INTERVIEW: Becca Mancari talks resilience, authenticity, and self-acceptance

Embark on a journey with Becca Mancari’s “Left Hand” one of our fav album drops of the year.

Step into Becca Mancari’s world as she unveils her latest musical opus, “Left Hand” – a transformative journey that celebrates self-discovery and the art of collaboration.

With a blend of Puerto Rican-Italian heritage and the call of Nashville in her bones, Mancari is poised to ignite the music scene with her third album, dropping today (August 25th via Captured Tracks / Remote Control.)

becca mancari
Credit: Shervin Lainez

The voyage to “Left Hand” wasn’t a simple melody but a symphony of personal growth and self-acceptance.

Following the success of her previous record, “The Greatest Part,” Mancari found herself in the throes of adversity, facing familial challenges and her own battle with alcohol dependency.

It was a dark chapter, yet within its shadows, she unearthed the strength to mend relationships and prioritize her mental well-being.

Recalling that tumultuous period, Mancari reflects, “Back then, I was more of a passenger in my own life.” But from this period of self-reckoning arose the inspiration for “Left Hand,” an album that stands as a resilient testament to the power of renewal and introspection.

The album’s moniker, “Left Hand,” pays homage to the Mancari family crest hailing from the Italian realm of Calabria, where a resolute left hand clutches a raised dagger.

This emblem resonates profoundly with Mancari, who has often felt like an outsider. Symbolizing suppression, akin to the historical notion of discouraging the use of dominant left hands, the crest echoes the idea that being different equates to being “wrong” or “abnormal.”

But Mancari embraces this symbolism, weaving it into her music to champion individuality and the freedom to love authentically. Emerging from a period shadowed by adversity, “Left Hand” shines as a radiant masterpiece, self-produced and radiating a warmth that beckons all to revel in the spirit of unity and togetherness.

Integral to the crafting of this vibrant album is Mancari’s diverse coterie of friends and longtime collaborators. The skilled Juan Solorzano, a steadfast presence in Mancari’s musical evolution, co-produced a substantial portion of the tracks, while the accomplished Carlos de la Garza, known for his work with Paramore, adeptly handled the mixing.

Joining this creative symphony is Daniel Tashian, renowned for collaborations with luminaries like Kacey Musgraves and Demi Lovato, adding his talents as co-writer and co-producer to a track.

The album sparkles with star-studded cameos including Brittany Howard, Julien Baker, and Paramore’s own Zac Farro, transforming “Left Hand” into a jubilant festival of camaraderie and artistic synergy.

“Left Hand” by Becca Mancari stands as a luminous embodiment of the transformative strength found in self-acceptance. It’s a joyous paean to embracing our authentic selves and a heartfelt invitation to cherish the kaleidoscope of individuality that resides within each of us.

So, set a reminder for August 25th and in the meantime, immerse yourself in the irresistible rhythms of this musical magnum opus with the one and only Becca Mancari.

becca mancari

Happy: What are you up to today?

Becca: So I am actually working on my guitar parts for our live shows, and I had a nice bath and mediation! 

Happy: Tell us about where you are from? What’s the music scene like in your neck of the woods?

Becca: I was born in Staten Island, but lived all over the East Coast! In south Florida I was around the emo kids scene, and then when I moved to Virginia it was folk and jug band music.  

Happy: Describe an average day? 

Becca: An average day, when I am not on the road, is I wake up early, start the coffee and let my dog out. 

Then I meditate, work on answering emails, and then play guitar. I usually make dinner at home. Pretty simple but full days! 

Happy: What about your ultimate day?

Becca: Ideally I would spend it in the sun and in nature, my favourite feeling in the world is to swim all day and dry off in the sun… I don’t think there’s a better feeling. 

Then, I’d end the day surrounded by friends eating good food and listening to their stories and sharing our music together. 

Happy:What did you listen to growing up that fueled your passion for music?

Becca: I listened to artists like Fiona Apple, mewithoutyou, Jennifer Knapp, The Beatles and, duh ,early Coldplay ;) 

Happy: How would you describe the journey of self-discovery that you went through while creating ‘Left Hand’?

