I’ve known Ariel Mançanares for a few years now. My best friend’s secondary school took part in an AISEC project, which meant the school welcomed 2 foreigners from anywhere for 6 weeks. Ariel and another girl came with the first round, and great friendships were made. She is from Brazil, she is both a would-be odontologist and singer, she has her own YouTube channel and she has been already in The Voice (in Brazil). She was really happy when I approached her and asked if she would like to answer my questions. Even if we couldn’t make the planned Skype interview due to problems with the Internet connection, we both really enjoyed this little time we spent together again.
How long have you been singing?
I always loved singing, but I began to really sing when I was about 14 – which was also when I was learning how to play the guitar, so it all began kind of together.
Why singing? How came the whole idea? You just sat down, started to sing one day, and realised that “okay, I have a good voice; from now on I am going to be a singer and upload my videos on YouTube”?
When I was younger, my dad worked as a musician for a country band, playing across Brazil, so I have always been involved in music somehow. Then, when I was about 14 years old, I began to take guitar lessons, but I didn’t really enjoy “only playing the guitar” and began to sang as I played because it was more fun, but I was really shy at the time. Once, my guitar teacher told me that I had a good voice, and I was so shy that I stopped singing in front of him (makes no sense, right?). So, around 2009, I used to watch a lot of YouTube singers and it inspired me. Also, I wasn’t so shy to sing in front of a camera, compared to singing in front of real people, so I began to post videos on YouTube, and it helped me to loosen up and stop being so shy, because I saw that people from around the world would like my music and encourage me to keep going.
So you had a clever tactic how to become braver and braver. Choosing the camera over real people. [laughing]
Who has inspired you for the first time?
In music, I should say my Dad, because of him being a musician and all, but as a singer, I think my first female inspiration was Cassadee Pope, when she was still singing with Hey Monday.
Do you have your own songs? What about an album?
I do write my own music and I love doing it! It’s how I express myself and it’s like therapy to me. I want to record an album as soon as I can afford it, but I’ve been doing crowdfunding and saving all of my YouTube money to do so.
Wao, so you really take it seriously.
This is the thing that I love doing more than anything in the world. 🙂
What kind of musical instruments can you play? Which is your favourite?
I can play the guitar, ukulele, a little bit of piano and a little bit of banjo. I think my favourite would be the guitar, or at least it’s the one I feel most comfortable playing
So many instruments. How did you decide to play these particular instruments?
The guitar was the first one I learned, so I chose it probably because it was the most common at the time and my friends used to play the guitar too, so I wanted to learn. Ukulele I decided to learn because of Nevershoutnever (American band), I think it was in 2009 or so? And I wanted to play his songs. Piano was because a cousin of mine had one that he didn’t use anymore and it was just there at my grandmother’s house, and it just sounded better than the other instruments for some songs I wanted to sing. Banjo was because I love country music, and probably inspired by Nevershoutnever as well, because he played it in some of his songs and I just loved the sound of it.
How long does it take you to write a song? Who do you gain inspiration from?
I always get inspired by how I feel at the moment, should it be happiness, love, sadness, anger… or whatever. Some songs come to me more naturally and I finish them in an hour, others keep me stuck for months!
What do you think, those song why take you so long to finish compared to the others?
Hmm I think I wasn’t ready at the time to really figure out what I was feeling, so I could only finish writing when I really meant what I was saying. I write a lot about change and overcoming situations and feelings, and if I hadn’t really overcome something I couldn’t write. So some songs represent a transition phase of my life.
Do you have a role model? Within or without this industry.
I think it would be the singer Lights, because she is an amazing singer/musician and also a lovely person, and she can balance being an artist and a mom. Plus, she’s pretty badass!
If you would not sing, what would you do?
Hmm, I just graduated in dentistry last December and I’m now getting my master degree in endodontic at the Univeristy of São Paulo so I can become a professor, So… A professor! [laughing] I love teaching and helping people.
Then good luck for your master degree!
