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DISCOVER: Track-By-Track EP Review: Mandia – Cocktails & Dreams

This week saw Mandia surprise everyone with her new EP, titled “Cocktails & Dreams”. We knew it was coming but we weren’t exactly sure when and she kept that all a secret until 19 June 2018 came along. The EP spawned one single which was dropped back in March; it was a collaboration with Eric Bellinger, titled “Pull Up (Skrrt)”.

Mandia, full name Mandia Nantsios, has been someone we’ve been keeping our eyes on ever since she dropped “One Last Time” in 2013, since then we’ve been following her, as we also loved her debut single “Never Again”. She’s gone on to release some incredible tracks and we completely loved her debut album “Fractured Fairy Tales”. She returned in 2016 sporting a multi-coloured hairstyle that we were living for with the tracks “Rebel” and “Kryptonite“. Then, two years later, as we thought new music from her would be a long time away, she dropped “Pull Up (Skrrt)” with Eric Bellinger, and we knew this singer from Toronto, Canada was back for good and she’s here to stay, this time, making much needed pastel-coloured waves in the music industry.

Now, she’s released “Cocktails & Dreams”, her brand new EP, and it is everything we wanted and more. Mandia blows us away with her voice, her lyrics, and her emotion; this female artist is ready to become a star. We couldn’t just do a generic EP review, we just had to do a track-by-track review, because every single song deserves a spotlight of its own. Are you ready?

Liquor Store

This is a new sound for Mandia as she delves deeper into mainstream R&B with a flavour of hip-hop. It’s got a tranquil opening which this female artist uses to her advantage as she comes in with the first verse. She has this Fergie vibe going on and reminds us of the songs that are being released from Lee Daniels’ Star. It’s a great way to open up this EP and Manida is on point throughout.

Palm Tree

A different opening sound, this one has a more mainstream-pop sound to it, which is something we expect from Mandia, whilst still having her signature R&B sound to it. This is pure fire from the get-go with her absolutely nailing the vocals completely. “Palm Tree” is a quick favourite for everyone who listens to it and we so hope that this gets a music video because we could imagine Mandia bringing us brilliant performance vibes on the song.

Pull Up (Skrrt) feat. Eric Bellinger

This is probably going to be a song that goes down in history as a misheard lyric song because “Pull up and (Skrrt)” sounds too much like “Pull up your skirt”, which probably was the intention since Eric Bellinger jumps on to the similarities immediately in his rap. It’s definitely a grime hip-hop track that really suits Mandia’s voice in every single way. In the first verse, there are some iconic lyrics but we love the fact that she’s referenced Christina Milian’s “Dip It Low” – who doesn’t love that song? As the song continues it’s clear that this song is about getting together, it’s just full-on sexiness and we wish a music video had been created. This is a stand-out track because it’s so catchy!

California

This one is rhythmically groovy and works well after “Pull Up (Skrrt)”. Mandia’s vocals are 100% fire in this in every way as she seduces us all into loving this song. It’s full of passion and rich words and incredible riffs, this female artist sure knows how to sing and she’s giving it her all, whilst also holding back at all the right moments. You’ll remember the song purely because of the way she delivers the track.

Potion

From the get-go, we knew this song was club-worthy with its synths, beats, and energy. Mandia has fire in her voice as she builds up to the chorus where she launches in an absolutely incredible falsetto – we have never heard such an angelic sound come from her and we are loving it completely. This is our favourite on the EP as she has completely shown how far she has come from her “Never Again” and “One Last Time” days. We could so imagine some incredible DJ remixes to this song.

Retail Therapy

What a title! The title alone is identifiable by many of us because who doesn’t love a bit of retail therapy? The introduction starts with a piano before everything else comes in with Mandia’s soulful voice. We so wish we had a lot of money so we could do retail therapy whilst listening to this song. We’ve all been here spending so much money because we can’t deal with the feels that are burning us inside, and we now have a track to play when we’re spending all the money we’ve earned. About time someone put it into a song, so thank you, Mandia, for this one.

This EP really shows off how incredible Mandia is, she’s ready to create waves within the music industry. She’s got the look, she’s got an amazing voice, and she has versatility. “Cocktails & Dreams” is a collection of six tracks that we cannot stop listening to. You wouldn’t think that behind this bubblegum-haired fashionista is a soulful R&B diva with huge potential and versatility. We cannot wait to continue to follow her career.

“Cocktails & Dreams” EP is available to download and stream right now.

What did you make of “Cocktails & Dreams” by Mandia? Which song is your favourite? Let us know on Twitter @CelebMix.

Written by Jonathan Currinn

25-year-old writer, blogger, author and journalist. Graduated from Staffordshire University in 2015. I write under the name Critic Jonni, on my blog. I also write for Channillo, Outlet Magazine, SPECTRUMM, Fuzzable, Modern Magazine, and Electric Mode. Follow me on Twitter @CriticJonni