17-year-old singer-songwriter Manika is just breaking into the music scene and surprising everyone with her incredible voice, energy and personality. Did we mention she’s also written a book and loves to act? Find out more about how this talented teen got started in her Kidzworld bio!
Girl of the World
Manika has heritage from all over! She is part Spanish, Filipino, Japanese, Chinese and Malaysian. Growing up, her parents encouraged her to listen to as many different types of music as possible. She says that she finds a huge array of different styles inspiring, but the ones that touch her the most are other female singer-songwriters like herself, including Avril Lavigne, Pink and Alanis Morrissette.
Don't Be Shy
This might be hard to believe since performance is her passion, but when Manika was young she was actually very shy: “Growing up, I was so shy, but it was weird because I was the complete opposite on stage. I was just free to be myself. People were like, 'Wait, is that the same girl?' Because on stage, I would just explode, and once I get off stage, I'd be kind of shy again. I've always loved music and once we got instruments in the house, I took to those too.”
Being shy didn’t hold her back though because performing was what she truly loved. She won the “Outstanding Performance Award” three years in a row at the National Performing Arts Festival in New York City! It was only a matter of time before Manika took her dreams to the next level!
Princess of the Pen
Singing isn’t Manika’s only talent (although most people dream of having a voice like hers). When she was just 15 she wrote a kids book called The Exciting Adventures of Boo, and donated the profits from the first 750 copies sold to the Nevada SPCA; she also went to hospitals and read the book to young cancer patients. Manika’s clearly got a big heart and is hoping that she’ll have the chance to do even more charitable works as her music catches on.
Getting Signed and the First Single
Manika’s new single “Just Can’t Let You Go” (featuring one of our fave rappers, Lil Twist) is just her first step toward stardom. She was discovered by legendary manager Frank DiLeo, Michael Jackson's manager! And she also started working with celebrity vocal coach CeCe Sammy (from U.K. Pop Idol). They both knew they had found a star in the making, and Manika is now working toward a full-length album, touring later this year and doing more acting!
“When CeCe was first approached me I told her that I was fully committed to my music and performing career, and that is my passion… to me it’s always been about being an all around creative person. Both live and on studio recordings, there’s nothing more important to me than touching people with my music and connecting with them through the stories I’m privileged to tell.”
Listen to Manika's first single Just Can't Let You Go below! This might just be the soundtrack to your summer: