Connect with us


Meet Mandi Kitchen, a Multifaceted Music Producer and Sync Songwriter

Mandi Kitchen

In the ever-evolving world of music production and sync songwriting, Mandi Kitchen has made a name for herself with her exceptional talent, dedication, and passion for music. A prestigious Berklee College of Music graduate, Mandi has been playing, writing, producing, and selling music professionally since 2012. With an extensive background in various genres and a deep love for songwriting and film, Mandi has collaborated with numerous artists, producers, and directors to create musical masterpieces for various projects. In this exclusive interview, Mandi opens up about her creative process, the challenges she’s faced in her career, and her thoughts on the future of sync songwriting and music production.

Can you tell us about your background and how you got into music production?

Mandi Kitchen: I started writing music right around the time I started playing music- which, if you ask my Mom was 4 years old. I would play on the top part of the piano when she was practicing, and it would surprise her that it actually sounded good. I’ve been playing, writing, producing, and selling music professionally ever since I graduated from Berklee in 2012.

What inspired you to pursue a career in sync songwriting?

Mandi Kitchen: I am passionate about both songwriting and film. I love both mediums of artistic expression, and when the two work in sync (literally) with each other, it’s magic. I also love the writing process of making music vs. performing and sync is a medium where the song performance happens to be the song recording, which is a perfect fit for me.

Can you walk us through your creative process when composing music for a specific project?

Mandi Kitchen: Normally, I start with harmony, as that gives me an emotional basis for the specific style we’re working with. Melodies come after, and then lyrics. Though I will say there are times when a specific lyric and melody hit at the same time, as if it were that the two together were always meant to go together.

How do you approach collaborating with directors, producers, and other members of a production team?

Mandi Kitchen: Letting people express their vision is important in this industry, whether they are a director, producers, or fellow songwriters. We are all artists of some kind, so remembering that everyone needs their vision considered and heard, regardless of what role they play at the time, is critical. Being willing to give and take on certain things while never compromising on the quality of the production or the integrity of the song is the most important thing you can do with another collaborator or producer. I strive to stay flexible while also making sure my collaborations and I will yield the highest quality possible. Keeping up relationships over time (and I mean years of time!) is also a key element of success in this industry.

Can you give us an example of a particularly challenging project you worked on and how you overcame any obstacles during the process?

Mandi Kitchen: Yes! There are so many to choose from, lol. But recently, I was working on a co-write last winter, and the producer and I realized that our co-writer was going to be very rigid and request many last-minute changes to the track. It was hard and costly to accommodate the changes as the producer had a lot of other projects on the table, and we didn’t always have the time or desire to adjust to the demands. This led to having to re-book studio time, re-writing entire sections of the already written song, and inevitably became a lot pricier than I had hoped the project would end up landing. Instead of giving up on the project, I decided it would be better for everyone if I were okay with forking over a bit more money for the song in the name of getting it done and having the song produced as requested. It was a good learning experience to number one, learn about this person’s workflow, and take note for any similar future situations, and number two, realize that the extra bit of cash was less important than finishing the project we had spent countless hours of time on to everyone’s satisfaction. It’s my philosophy always to finish the song and leave everyone who worked on it satisfied with the end result.

How do you stay up to date with industry trends and technology advancements in music production?

Mandi Kitchen: Honestly, it’s partially thru listening to new releases coming out, keeping your ear to the ground listening to what’s being played in film/t.v. and commercials, and partially having a network to discuss new technology, how technology is influencing the industry and which sounds are coming to the forefront at any given time.

Can you discuss any notable projects you have worked on and what you learned from those experiences?

Mandi Kitchen: During covid time, I had the amazing opportunity to write on the Czech band “Vesna”’s new album – (check them out they’re a contestant on Eurovision this year!) We wrote a song titled “Blizenci.” The experience was super fun but also challenging as the lyrics had to be in Czech, and the lyrics were already written, so we had to write the music to match the vibe and messaging of the lyric. The other challenging aspect is that pop Czech lyrics are much more poetic and deeply written than current pop trends in the U.S., so feeling like we did them justice with the music we wrote with them was our goal, and I feel we succeeded. I would send melodic and harmonic ideas back and forth via WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger with the lead singer of the band, and over time we eventually landed on the hooks we loved. The track turned out incredible and has such an upbeat and inspiring feeling. I hope everyone who reads this will go listen to it!

