Photo of Becca Mancari looking at the camera with a coat over their shoulders

IN CONVERSATION: Becca Mancari “the music reflects the emotions that I feel inside, which can be chaotic, sad, hopeful, spiritual, lonely, and strong”

After releasing a previous album in the midst of the pandemic, Becca Mancari is back. The new record Left Hand emerged from a tough period personally but ended up as something positive and forward-looking. We spoke to Becca about the making of the release.

Introduce yourself to our readers. And also, tell me something about you that I won’t know.

Hi my name is Becca Mancari, and I am an indie musician living in Nashville, TN. I used to be a full-time janitor at a high school in West Palm Beach, Florida. 

What can you tell me about your new album, Left Hand?

This record is a giant window into who I am right now, and who I hope to become as I dig deeper into what it means to be a life-long artist! This is the most thoughtful work I have made up to date, and I think the music reflects the emotions that I feel inside, which at times can be chaotic, sad, hopeful, spiritual, lonely, and strong. It’s not afraid to ask the listener to go there in their own emotions, and to fully step back into their own bodies. This record really changed my life.

Where did the title come from?

The title ‘Left Hand’ was born out of seeing an image of my family’s ancient crest, from Calabria, Italy, in which the image is of a left hand holding a dagger, and our last name Mancari actually means left hand in Italian. I loved it for that reason first, but then I thought about the connection I felt to it through the fact that in many cultures children born with a dominant left hand were actually taught to not use that hand, but were told that using your right hand was “normal” and it struck a chord in me that similarly queer children are often times told that it’s not “normal” for them to love who they love and that they need to “change.” My music has always been very personal and also centered around the fight for queer people to be loved and accepted for who they are, and I felt like this was the perfect name for the record.

I’m not sure if you’ve had the chance to visit  Italy but if you have where is your favourite place so far?

I have been to Italy two times, but I have only been to the northern parts, I have to say that the most beautiful place I have been so far was on the drive up through the Italian alps on the way to Switzerland! It was truly breathtaking.

You released a couple of teaser tracks, what can you tell me about ‘Homesick Honeybee’?

This song actually started as a ten-minute instrumental loop with just the beginning vocal kind of loops on it, and it evolved into one of my favourite tracks from the record! 

The voice at the start is actually your grandfather I believe, where is that recording from?

I got that straight off my phone from a voicemail that my grandpa left me. He is the best person in the world.

What song that you haven’t released yet are you most excited for people to hear?

The title track ‘Left Hand’ to me is the one that I am the most excited and scared for people to hear. It is extremely personal and I actually recorded the main vocals in one take, they are straight from the demo and from my stream of thought.

You released your last album in June 2020, a bit of an inopportune time what with the pandemic and all… what are you most excited about doing this time out that you missed out on in 2020?

Oh man that’s easy! Going on tour straight away! That’s my favorite part of being a musician sharing my songs in a live setting and interacting with my fans and band.

I thought that might be your answer! Which was the final song you chose to put onto the album?

I chose the song ‘To Love The Earth’ because it feels like a secular hymn to the earth, it’s a true love song to being alive and responsible to the people and world around you. 

Your press release talks about the dark period you were in while creating Left Hand, but the album itself doesn’t sound dark. What were you trying to capture when you were creating your music?

I was trying to break free in my own mind and heart, and I was working through understanding myself in therapy, and I think I actually learned how to love myself for exactly who I am in this process of making the record.

What does the studio process look like for you? Some people spend ages in the studio finessing, some people are in and out. I know budget plays a big part but what’s your favourite way of working?

I love to start by laying the floor plan out for each song before I go into the studio, and I always demo to click so that I really can use some of the magic bits you can replicate!

You’re doing some tour dates with Joy Olakudun (I love her music), how did that come about? And what are you looking forward to most about touring the album?

Joy’s a friend of mine and we really just have a good time when we are hanging out, and I love her music too, it’s so special. I am excited that two queer people of color are about to blow people’s minds with our songs!

What’s your favourite song from another artist?

Anything from Brittany Howard.

What’s the best bit of merchandise you have available?

My new ‘Left Hand’ t-shirts!

You can find out more about Becca on the website. The album Left Hand is out now.

Photo Credit: Sophia Matinazad

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.