Director: Michael St. Michael @michaelstmichael
Photographer: Shanna Fisher @shannafisher
Wardrobe: Shaina Feldman @thestylistshaina
MUA: Archangela Chelsea @archangelachelsea
Hair: Rene Cortez @hairbyrenecortez
Interview: Dylan Jader @thedylanjader
Prune: We first saw you as Miley Cyrus’ backup dancer. How did you land that job?
Mandy: When I was 18-years-old I moved out to LA to dance professionally. She was one of my first auditions, and when I auditioned they had to replace a girl last minute. It was about me and twenty others, and I got chosen. It was really cool.
Prune: You and Miley instantly clicked, and went on to make “The Miley & Mandy Show” where you gained a large fan base. How did being friends with Miley change your career?
Mandy: On the road, we became friends. A lot of people thought we were just friends, but I danced for her. When you’re on the road with someone, it’s hard not to click with them. Starting “The Miley & Mandy Show”, the last thought on my mind was the attention it would bring me. To me, it was just my best friend and me hanging out making funny videos. When I started getting more attention it was a surprise. To this day, people know me from the show, so I think I just wasn’t ready for that.
Prune: Are you and Miley still friends today?
Mandy: Yes. We aren’t super close anymore, but I will always look at her as a little sister. I’m so proud of her, we went through a lot together. Miley is the reason I started singing to begin with, so I have to thank her for where I am today.
Prune: Post-Miley tour, you were a member of The Beach Girl5. What was it like being managed by Kris Jenner?
Mandy: It was super cool. Miley's producers Rock Mafia were having a girl group audition, so Miley told me to go for it. I wanted to do more than backup dancing. I auditioned for the group, booked it, toured the UK, and all of a sudden Kris Jenner was our manager. She was all about empowering women and she really believed in us.
Prune: You recently released your debut EP, From The Heart. What made you decide to step out as a solo artist?
Mandy: When I quit my girl group a few years back, I knew I wanted to do my own music. I didn’t want to be told what to wear anymore, what to sing – as an artist you want to be able to express yourself the way you want. It was super great to express myself not only through dancing, but through my writing process as well. It was therapeutic to write. It’s great to release music that means something to me, and that I am super proud of.
Prune: From The Heart includes three songs. Talk to me about the feel of the EP.
Mandy: Each song is based on a personal love experience of mine. I’m a huge fan of EDM music. When I was dancing for LMFAO, I was dancing at their DJ sets and their songs were EDM based. That is when I fell in love with that world, and I used pop and EDM as the sound of this EP. It’s super catchy pop songs over really cool dance beats.
Prune: What is your favorite song off the EP, and why?
Mandy: “Make My Heart Go”. That song has always been super special to me, and it’s actually the oldest of the three. I recorded it in Amsterdam with two big artists, and it makes me feel really good. It seems as though people are loving it just as much as I do.
Prune: Do you plan on making more music and touring?
Mandy: Absolutely. I’m already back in the studio, getting ready to release more music. I have a really great follow up single, which I’m really excited to release. Touring and performing are what I love to do most. I’ve toured as a dancer and in a girl group before, so as a solo artist I’m ready to get on stage.
Prune: Fans also see you on YouTube, breaking down the choreography of today’s biggest music videos. Talk to me about that aspect of your career.
Mandy: I love my YouTube channel. To me it doesn’t feel like work at all. It’s great to teach people the dances they want to learn. I know it’s inspiring people to take dance classes and to get on stage. I’ll always keep going with my YouTube channel, because teaching dance is what I love to do most.
Prune: Your YouTube success also led to your collaboration with iHeartRadio and Snapchat. Why do you think it’s so important to have a presence on all social media platforms?
Mandy: Social media is everything these days. It’s a great outlet to showcase your talent, and a great way to stay in touch with fans on a day-to-day basis.
Prune: Let’s talk fashion. What is your everyday style?
Mandy: I would say more comfortable and casual. When I go out it’s still casual but cute. As a dancer, I’m always in sweatpants, so that has led to my everyday style.
Prune: Time to fashion prune. If you could eliminate one trend, what would it be?
Mandy: I don’t have one. Wear whatever makes you happy.