How do you balance artistic expression with meeting the needs and vision of the client or production team?

Mandi Kitchen: I love writing in a lot of different genres because it challenges my creativity and skill set. With this in mind, writing music for sync is awesome because there are many occasions when you get to choose individual briefs to write to, so many different styles can come into play. But where the emotional expression tends to come out for me is usually thru the lyrical content and harmonies chosen in each song.

Can you share with us your favorite piece of music that you have created and what it means to you?

Mandi Kitchen: It’s interesting, but usually, whatever I’m working on at the moment tends to be my favorite. My first single, “Chrysalis,” in the mixing stages of production right now, is a really powerful piece for me. It’s powerful because it started as a piano solo. The way I started my professional career was as a pianist, and then with the help of the amazing GZN Music, we added electronic production to it, and the vocals and lyrics came last, the finishing touch on a very powerful piece. To me, “Chrysalis” represents what a caterpillar has to go through to become a butterfly. Having to bide your time, work on yourself, develop your colors, and wait and work more until you indeed are able to fly. To me, it feels a lot less like a traditional song and more like an art piece or composition.

What do you see as the future of sync songwriting and music production in the industry?

Mandi Kitchen: I think we’re getting to it now. Everyone who wants to can have a shot at working in sync. As long as their sound is at a standard of professionalism, they can customize and be flexible to the client’s needs. Also, AI and technology of sifting thru metadata/moods/genres of tracks is now starting to play a bigger and bigger role, and I’m sure will play more as we go. The one thing artists should do if they want to outperform is increase their versatility and abilities. Yes, I write pop music for sync, but I also orchestrate and notate parts for orchestras, can build choir parts and scores, and sell those for people to perform. Along with writing music, I teach composition and perform locally in the community. it’s giving the world value in a bigger and more creative way that is going to carry a sync or any artist to the top.


Swizz Beatz Thinks DMX Sent Scar Lip To Him

The producer thinks the late rapper had something to do with him taking the NY based rapper under his wing.

Swizz Beatz Thinks DMX Sent Scar Lip To Him

Swizz Beatz is having some interesting encounters with the spirit of DMX recently. During an interview with The Breakfast Club last month, Swizz recounted a powerful dream he had. In it, he felt the presence of his late friend and iconic rapper. Prior to sharing this extraordinary experience, Swizz expressed that it didn’t feel like DMX was truly gone, but rather just temporarily absent. He described feeling a sense that the rapper was somewhere relaxed and at ease. However, when significant anniversaries related to the DMX approach, Swizz is struck with a profound realization of his friend’s physical absence.

Swizz went on to describe his dream about the late rapper. “But the thing that make me feel easy about it is he came to me,” he continued. “I seen him in my dream. He came to me. And this was, like, super quick too. And he let me know he was good. I’m the person that be like, ‘He ain’t come to see you, what you talkin’ about?’ I seen him. I felt him.” However, that isn’t the only thing that DMX is doing for Swizz Beatz. In fact, he says he feels like the late icon sent up-and-coming rapper Scar Lip to him.

Swizz Thinks Scar Lip Has The Same Great Heart As DMX

According to Swizz Beatz, he believes that DMX played a spiritual role in connecting him with Scar Lip. The rapper is an emerging star out of New York. Recently, Swizz has taken on the role of mentor for the young artist. During an interview with Audacy’s Hip-Hop Made, the renowned “Ruff Ryders Anthem” producer shared that the connection to Scar Lip was initiated by the spirit of DMX. Apparently, DMX’s fiancée Desiree Lindstrom urged him to collaborate with the new, talented artist from the Bronx.

“I honestly feel like DMX sent Scar Lip my way because she’s too much of his energy,” Swizz said. “Like I’ve never seen an artist that just naturally have what I know DMX have. And they two different artists, two different levels, yes. But I’m not talking about that. You know, like, that sister’s been through a lot, like Dog been through a lot. That sister, you know, is when you sit with her, she’s amazing and have a great heart the same way X had a great heart.” What do you think about Swizz’s words on Scar Lip and DMX sending her to him? Let us know in the comments!