Thanks! Hmm when I had to choose I was only 17, I was just finishing high school and really wanted to leave home (not that I didn’t like my family, but I wanted to be independent). At the time I really connected with my dentist and felt like that was something that I would enjoy doing. Furthermore, I love biology and wanted to study something in this area of knowledge.
If you would have to choose between being a dentist and being a musician, what would you choose? I know it’s a nasty and hard question, but you need to choose, sorry. 😀
HAHAha no problem! I would choose to be a musician. But, in Brazil at least, it’s very difficult to make a life as an artist and so I’ve been trying to do both things at the same time, But I’m not stupid, if a big agent showed up and gave me the opportunity to make a good life through singing my music, I would do it in a heartbeat. So let’s hope that someday my youtube or something goes the right way and I can make a living with music.
What are your top 5 favourite songs of all time?
Hmm, I always have a hard time choosing favourites, but I think it could go something like: The Beatles – Blackbird (It has been always my favourite to play on the guitar), Saviour – Lights, Unhearted – Automatic Loveletter, You’ve got a friend – James Taylor (this will forever remind me of my time in Budapest) and Where You’ve Been – city lights (because it always helps me out when I’m feeling down)
Yes, your time here. If we are talking about this, what did you like the most in Budapest?
Hmm this is a truly difficult question because I loved everything there! I loved you people, how you made it feel like home for me. I loved the opportunity to explore myself and be a new person. Loved the weather, the cheap Milka chocolate bars and the Unicom (you can’t imagine how I miss Unicum [laughing]). I truly connected with you people there. And oh God, how beautiful your city is. I miss it so much!
You have been in The Voice in Brazil. How was it? What was your experience in connection with that? Is it really like that we see on TV?
It was like a dream come true! Until this day I can’t believe that I actually stood on that stage! It was amazing, and even though no one turned their chairs I think it was the best musical experience I had and the most important as well, because it showed me how much I love it and how important music is to me. About the other thing, TV shows things how it benefits them, but I think it wasn’t too different from the truth, they (production) treated us very well and cared about us in a deep level, and I will have a place in my heart for some of them forever.
What kind of songs you like to sing?
I love to sing pop/rock and also some country, country/rock, pop/punk, folk… I’m somewhat eclectic.
What does music mean to you?
Music is everything to me, it is peace, it is love, it is the best way I found to express my feelings and it is what brings a smile to my face every time. Life without music would have no meaning to me.
What was the strangest or funniest thing that happened to you in this industry so far?
I think it was after I appeared on The Voice… let’s just say that my style is more to pop/rock, and that I have absolutely NO dance moves whatsoever, and a manager approached me to join a “lambada” band (lambada is a Brazilian music of African origin and it’s basically a dance-type music) and wanted me to move to the northeast – I live in the southeast – and wanted me to sing and dance wearing a bathing suit at the Carnival. This, I think, was the most absurd thing to me ever. [laughing]
Yeah, I guess it would be absurd for everyone [laughing]. When I hear these funny stories, I’m always shocked how these can even happen. I don’t know what I would do with these situations. And what did you say to him?
I told him that I couldn’t possibly do it, very politely though, but this just wasn’t for me.
Do you have concerts? If yes, what kind of?
I used to have more concerts when I was a bit younger and had a band, but now, it’s kind of rare and I’m mostly posting stuff on the Internet, but the last concert I had was basically Pop music, and it was at a LGBT pride parade – which was very fun.
Wao, you had a band! I didn’t know that. What happened?
Unfortunately we couldn’t go on as a band when we all got into different universities (in different cities), because we would go months without seeing each other. But we’re all still friends
What about your fans?
I don’t like to think of them as fans, but as people who support me and my music. They are pretty awesome and they are what keeps inspiring me every day and giving me strength to go on and to not give up!
What are your future plans?
My goal is to record an album with my original songs and see where that goes, but for now, until I can save all of that money, I’ll keep on posting on YouTube and writing music. 🙂
Well then, thank you very much for answering these questions; I really enjoyed this whole thing. And good luck for everything, I really wish you the best, you deserve it!
Thank you so much! You are sweet as always and it was my pleasure!
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