Discover Artists That Joined The 13th IMAs: Imran Mandani

Discover Artists That Joined The 13th IMAs: Imran Mandani


Band Name: Imran Mandani

Home Base: Chicago, IL

Genres: Hip-Hop, Hip House, Electronica, Dream Pop, Trip Hop, EDM, Dance, Synth Pop

Category Entered: Hip-Hop

Work Submitted: “Beneath the Ocean Tide” and “You Should Dance”

Producer: Justin LeBreck

Artists Featured: Imran Mandani

Instruments Featured: Synthesizers, Drum machines, Keyboard, DAW

What’s the story behind your band name?: I sat down with my video guy and friend of over 10 years, his name is Bargo. We actually had a very long discussion at Starbucks about what moniker or stage name I should have as a Hip-Hop Artist. We came up with a ridiculous list. I was thinking about calling myself “Versatile” while Bargo came up with “Rich Chocolate”. After much laughter, I decided to stick with my full name but have a Dictionary phonetic spelling of it for print so people know how to pronounce it when they read it.

Describe your sound: The music fuses EDM with Hip-Hop as the melody is upbeat and fast tempo and fits the Genres of Electronica, Dance Club, Synth Pop, and Hip House. Vocal effects contain hints of vocal techniques used in the Genres of Dream Pop, Psychedelic and Trance music. Lyrically, the music incorporates a variety of Hip-Hop lyrical delivery; from the singing style you hear in Trip Hop to fast rapping. The music is purposely created in such a way as to make it easy to be remixed to anything from Dub step to Progressive House. (I love to collaborate with other artists, particularly, Disc Jockeys)

Who’s sitting in your audience? Although I get my influence from a wide range of Genres and Artists not necessarily related to Hip-Hop or Dance music, my audience, on the other hand, will include teenagers upward to people near their 40s who have a taste for Mainstream Hip-Hop and Dance music. Audience will typically include lovers of Top 40, 90’s Freestyle Music, EDM, Techno, Dub step, Hip-Hop, House, Progressive, Techno, Trance, or anything you’ll hear at a Nightclub. (Although whether my audience will have an eclectic taste in music similar to mine or not is beyond me to fathom)

Favorite [press] quote about your music: ‘Everybody please support this brother, this upcoming artist.’ –Curtis McClain (Chicago House Music legend) introducing me on stage for my first performance September 2013 at the Midwest DJ Festival streamed live in Berwyn, IL.

The song(s) that changed your life and why: Howard Jones – “Things Can Only Get Better”, Yes – “Owner of a Lonely Heart”, Peter Gabriel – “Big Time”, Des’ree– “You Gotta Be”, Blessid Union of Souls – “I believe”, 2pac – “My Block”, Jane’s Addiction – “Jane Says”, 311 – “Beyond the Gray Sky”, Silverchair – “Tomorrow”, Stabbing Westward – “So Far Away”, Wu Tang Clan – “C.R.E.A.M”, Eminem – “Lose Yourself”, The Game feat Lil Wayne – “My Life”, P.O.D – “The Youth of the Nation”, Canibus – “Channel Zero”, Lupe Fiasco – “The Instrumental”, Common – “The Light”, Nas – “Second Childhood”, Thievery Corporation – “The Time We Lost Our Way”, Tori Amos – “Cornflake Girl”, Jem – “Beautiful Life”

I really searched my music collection for this to find the songs that brought back memories, inspired me, lifted me up, or helped shaped my sound. The commonality between all of them in my opinion is this: melodically, they are all catchy. Lyrically, they are all deep.

Describe the first time you walked onstage: My first onstage performance was at the Midwest DJ Festival last month. A DJ promoting this event (DJ Keith “Two Sweet” Calderon) found me on social media and after hearing my first two songs, thought I had the talent to do a live performance for the event. Guests that night included DJ Tim “Spinnin” Schommer (from i101 Radio Station and B96 Radio station, and once part of a crew that included Bad Boy Bill) I was introduced on stage by Curtis McClain (a House Music Legend who worked with Marshall Jefferson on the House Music Anthem, “Move Your Body” remixed in 2012 by world renowned DJ Benny Benassi. His song was also featured in the video game Grand Theft Auto San Andreas). The next day after the show I had over 200 Facebook friend requests.

Why did you submit to this year’s Independent Music Awards?: A submission is already a win in and of itself as an artist is submitting original pieces and connecting with other artists. Enrolling actually made me take myself even more seriously as an artist. Submission to the IMA shows that I have a professional outlook with music making and that I’m confident enough to put myself out there. The IMA serves as a huge professional marketing and networking effort for me; it goes beyond simply handing out glossy post card like flyers with images of low rider vehicles advertising a Hip Hop mix tape. I’ve even included it on my Electronic Press kit, Resume, and Press page of my website which I keep updated monthly. In turn, it keeps me on my toes to seek out new ways of marketing myself and show visitors I’m not messing around, that I have industry knowledge, and that I’m an artist they can feel good looking into.

If you win and/or get nominated, how will you use your IMA honor to further your career?: It’s not just about furthering my career; it’s about furthering a Genre. A win will definitely give me the exposure necessary to get people to listen to my music. With listeners, I can focus less on marketing and more on music making and then I can focus on the positive messages I’m trying to spread to the world. It’s also about showing the Hip Hop world the problems I faced as an Asian/Indian minority growing up in America; this has not been done before on a Mainstream level. My career endeavors include working with a wide range of artists from all types of Genres and industries, creating a clothing line, starting fundraisers and nonprofit campaigns, have music scholarships, having YouTube contests for fans, serving as an IMA Panelist, making creative artistic music videos and inspiring others to follow their own passions no matter what adversity they face.

Who is your musical hero & what would you like to learn from them?: Tupac Shakur: The reason? His work ethic: the man produced more quality music in his short life span than what most Hip-Hop artists create in a life time. He was the bridge between Old School and the change happening in Hip-Hop in the mid-90s. He successfully combined “Underground” with “Mainstream”. He was an intellectual, sensitive, poetic and philosophical rapper who touched on topics not normally included in Gangster rap music. What I learned from him? Something he could have learned himself. I think he was so obsessed with living up to the “Gangster” image he conveyed in his music that it eventually took his life. When he died, it got people to take a step back and realize that you can’t let your ego inflate or get in over your head with a fast life in this industry. Hip-Hop sort of changed after that.

Where can fans follow you/purchase your music?: I made it easy for people to search for me. Go to this webpage on my website: You’ll see a CD Baby music store and links to every platform I’m on; from VEVO and iTunes to Xbox and eMusic. Fans can easily connect with whatever platform they use the most.