What's your name and what do you do?
My name is Mandy Sloan.
I’m a singer/songwriter, but also love to create any type of art. I love to draw, paint, write silly children’s books, and work on fun video or graphic projects. Music though is my main focus. I’ve been playing guitar and performing since I was 15, and adore it.
Why do you have a passion for music?
I think my passion for music has come the incredible way it can be used express emotions. I started writing songs when I moved from Lincoln, NE to St. Augustine, FL in high school and found it to be the best way to handle new situations and experiences. It’s an art form that not only allows you to channel your emotions, but then further relate to other people who are dealing with similar struggles.
Tell me about a song or two. What inspired them?
One of my favorite songs to talk about is My Friend. It’s one that I’m proud of because it DOES NOT have anything to do with a boy. Hooray!
I know, its sad, but a lot of my songs come out of heartbreak. To the point, that now I’m trying to challenge myself not to rely on romance as my main song topic. My Friend, in particular is about my amazing friend Danielle Brantley. We bonded in college and I wrote the song as a way to remember how grateful I am for friendship. There are certainly specific people that I know God brings into our lives, and Dani is one of them.
Whenever I struggle with new feelings of heartbreak I can sing My Friend and realize friendships are just as healing and special as a significant other. It’s a nice slap in the face to sing and remind myself to be grateful in life, not whiney.
Why do you create music?
I am very sensitive person. Very is probably an understatement. I’m positive music is one of the tools I was given to keep me mentally stable and healthy. I think sometimes there are just too many feelings, and a guitar is all that will do.
What do you hope for the future for your music?
Honestly, anything. I’ve gotten to the point where I’m just grateful that I got to make this full-length album. I’m currently working on recording the next one and am pretty excited about it! I mostly just hope to continue creating, and hoping the songs inspire others to do the same.
Who are some people that inspire you musically? Or what inspires you to create your art?
When I was in high school I would sit around listening to Maria Taylor’s song, “Clean Getaway,” then switch over to Catherine Feeny’s, “Mr. Blue,” and lastly Rilo Kileys, “Does He Love You?” And all I could think was I wanted to write music like they did. Their songs and vocals always gave me an itch to write, and even helped me create paintings too. Besides other musicians, I’m typically just inspired by people. I write songs about my family, friends, and social situations. People are the most inspiring tools an artist can use.
When is your next live performance?
My next live performance is at the Austin Airport in February 2014. Also in the works is a cd release party. I’m hoping to get a lot of artists out to celebrate creating art.
How and where can we find your music?
My latest album Mapless Road is available on i-tunes, amazon, spotify, cd baby, and band camp. I also make updates on my music at www.mandysloanmusic.com, www.facebook.com/mandysloanmusic. And @mandysloanmusic on twitter.
What made you decide to live where you do?
I visited Austin my senior year of college and fell in love. And fortunately a few of the incredible friends I met in college when I was attending UCF had also moved out to Austin. We’ve had the best time in this city. I can’t believe Austin is such an inspiring place.
Where are some of the best places you have performed?
I’d say the best place I performed was my living room. My crazy family is the best audience I could ever perform for. Really though, that’s a hard question because I always love wherever I play. I recently played in Atlanta at Scotish Rite’s Children’s hospital.
Never, did I feel like playing music was so important until I played for kids that need hope and love in their day.
It’s really challenged me to start thinking deeper about what music ought to be used for. Other than that, I’ve been blessed to play at the Florida Music Festival and other venues in Orlando. And while I’ve been in Austin, I’ve played fun gigs at Stompin Grounds, Uncle Billy’s, Brickhouse, Beale Street Tavern, Ski Shores, and lots of lovely homes.
Do you have any road stories?
I wish I did! I’m currently still not touring, but plan to get there after I create my second album.
What are your favorite instruments to play with?
My most known instrument is guitar. I’ve begun playing ukulele and am having a bawl with it. I also have started messing with synth a bit. It’s a blast to experiment with.
Would you ever sky dive or bungee jump?
Yes. Although I’d probably be screaming the entire time and hours later.
If someone were to make a movie about your life, who would you hope would play you?
Oh gosh. I don’t know. Daniel Radcliffe? I would love to for Mandy Sloan to look like Harry Potter. He could carry my guitar and his wand all at the same time.
If you could put yourself into a book and be a character in it, what would it be?
Well, I did just mention Harry Potter? I would definitely put myself in that book, and probably play the character of Dumbledore. He’s a baller.