimes we start with a concept, sometimes with a track, and sometimes with a melody. The best part of writing for me is the lyrics, i love writing lyrics, i am a writer by nature.
Do you have a "wish list" of songwriters, record producers, and other artist that you want to collaborate with?
Oh of course, if I listed them all it would take forever. Producer wise, I’ve always wanted to work with Luke, & Max Martin. With my inspirations being Britney Spears original sound coming up, that would be ideal for my sound. Their cutting edge sound is a must. Artists, I would have to say my favorite right now which is The Weeknd, or Sam Smith.
You were discovered by Nick Cannon at age 12, and you have been going hard in the industry ever since. Tell us what it's like to be in showbiz starting at a young age & what it's like to have been in the entertainment industry for almost half of your life?
Definitely half my life, it’s been up and down battles, as any career is. Starting in showbiz young is hard however, you really have to have a strong support system around you, and have to sacrifice a lot for your career.
"I Just Want To Love You" is a Big mid-tempo song with soaring vocals which really showcase your range & vocal ability. This is the only song on your EP which you didn't write, so tell us why you decided to cover/record this song?
It was written by three people i adore as writers, Isaac Hasson, Abram Dean & Josiaha R. and i heard it and instantly loved it, They are so talented and brilliant lyrically, i couldn’t pass up on it. Plus it was very touching to me at the time in a relationship i was going through.
We hear that you will be releasing a video for "I Just Want To Love You" soon. I'm sure that your fans cannot wait until this video drops. Can you tells us anything about the video & when it will be released?
It was really just a beautiful video, that I really enjoyed filming. I wanted it to be raw, and beautiful imagery just like the song, that’s all I will give away for now!
You are very busy writing, recording, & promoting your projects 24/7. Some people have said that you are one of the hardest working artist in the game. In those rare moments when you do have some time to yourself, what do you like to do?
I love to spend my time, training, with my family, friends, the people i love. I spend all of my Sunday mornings at my church, Grace. My other moments with my amazing adopted beautiful puppies.
Every Pop Star is inspired & in some cases mentored by other Stars. Is there anyone who has inspired and/or mentored you in the industry?
Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon have been the biggest ones in my life, especially when I was younger. They really taught me a lot not just about music, but the industry as a whole.
The song "Thirsty" is another potential single. How did you come up with the lyrics and tell us about the concept? Do you have any plans to shoot a video for this song?
The funny part about music like this, is it’s totally the opposite of who I am as a person, so writing songs like this is so out of my element. Thirsty was such a popular word when I wrote this, and I thought it fit perfectly in a seductive and cute funny play on words kind of way.
Do you have a favorite song off of the EP?
BACK TO BAD. Such a great song to dance around to, so unique in sound. I think its very different from everything else on the EP as well.
Is there anything that we don't know about the making of this EP that you want to let us know about?
It was such a labor of love, every minute of it, but was so well worth it. It was such a joy finally having the hard copy in my hands.
How can people order the EP and where it is available online? Do you have any plans to release the CD into the stores?
Yes we plan on releasing it to different locations near you, but for now, you can purchase it on iTunes, and hard copies on amazon very soon!
Do you have any plans to perform live or tour in support of this release?
Yes! Keep checking back to my twitter to find out when my next performance is.
Do you have any "Shout-Outs" to anyone?
Just my amazing fans! Thank you for all of your un-dying love and support!
What's next for Mandy Rain?
Just wait and see….
Artist: Mandy Rain
Current Release: "RIOT EP"
Label: Mandyland/Empire Records
Management: Jeff Gordon for All Star Music Group
Social Media Sites: https://twitter.com/realmandyrain