Today on our Hot Seat we have Khaleel Mandel with us. He is rapper/producer/singer-songwriter/composer/multi-instrumentalist artist. Let’s have a chat with him.
Twist Online : First of all please introduce yourself to our readers.
Khaleel Mandel : My name is Khaleel Mandel. I was born in Boston, MA and raised in Bridgeport, CT.
Twist Online : Who or what inspired you to get into music industry?
Khaleel Mandel : Well, my father is a professional Bassist. So I used to go to a lot of his rehearsals and soak up all kinds of artistry, styles of music, instruments and whatnot. Those times really made me respect what a process is but also made it easy to respect musicianship. They were like my trips to the arcade. I saw Prince when I was 9 years old. I’d say that’s where I fully realized music is what I need to do.
Twist Online : Tell us about your recent release “Her Eyeglasses, S.T.S.”?
Khaleel Mandel : These are the leading singles to my next body of work. I had the idea for “Her Eyeglasses” for a few months but let it marinate before I wrote the music and lyrics. There’s something about the demographic of women who wear glasses that I wanted to tap into. Nobody’s made a record for them. A lot of woman I know who wear glasses wear them in private, so I’m hoping this record presents a narrative for more comfortability somehow. The reason why I dropped two singles is for major contrast. Majority of people would not expect an artist who made “Her Eyeglasses” to make a record like “S.T.S”. I wanted to throw people off. Especially those who are just getting introduced to my work. “S.T.S” was also an idea I’d been sitting for a little while. I would write little tidbits of lyrics here and there before I made the beat. I really wanted my own producer tag too. I thought that record was the perfect one to show it for the first time. For everyone who was already aware of my catalogue thus far I didn’t want those who love when I rap to feel abandoned (laughs). “S.T.S.” I feel shows that I can hold my own rapping wise next to just about anyone.
Twist Online : What kind of response you have received from the release?
Khaleel Mandel : Amazing responds, everyone loves it!
Twist Online : What’s your favorite music genre?
Khaleel Mandel : I don’t like to play favorites with genres, but I’ve been listening to a lot of Baroque Pop this year. The self titled album of a group by the name of “The Pleasure Fair” I’ve fallen in love with. They have a song called “Morning Glory” that I like to start my days with. Hip Hop is at the core of everything I do though.
Twist Online : What’s the best part of being a music artist?
Khaleel Mandel : Reflecting the times. I feel like as artists that’s our duty. Not just from a content/lyrical stand point but also through arrangements and compositions. Any beat I make mirrors events I see or narratives I hear. Also as an artist we have the ability to help shift certain narratives for ourselves and others. Making bodies of work for peoples’ therapeutic reasons is pretty fulfilling as well. Making music is my top form of therapy anyway.
Twist Online : Have you set some goals to achieve?
Khaleel Mandel : Yes I have few. One in particular is for my work to get more acknowledgement. I fall into the obscure section of artists right now which is nice since that ties into a slow-burn towards global notoriety. I feel like I’m approaching a junction in my career where I’m starting to make some of my most important records. I just really hope a greater amount of folks start to appreciate and consume my stuff at higher consistency.
Twist Online : Are you working on any new project?
Khaleel Mandel : I am. My next album entitled “2019” is dropping very soon. It’s produced entirely by myself.