Canadian Music Week 2015: Interview & Preview with Mandippal

Mandippal. Photo by Ryan Nolan from Mandippal. Photo by Ryan Nolan from
As Canadian Music Week hits the city of Toronto this week, I had the chance to talk to Mandippal about it. Having never been myself, I got to know a bit more about the event. This year, CMW is happening across 60 venues and the lineup is jam-packed with amazing artists like Mandippal. He’s playing on Friday May 8th at The Vault, but the festival will have concerts every night of the week up until May 10th.
Robyn Homeniuk (RH): Which year of CMW was your first? Whose performance inspired you the most a) as a human and b) as a musician? 
Mandippal (M): My first CMW… I don’t really remember. I THINK it was back in 2008, when I released my first EP. As for inspiration that year, I remember seeing Peter Katz one night. I had watched him perform in Kitchener a year or so prior, and was completely inspired to write songs as well as he did, and does. To this day, I consider him to be my favourite male singer/songwriter in Canada, and he is one of the best humans you’ll meet.

RH What is your favourite type of concert to play? Give me venues or locations or sizes… get creative with this one!
M: I just love playing shows. I don’t have a preference where the show is. I could be playing cover songs at a bar with 100 people, or playing a small acoustic set in a room with 15 people. I honestly don’t care. As long as I’m playing music and putting a smile on one person’s face in that room, then I’ve done everything I had set out to do.

RH: To you as an artist, what makes CMW so important ?
M: Canadian Music Week has always been a staple in my music life. I have been attending it since back in 2007, I didn’t even show case that year. It’s been the place where I have networked the most. It’s still that to me: a place where musicians and music lovers can meet and potentially collaborate and do something different. It’s grown and changed SO much over the years, like moving from March to May a few years ago. And it’s giving so many more chances to other up-and-coming acts to get their voices heard. With a guy like Justin Kwan at the helm now, who has such a great mind for this scene, it’s only going to keep getting better.

RH: How do we get you, Mandippal, to come to Montreal?
M: How do you get me to come play in Montreal? Book me a show!
RH: As you know, I love your music — especially that 2010 stuff. Any news in the music making front? Soundcloud clips are much appreciated, we love to share sounds!
M: I h
aven’t released anything new since 2014, but you can hear that full EP on soundcloud! I am currently writing some new music, and hopefully debuting some new songs as my showcase on Friday night.

RH: What / who / where /when are YOUR CMW 2015 picks? As in, who and when and where and why should I go to one event each night? I’m so excited I can’t choose. Nepotism is appreciated. Use Instagram names or Twitter names too! That’ll help people track down the concerts. 

M:  Even though I can’t attend half of these, as I’m not going to BE in town until Friday, here are my picks and where I would go:

Rachael Kennedy – The best NEW singer/songwriter to come out of Toronto in the last year or two. She sounds like no one else out there right now, and has such a great knack for writing hook after hook. She’s at The Cameron House on Tuesday May 5th @ 10PM.

Leah Daniels – One of the better country voices we have in Canada. Boots & Bourbon on Thursday May 7th @ 9PM (request Let Love Decide)

Donovan Woods – the FUNNIEST banter you will hear, coming out of a guy who sings such heart-wrenching songs. He’s headlining my show: The Vault @ One King West –

RH: What’s your favourite YouTube clip of yourself?
M:  There are no good videos of me on YouTube, nothing prior to 2011 is online unfortunately. Just head to my site