It’s not every day you meet someone who has lived in eight different cities within four different countries on three different continents. Not to mention, all before the age of 23. MANUELA, a soulful singer-songwriter, who was born in Kenya to Kenyan and Swiss parents, has now settled down just outside of Edmonton, Alberta in Sherwood Park.
Now 26, her sweet fusion of pop, jazz, soul and indie fervor soars on the wings of her wander-lust. MANUELA pulls her sound from influences such as, the UK’s Corinne Bailey Rae and her pop-jazz acoustic guitar sounds to a melding of John Mayer, India.Arie, and, in her opinion, the “BIG 3” Alanis Morissette, Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston. MANUELA can confidently play in any room. Be it with just her acoustic guitar or with her band, MANUELA will always deliver an intimate and powerful performance, displaying both her exceptional vocal talent and control and her ability to, musically, accompany herself.
With multiple self-released EP’s, MANUELA, took the leap and went into DIY overdrive when in February 2010 she released her first full-length album A Different Kind of Fire, on her own Independent label, Golden Recordings which is currently nominated for a 2011 Western Canadian Music Award in the Urban Recording Category. Her track "Summer" will also be featured in an upcoming episode of DEGRASSI on MuchMusic.
Not only did she take on the Executive Producer role for this album and was able to secure thousands in private funding but MANUELA self- booked and promoted her Western Canadian tour to the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics for which she also received valuable sponsorship from Budget Car Rentals and Accent Inns in British Columbia.
With the support of Alberta Music, Urban Music Association Canada (UMAC), CBC Radio, and family friendly commercial stations across Canada MANUELA is broadening her fan base one song play at a time. After almost 15,000 plays on Ourstage.com her single “Circling Numbers” was voted on by thousands of listeners and placed Manuela fourth, regionally, in the recent Ourstage.com Lilith Fair Contest, hosted by Sarah McLachlan. "Circling Numbers" was also included in the 2010/2011 Alberta Music Sampler which was distributed at some of the industry's major music festivals, including Canadian Music Week, North by Northeast (NXNE), South by Southwest (SXSW), 2010 BreakOut West Conference, and the 2011 Juno’s.
For MANUELA it’s all about the DIY mentality, and 2011 will be no different. On June 14 MANUELA released her new EP The Golden Story which will feature a newly produced radio version of “Circling Numbers” as well as two never before heard songs, “More Than a Friend” and “Golden.” She recently completed a six (6) week national tour accompanied by a radio campaign targeting family friendly commercial stations and has been making waves as she has reached a high of #7 charting among major label American acts on the CCRC.
It’s no wonder UMAC president, Will Strickland has identified her as “an emerging talent whom they plan to nurture and assist in any way possible.” MANUELA has her eye set on that golden ticket, a ticket that so many artists strive for – success. In her own words, defined as “being able to do what you love on a daily basis and be able to live contently doing so.”
With one step at a time, this golden beauty is chasing after her dreams with the determination of a champion. This is only the beginning of her golden story.