Irini Mando – Outlaw [Interview]

Describe your sound in 3 words

diary of melodies

Tell us a few things about your new song. What is the main idea behind it?

‘Outlaw’ is a tale of a young woman finding her path and channeling her drive and passion into what she wants to achieve, no matter the consequence. It’s part love letter to self, part affirmation. It was important to me to lead with this single as a sort of prequel to the love story unfolding on the upcoming EP, it really explains my philosophy on life and where I’m coming from as an artist.

Do you like the idea of collaborating? Is songwriting a lonely process?

I think a lot of my writing starts with me writing on my own, but I love getting in the studio with people I trust and end up crafting something from those initial thoughts together.

‘Outlaw’ was written in a session in LA with Carson Thatcher (Orkid, Jesse Saint John) and Warholla. It was later produced by one of my producers in London, Mafro W. (Ghetts, Shakka, Bibi Bourelly, Fuse ODG), and mixed&mastered by Jonas Westling (Lady Gaga, James Arthur, Mel C).

There’s truly no way to describe that connection you have when writing together, but if you know you know.

Even beyond writing, every part of my creative process is collaborative to me. This includes the creation of the music, the visuals, the content, the merch.

Artists and people who have influenced and inspired you?

I grew up in a Greek household in Germany, so I was influenced by many different styles of music from an early age. I was always drawn to RnB, Pop and Hip Hop artists from the States. Albums I remember playing a lot in my childhood home include Michael Jackson’s Thriller, Tina Turner, Britney Spears and The Backstreet Boys. Once I was old enough to beg my mama to buy me CDs, I loved Britney, Beyonce, Christina Aguilera, Joss Stone, Alicia Keys, JLo.. an endless list of female power houses paving the way.

Living in London and working with people from all over the world, my musical education never really stopped. I am surrounded and influenced by everything from Dancehall to Afrobeats, Eastern Scales to Jazz.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced as an artist so far?

Producing the four consecutive music videos we shot in Greece in September last year. ‘Outlaw’ is the first of the series. We were supposed to shoot in April and had rescheduled due to restrictions, but I was still very nervous about our crew flying in from four airports in three countries. Luckily it all worked out, but the challenge of being the talent, the producer, the driver, AND the only person speaking the language was definitely the hardest thing I have accomplished to date.

Favorite film ever?

I started watching and re-watching loads of early 2000s movies since the first lockdown. They provide me with a strange sense of security, probably because they are reminiscent of my childhood.

What is the most useless talent you have?

Oh I can assure you, I make use of all my talents.

Thank you!

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