Continue Reading

Artist Spotlight

Emika Love: Rising Music Artist Spreading Positivity

Emika Love

Meet Emika Love, a 19-year-old rising music artist from Sacramento, California. Emika’s unique sound and style are heavily influenced by her love for visuals and storytelling. In this interview, Emika shares how she tackles challenges in the music industry, her creative process, and her focus on making a positive impact on others through her music and interactions. With a big release coming up on May 19th, Emika is all geared up to bring her best self and leave a lasting impression on her listeners.

Honk: Let’s kick things off by getting to know each other a bit better. Tell us your name, age, and where you’re from—as much or as little as you’re comfortable sharing.

Emika: My name is Emika Love, and I am 19 years old. I am from Sacramento, California.

Honk: We all need good advice from time to time. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received about music?

Emika: The best advice I got from someone about music was to never stop and to keep pushing my music. One song might not be your favorite, but to someone else, it will be. It’s all about preference. The advice I would give someone is to be unapologetically yourself. It is essential to reach your highest potential!

Honk: If you could go back in time, what would you do differently based on what you know now?

Emika: If I could go back in time, I wouldn’t change anything. Everything I do, I stand by. I never have regrets, nor do I ever feel guilty. This is me, and every step and era I had and made was to make me have all the knowledge I have now. I am very blessed, honored, and thankful for everything and everyone.

Honk: We all face challenges, but what’s your biggest one yet?

Emika: My biggest challenge is that I love challenges.

Honk: What keeps you motivated and moving forward when things get tough in the music industry?

Emika: The thing that keeps me motivated is that I know where there’s good, there’s bad, and where there is bad, there’s good. Life only gets more complex, but you get stronger. Being able to do what I love is always the solution. So no matter how tough they are, diamonds need pressure. Nothing can take away from my music and motivation because, in the end, I’m doing it for myself and my people. There are going to be challenges, but bring them on.

Honk: If you had the chance to open a show for any artist, who would it be and why?

Emika: If I had the chance to open a show for any artist, it would be Taylor Swift. She brings such a warm, genuine atmosphere to the stage. Very feminine and whimsical energy, and just an all-around powerful, groovy tone. I believe we would bring an undeniable vibration to the stage.

Honk: Take us through your creative process. How do you come up with your excellent work?

Emika: My creative process is definitely all over the place and comes in so many forms. I usually start off with the visual side of things. So I will create a story visual in my head and say, “Now let’s tell the story. The visual part comes with me being a director, so it really sparks my creative process. Once I come up with the story, it’s time to tell it. I like to sit in the sink in my bathroom, look in the mirror, and sing melodies until I come up with the words. There will also be times where I will have a conversation with someone or read or hear about something that sparks it up as well. Once I come up with all of that, then the wardrobe and makeup come in to finish off the story.

Honk: We all struggle with productivity and scheduling at times. How do you tackle these issues and stay on top of things?

Emika: Productivity I don’t struggle with productivity, but there are times when I get scheduled for something, and the dates and times collide. I tackle this based on the cause. What is the job for? Is it for a good cause? Am I making an impact in others lives? It all depends on what is more effective for not just me but for others.

Honk: What are you currently focusing your time and energy on?

Emika: I am currently focusing on how to help others and have a positive impact on them. It is imperative to me that I leave a mark, add to people’s lives, and help them overcome some obstacles. I do that, whether it is to talk to them in person or through my music. I am also focusing on my music. I have a big release coming out on May 19th that has a message that people need to hear. That being the case, it is a project that holds a lot of weight in my heart. So I’m super focused on that and, all around, being the best Emika Amber Love.

Honk: Lastly, how can our readers follow you online?

Emika: To follow me online, you can find my music on all platforms as Emika Love, and my social media accounts are as follows: Instagram: eemikalove; Twitter: eemikalove; TikTok: emikalovee; YouTube: Emika Love; and Facebook: Emika Love.

Emika Love is a force to be reckoned with. Her unapologetic attitude towards being herself, pushing boundaries, and taking on challenges is inspiring. She creates from a place of authenticity, and her creative process is as unique as her music. With a big release on the horizon, Emika is focused on making a positive impact through her music and helping others overcome obstacles. Follow her journey on social media and join her mission to leave a lasting mark on the world.

Continue Reading

Video Of The Week