Creating authentically fun Pop music, Michael Mancuso’s songs have the ability to resonate with any listener from the first note. Describing his sound as, “A mix of Justin Bieber, Nick Jonas, DNCE and Ariana Grande,” his work is an extremely powerful blend of today’s Top 40 Pop. Slated for his biggest year yet, Michael has released a slew of hit singles including, “Give it to Me” and “You Without Me,” as well as being featured on the new song “Temporary” with artist Katja Glieson that will drop on all platforms on August 31st.
Born and raised in Westlake Village, California, Michael grew up loving music and was singing as soon as he started talking. His love of performing started at 5 years old when his mom took him to a local children’s theatre production. “I remember thinking to myself, I want to be on stage! And we signed up that day.”
He continued doing musical theatre through high school. His roles included Danny Zuko in Grease, Curly in Oklahomaand Prince Charming in Cinderella. His love of performing took him through college where he was a member USC‘s premiere, award winning a cappella group, The SoCal VoCals.
Song writing from a real place is very important to Michael and his music is always about specific people or events in his life. “I can’t create something worth listening to if a part of me isn’t woven into it.” Writing sessions for Michael usually start off with a blank computer template and a conversation with his co-writers. “I like to start by talking about what’s going on in our lives, both good and bad and see if there’s something we can all relate to. When we find a common thread we start crafting the song. We start with a few chords on the piano and create a simple loop on the computer. Then we play around with melody ideas until we find something that feels right for our topic. When we agree on a melody, we start with lyrics and bring the song to life.”
Michael’s first single of 2018, “Give It To Me” marked the beginning of a sexier, edgier chapter in his career. “Let’s just say I was going through a dry spell in my love life. My producer/co-writer, Dan Whittemore decided to play me a track that he had been working on. When he played it I freaked out! I immediately thought of a melody line for the chorus. When I sang it over the chords, Dan got just as excited as I was. From there it came time to decide what we were writing about…and Dan jokingly pitched the idea that we write it about me FINALLY getting some action. Even though we laughed, we both knew it was a fantastic idea and ‘Give It To Me’ was born!”
Michael’s new single, “You Without Me,” moves away from the pop-rock sound and ventures in to the mainstream pop market, something he has always wanted to pursue. “You Without Me”has helped Michael define exactly what kind of sound he believes portrays his musical brand the best. “I started using ‘You Without Me’ as a reference for all of my writing sessions the day it was written. Whenever I feel like a new song is moving away from the lane that ‘You without Me’ lives in, I stop everything and play it for the writers in the room to help us re-orient ourselves and keep moving in the right direction.”
Besides helping him perfect his sound, “You Without Me” comes from a special place after Michael’s last relationship. “The song is about finding yourself after ending a long term relationship. When you’ve been with someone for that long you start to create a version of yourself that keeps them happy and a version of yourself that keeps your friends and family happy.” The song was a way for Michael to acknowledge the problems he had in his relationship and realize the only way to figure out his true self, without another person, was to step away from the relationship. “I truly believe that if things are meant to be, they will be. Sometimes your best option is to, ‘take some time alone and come back eventually’.”
Michael has one hope when it comes to his fans and his music, to have an impact. “Every time I’ve interacted with a performer that I’m a huge fan of, whether it be for one second or a few hours, I remember every single moment of the experience. They might not, but I absolutely do. If all I have to do to create a memorable moment or put a smile on a fan’s face is wave at them, stop for a picture or simply reply to a tweet, I would love nothing more than to spend my day making tiny moments like that happen for the people who are kind enough to show me and my music love.”
Michael feels that he has officially transitioned into a lane of music that has the potential to make his dreams of being a mainstream pop artist come true. Michael will be releasing more original music in 2019.
Michael currently resides in Los Angeles, California.