The rising pop star just released her first single ‘Just Can’t Let You Go’ on iTunes this week, which features Lil Wayne’s protégé Lil Twist.
Her album is also on the way, which is pretty impressive for such a young artist. It’s easy to see where she got her start, though.
Manika grew up in Las Vegas, the showiest of show towns. Besides being around music and entertainment her entire life, Manika says there were other perks to growing up in Vegas as well.
“It’s cool how there’s something always open. In the middle of the night or 2 a.m., if you wanted to go shopping or eat, there’s always a place open for that,“ says Manika.
She got her start after meeting CeCe Sammy, a coveted vocal performance coach, by chance in Vegas. After working with her and developing a unique sound, Manika was then introduced to Frank DiLeo, Michael Jackson’s longtime manager. Sammy and DiLeo now co-manage her.
“At first, I was really intimidated because I was working with Frank DiLeo and Travis Payne and people that have worked with the legendary Michael Jackson. I was like, you know, I better be good,” says Manika. “The thing I love about Michael’s team is that they’re super talented and also they’re such great, good-hearted genuine people. They’re so supportive, and I couldn’t ask for anyone better.”
Manika says she’s been singing for as long as she can remember, so it’s no surprise she naturally found her way into the business. For the past few months, she’s been touring across high schools, which she says has been a tremendous growing experience.
“I was totally excited to start and get my music out there, and it was also a little nerve racking because, when you think of it, it’s your first time you’re hearing me. It’s been great, the kids are so sweet,” says Manika.
“It’s really amazing seeing the process of how a song starts as an idea, a storyline and an emotion, and then it keeps building. You get the track done, you do the music video, then you get the live performance and you relate it to an audience.”