Amanda Pascali’s ‘Mihaela Mihaela’ Is A Genre-Defying Coming-of-Age Story


Folk-rock singer-songwriter Amanda Pascali returns with a ballad about what could have been. Written when Pascali, now 24, was a teenager, “Mihaela Mihaela,” released May 26, is a beautiful story inspired by the love letters Pascali found addressed to her father, a soldier in the era, by a woman named Mihaela. “When I was 17, I took a trip alone with my father to his country of origin. It was there, in Romania, thirty years ago, that he was thrown into a labor camp forced and expelled from the country for rebelling against the government,” she explains. After visiting her father’s childhood apartment in the capital Bucharest and finding the stack of letters, Pascali began to wonder how things might have been different if her parents hadn’t immigrated to the United States and met there. “I became fascinated with her,” she says, “I started thinking ‘who would be- I became if my father had never left; if Mihaela had been my mother?’ »

Calvin Venus, the track’s master mixing engineer, explains that the song’s content was intentionally paired with its instrumentation. “We took a 1990s-sounding song, orchestral strings that sound like they’re from the 1800s, a 1970s-sounding bass track, an 1980s-inspired drum track and put it all together in one. single song,” he says. All working in symbiosis to add to the depth of Pascali’s storytelling, “Mihaela Mihaela” serves as a mystifying coming-of-age track. “I had the idea to write ‘Mihaela Mihaela’ when I stood in front of a foggy mirror in the bathroom of my grandmother’s apartment after taking a shower at 17, wondering ‘who is that girl in the mirror? And who would she be if my parents had never come to the United States?” She asks questions that can never be answered, but through them she works intrinsically to better grasp the essence of her own identity.”Mihaela Mihaela” surprises listeners with a twist in the bridge, in which she accelerates the track from gentle reflection to fervent passion. Quoting the words written in the letters, Pascali sings “you sei quello del mio cuore” meaning “you are the one I love”. In this way, Pascali brings Mihaela into the narrative as a voice, adding to the truth of what nearly was. “Mihaela Mihaela” is part of the ‘EP Messenger by Pascali which will be released this summer.

From an early age, Amanda Pascali felt “born to be a messenger”. Discovering his medium of storytelling at the age of 12 with his first guitar, Pascali began his lifelong journey to share powerful stories with anyone willing to listen. Having grown up with two immigrant parents, Pascali explains that “it is because of revolt and rebellion that [she is] alive.” His father, a Romanian of Sicilian origin, was granted asylum in 1986 after speaking out against the dictatorship and being forced to work in a labor camp. After moving to New York, he met the Pascali’s mother, an Egyptian immigrant via France.Through her journey, Pascali has learned to appreciate the diverse stories that make up the fabric of our lives and has made it her goal to showcase them through her music. “When I was old enough to understand the sacrifices my parents had made for me and when I saw the effect I had on people while performing, I immediately realized not only my purpose but also my platform,” she says.

Despite being so young, the 24-year-old has already released award-winning music and captivated the ears of fans around the world as she travels the world while garnering praise from Texas’ biggest newspaper where she was elected “Best musician of 2021”. Using her music to create real change in the city where she is based, Houston, Pascali received a mayoral grant in 2020 to develop an asynchronous ESL program designed to teach English through music to immigrants whose English as a second language classes have moved online as a result of COVID -19. Today, she is Artist-in-Residence at Sawyer Yards Winter Street Studios working on a storytelling project titled “The Other Side; highlighting immigrant stories in Houston. This spring, she plans to produce and host six weeks of events to “spotlight artists in Houston’s immigrant community,” as well as documenting immigrant stories in her community through film, photography and writing. In this way, Pascali’s overriding purpose as a messenger admirably informs everything she does.

Naming his sound “Immigrant American Folk”, Pascali explains that the genre represents America for its “mixture of flavors from everywhere”. Blending Latin, Balkan and Mediterranean influences with American folk music, Pascali hopes to create a retro vibe while addressing relevant topics of importance today. “If I hadn’t decided to pick up a guitar, put my family’s story to music, and build a platform on which to tell that story as I got older, it might have been forgotten,” he explains. -she. “My mission is to use music to create space for anyone who has felt like they don’t belong. My art aims to unite a powerful community of people from all walks of life by promoting togetherness and empathy through music.

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