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Interview: Mandisa talks about her new book, podcast, and single ‘Ruins’

Mandisa spoke about her new book “Out of the Dark: My Journey Through The Shadows To Find God’s Joy,” the latest single “Ruins,” and her “Out of the Dark” podcast.

Mandisa
Grammy winner Mandisa. Photo Credit: Hannah Burton
Grammy winner Mandisa. Photo Credit: Hannah Burton

Grammy winner Mandisa chatted with Digital Journal’s Markos Papadatos about her new book “Out of the Dark: My Journey Through The Shadows To Find God’s Joy,” the latest single “Ruins,” and her “Out of the Dark” podcast.

Book

Her book “Out of the Dark” dives deep into Mandisa’s battle with depression and anxiety. “I am so glad that people are talking about mental health issues these days,” she said. “It chronicles my journey from my childhood to my time on ‘American Idol’ and some of the things that have happened in my life.”

“I found that talking about these things helps me because when you keep it in the dark, it has power over you. This was totally liberating and it helps other people know that they are not alone. So many people are struggling with this in silence and it will make them feel less alone,” she added.

After losing a close friend to cancer—a friend for whom she wrote her award-winning song, “Overcomer,” Mandisa descended into a dark pit of depression, isolating herself from family and friends, and turning to her familiar friend, food, for comfort.

In her first book, Mandisa opened up about her mental health struggles, walking through grief, and the role shame has played in her narrative and follows her first book, Idoleyes: My New Perspective on Faith, Fat & Fame, written shortly after her time on “American Idol” and focusing on her battle with weight, food addiction and body image.

“Out of the Dark” picks up where her first book left off, telling the rest of the story.

New single ‘Ruins’

On her new single “Ruins,” she said, “I went to a Maverick City concert and they have become my favorite. I’ve been listening to a lot of worship music and I like their style and the songs they write. I have been releasing singles as opposed to albums over the last few years, and ‘Ruins’ is such a powerful song that talks about the things that God can restore that you thought were broken. I love that song and I am glad to be able to record my own version of it.”

The digital age

On being an artist in the digital age, she explained, “It’s interesting. My first album was in 2007, and now it’s less of an album-based industry. Everybody buys singles now. Since 2020, I have only been releasing singles, so it’s a very different process and a new thing for me. I am trying to keep up with it in a sense.”

“I am thankful for my record label, which keeps up with how people are discovering new music,” she said with a sweet laugh.

On the title of the current chapter of her life, she responded, “Still Coming out of the Dark.” “It’s still a journey that I am on,” she admitted. “I got a new dog so she is the joy of my life right now. I am thankful for the little things that bring light into the darkness.”

Podcast

She is an advocate for mental health because of what she’s personally experienced, Mandisa also explores the often taboo topic and how to navigate it from a Christian perspective with licensed therapist Laura Williams on AccessMore’s “Out of the Dark” podcast. To learn more about her podcast, click here. “This podcast deals with mental health issues,” she said.

“Laura is a licensed professional counselor and I wanted to do it with her since she’s a professional,” she added. “I love that we can tackle subjects that people don’t really talk about and we can be honest about them. I think it’s important to talk about these subjects.”

If she were to have any superpower, she revealed that it would be “to be invisible.” “That would be cool since I can go to certain places and nobody will know that I am there,” she said. “Invisibility would be cool to turn on and off.”

When asked what she would dress up as on “The Masked Singer,” she said, “I would go on as a squirrel but a glamorous one.”

Success

On her definition of the word success, she remarked, “When I get to the end of my life, it’s not going to be about awards or how my songs and how my books did on the charts. I will judge success on the impact that I have had on other people’s lives. I hope people find hope in listening to my music and reading my words.”

For her fans and supporters, Mandisa concluded, “Thank you for sticking with me. I have been through a lot of changes with my music and what I have been focusing on. Your support means a lot to me. I create art to encourage other people. Thanks so much for standing by me this whole time.”

To learn more about Mandisa and her new book, music, and podcast, visit her official website, and follow her on Facebook and Instagram.

Markos Papadatos
Written By

Markos Papadatos is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for Music News. Papadatos is a Greek-American journalist and educator that has authored over 21,000 original articles over the past 18 years. He has interviewed some of the biggest names in music, entertainment, lifestyle, magic, and sports. He is a 16-time "Best of Long Island" winner, where for three consecutive years (2020, 2021, and 2022), he was honored as the "Best Long Island Personality" in Arts & Entertainment, an honor that has gone to Billy Joel six times.

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