Becca: I would say I am still going through even as I release this record and that is to trust yourself and to allow yourself forgiveness and self love. This record is all about getting back into your body. 

Happy: Can you tell us more about the inspiration behind the powerful track, ‘Don’t Even Worry,’ featuring Brittany Howard?

Becca: So this song came from a night of Brittany, and I just hanging out and playing around with some sounds. 

She sent me a 1 min long demo later in the week, and I knew that I wanted to add lyrics and melody to it. 

I have been really interested in the love that happens between friends and especially the love and care that is shared between two people of colour. 

This song is all about being people of colour and queer people in the south, and how I wanted her to know that whenever this world gets too hard, don’t even worry, I got you my friend.

I will carry you to the next place and I know you got me too when I am too sad or too tired. 

Happy: What do you hope to convey through your upcoming album, ‘Left Hand,’ in terms of challenging societal norms?

Becca: I think for me as a queer non-binary person living in the south in America there is a literal fight over my existence being attacked, and so my very life is an act of challenging the social norms. 

I honestly don’t have a choice, but what’s so amazing about this record is that I believe I am able to share a universal feeling of homesickness, but mostly of being homesick for yourself. 

After years of disassociating I am finally learning how to accept myself and my body for exactly what it is. Is that not the most radical form of love you can give? 

 And thus my hope is that by healing myself it opens up space for others to do the same? 

Without self love there really is just more hurt people walking around hurting each other, and my hope is that I can bring people together and even let them in on my pain, but even greater on my healing. 

That feels radical to me! 

Happy: With appearances by renowned artists like Julien Baker and Paramore’s Zac Farro, what can we expect from the musical dynamics on Becca Mancari’s album, ‘Left Hand’?

Becca: Because I was the executive producer on my record for the first time, I was able to make all the calls on the record, and I thought what a perfect opportunity to ask the people I love to share their gifts. 

So, a good example of dynamics is the song ‘It’s Too Late’ where Zac Farro played the drums on this song, and there is a drummer I love more for his energy and dynamics. It’s the most excellent feeling in the world to me. 

And Julien got to engineer her own background vocals which is something she has been wanting to do more of, so it really was about letting my friends shine. 

Happy: Can you share any insights into your experience as both an artist and producer while working on ‘Left Hand’?

Becca: When I first started writing the songs for this record, I started a practice in looking at my work as just that – a practice. 

With great care I worked 9-5 every week day, and gave myself boundaries from distractions as much as possible. 

I also wanted to play every sound before I went into the studio so I really knew what I wanted to say and hear. I grew so much during this time, and I still am. 

I am learning to trust myself and learning things are perfect and that’s what makes them magical. I learned to trust my limitations and almost see them as a blessing. 

Happy: How does “Left Hand,” embrace themes of resilience, authenticity, and self-acceptance?

Becca: Oh wow, I mean I love all of these words so much and actually feel like they fit perfectly with this record. 

Resilience is two-fold: I think for me to even still be alive is an act of strength, and doing the work through therapy and self care I was able to write these songs. 

Authenticity, this record is from me fully for the first time, and it feels so good to have gone deeper than I have ever before. 

Self-Acceptance, the title track ‘Left Hand’ was literally all about that, the beautiful thing about that song is I recorded it in one take at home on a garage band session with a 58 mic, and what you are hearing is me free flowing no filter, talking to myself and almost begging myself to get back into my body to accept and love myself even with all my faults. 

Happy: Do you have any gear that you can’t live without?

Becca: My 1960’s Apollo Japanese gold foil pickup electric guitar, I got it for 100 dollars at a flea market and it was the best money I ever spent on gear, I love that guitar. 

Happy: Lastly, what makes you happy?

Becca: What truly makes me happy is being with the people I love, making art with them and celebrating each other just for the sake of it not for the money or fame. 

To have left something kind, beautiful and honest and welcoming on this planet that’s what I want, that’s what I dream of.

‘Left Hand’ is out now via Remote Control.