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The Interview: Rana Mansour

Rana Mansour is an Independent artist that if you haven’t heard of yet, you will. Here is an interview I conducted with the talented artist.

Why do you think music is important?

Rana Mansour: Music is one of the few universal languages, other than math. And it’s been proven that music is pretty much mostly made up of math (aside from other things, of course)… so there you go. It’s something that unites everyone, regardless of race, religion, or creed.

Since you’ve relocated to Austin, TX from DC, do you think it gives you a better opportunity to be successful there compared to DC?

Rana Mansour: Success comes from within. When you’re truly happy in your heart, when you really believe in what you do, the universe just naturally shifts to help you achieve all your greatest desires. If something like moving to a new city helps you gain that happiness, then so be it. Don’t waste another minute. That’s pretty much what happened to me. I wasn’t happy living in DC, even though it’s where I grew up. For some reason, my heart just wasn’t in it. I’ve finally found a place that I can call home away from home.

Do you pursue a career in the music business to be successful and famous, or just because music makes you happy? Honestly?

Ok, honestly. All of it. I want it all. And why not? I work hard, I’m talented, I’ve got nothing but love to give to the world. I want people to be inspired by my music, first and foremost. But I also want a family. I also want the house of my dreams. I also want for my children to have everything I couldn’t have (not that I didn’t have much & I’m so grateful for everything I’ve received, and I never would have gotten this far if I didn’t have the things I had). I just don’t want my kids to have to worry.

There’s this theory that life is meant to be lived in abundance. Everyone is entitled to everything they want. As long as you’re a good person, you should never feel bad for wanting the things that you do, material or not. Just make sure that you’re happy inside before you start trying to make the outside look good.

Did you always want to be a singer? Was there anything else you wanted to be growing up?

Rana Mansour: Yes, I always wanted to be a singer. I wanted to be a lot of other things too. I thought about traveling the world as an archaeologist, I thought about saving lives and bringing justice as a homicide detective, I thought about helping athletes as a sports medicine trainer. I have always had other interests, and as a young child, it’s healthy to want to do all those things. In fact, I still do. Just because you’ve realized your career calling doesn’t mean you have to limit yourself. Singing, songwriting, performing are all my main passion, but I still manage to pursue other interests on the side. Balance, baby, balance.

If you could do a duet with anyone in the history of the music industry, who would it be and why?

Rana Mansour: Sting, Sting, and Sting. Every artist has/had their idol growing up. For some reason, mine was pretty much always Sting. He just represents the epitome of a great musician (one who’s still alive today, anyway). Not only is he an amazing artist, he’s constantly striving to improve himself. He doesn’t give up & he’s always in search of making good music. Plus, he’s managed to be incredibly successful at it.

How do you feel about the state of music today?

Rana Mansour: I would have to disagree with a lot of people and say that the state of music is in great shape these days. I have recently seen and heard from some really great new artists. The thing is, you really have to keep an eye out for them because these people won’t be exploited like other artists (and thank God for that). I feel like music is really starting to take this wonderful turn; one of originality, going back to our roots, and really respecting the true purpose of making good art. As long as we have musicians like that on the scene, failure doesn’t stand a chance.

Are you political? If so, How do you feel about entertainers that use their public spotlight to share their views and beliefs?

Rana Mansour: Being of Iranian descent, I am particularly political these days & in my own subtle way. Everyone has a different way to express their beliefs. As long as you’re respectful to the beliefs, feelings, and opinions of others, I don’t see any reason why anybody & artists included & shouldn’t be allowed to express his/her opinion. Sometimes using the spotlight can be a very good tool. It just depends on how you choose to use it. And anyone who abuses that privilege will suffer eventually.

Do you think gender helps or hurts you in the music business?

Rana Mansour: Gender is like anything else. What if I was black? What if I was Asian? What if someone calls me a terrorist because of my Middle Eastern identity? The more you focus on something being a negative, the more negativity you will attract to it. I’ve actually gotten this question a lot. I have never had a problem with gender or anything else because, I believe, I never saw my gender or my race as an issue. Because I see things that way, it seems that others do as well. It’s true, occasionally you run into some jerk who thinks he know more than you; but you just shrug them off and go about your business.

What do you enjoy spending time doing when you are not singing or doing music?

Rana Mansour: I am a nerd at heart. Music is a very social career, so I like to spend my off-times doing not-so-social things, without sounding like a total introvert. I love to exercise, I read, I watch movies (HUGE movie fan & just about anything other than a romantic comedy, and I’m a fan of it). I also love to just get together with my closest friends, have a couple drinks (legally, of course!), and just talk about anything that’s going on in our lives, the world, etc.

Oooh, I also LOVE to travel!

And this last one is a silly one I ask everyone. Who is your celebrity crush growing up? or still is?

Rana Mansour: Hmmm… this one changes all the time… so for now –

Musician: John Mayer, Mos Def
Actor: Diego Luna, Gael Garcia Bernal
Athlete: Tom Brady

Thanks for taking the time Rana!

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