Former ‘American Idol’ contestant sings about addiction on latest album
Though former American Idol contestant Mandisa has already seen success, her third album, Freedom, which hits stores March 24, could reach an even broader audience. On the album, the 32-year-old California native—whose acclaimed 2007 debut, True Beauty, scanned more than 150,000 units—addresses various issues, notably addiction.
Mandisa co-wrote some of the songs, while others were penned by top songwriters. In order to get appropriate song pitches, she sent a document to publishing companies listing issues that were important to her.
“I’m on a journey of freedom,” she said. “I have a food addiction. And it’s not about the way I look, it’s about being a healthy temple of God. Food addiction is my main issue—but these songs don’t really just talk about food. There are a lot of Christians and non-Christians who are bound by (addiction). This album is for anyone who needs to be set free from things.”
Despite covering serious subjects, the new album is meant to be encouraging, “and with the economic downturn, that’s something people really need,” she said.
Based in Nashville, where she has lived since her college days at Fisk University, Mandisa described her brand of upbeat Top 40 pop as “pop-soul” and compares it to songs by “old school” performers like Chaka Khan.
Though she still watches American Idol religiously, she admitted to cringing when she sees judges lambasting contestants. “The ones being made fun of, that was me,” said Mandisa, who was one of the 10 Idol finalists in 2006. “I got the chance to confront (Simon Cowell) and forgive him, but a lot of people don’t get to. … I don’t know if (judges) understand the damage they could be doing in those situations.”
Yet, Mandisa doesn’t regret being on the show because it gave her an opportunity to do what she loves and encourage others. “I’m so thankful to be where I am now,” she said.
To order Freedom, call 800-877-4443, or visit www.emicmgdistribution.com.