Tag Archives: Birthday DJ

Do you ever feel like a plastic bag?

This month’s title brought to you by Katy Perry’s “Firework”

That’s kind of a weird thing to ask isn’t it? “Do you ever feel like a plastic bag?” BUT as I’m sure you saw above it comes from the lyrics of Katy Perry’s song “Firework” and I have some things about the song I want to share with you (Don’t like the song? Stick with me, will ya?…I promise it’s good!). More on that in a minute.

It’s the end of Women’s History Month and I originally wanted to dive in to the history of women in music, like I did last month for Black History Month, but as I was putting together this month’s playlist of my favorite female artists/girl power songs (see below) I got so encouraged by all the songs I wanted to simply share my heart this month. I figure it’s also another way for you to get to know me a little better. After all, the goal of my blog is to not only share some facts and education but also a place for us to get to know each other better. Plus, after the last 12 months we’ve had I thought we could all use some love and encouragement! To the guys reading this, I want to share this with you as well!

Ok back to Katy’s song….you may think the song is cheesy and was overplayed when it first came out, and I don’t necessarily disagree with you, but recently I was paying closer attention to the lyrics and they just hit my heart. Let’s take a closer look at some of the lyrics that stand out to me that I hope will give you encouragement!

Katy Perry, Firework (view the full lyrics HERE)

Do you ever feel like a plastic bag
Drifting through the wind, wanting to start again?

Do you ever feel, feel so paper-thin
Like a house of cards, one blow from caving in?

I don’t know about you, but YES to all of those questions above! Right? Who’s with me? Especially the last 12 months! So what should we do about it? Keep reading for some ideas using the rest of her lyrics…

‘Cause there’s a spark in you

I love that she reminds us that there is HOPE if we CHOOSE to re(light) that spark we all have in us! We can do so many awesome things if we just believe in ourselves! It can be hard, but it’s all our choice. When I’m having a bad day or things aren’t going well I sure don’t feel very sparkly or full of fire/spark! So, I will send myself to my room to cool down usually to watch a movie or listen to some tunes. Just a quick reset. Removing myself for a bit helps me. Also, stepping outside in my backyard for just a few minutes helps too! Soak in a little sun!

After a hurricane comes a rainbow!

I’m a firm believer that everything happens when and how it should. If we don’t have the bad times and storms we can never evolve and learn. I seem to have a talent for this, almost to a fault, where some people truly don’t understand how I can stay so positive and see the “bright side.” I think it’s because I’ve seen lots of trials, BUT have always paid attention and noticed the good things that come out of or after those trials. I encourage you to maybe sit and write down a list of all the good things you see/have around you when you are in the midst of a bad time. I will give you an example. You may have heard that I was sued a few years ago because of my Back to <OLD> School Annual Dance Party. I was sued for discrimination against men because my dance party is female-focused. That was HARD! I felt like a failure, scared that I was going to lose my business and most importantly that I had offended or hurt someone. For those of you that know me, I NEVER want anyone to feel excluded or unimportant. BUT I’m thankful that happened to me, yep, I am! It doesn’t mean I didn’t cry a lot of tears while going through it, I did! But each day I would pause and think of how much worse it could be or how in the grand scheme of things it was trivial, even if I DID lose my business I have other ideas and dreams I could pursue. I also learned so much through that experience about the legal side of running a business, I met some great people because of it and overall it helped me to be a better business owner!

“You’re original, cannot be replaced!”

Yes!!!! I want to encourage you to be your unique self and don’t fall in to the trap of comparison. With social media it’s easy to start comparing ourselves to others. Just remember you are made special and unique and you should own that! TRULY, I mean that! You don’t need to look, sound or be any different than you are right this very second reading this! You are perfect the way you are! Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!

So I know no none of the above was earth shattering news or advice but I hope you can find at least a little bit of encouragement through it. Now go put on your favorite encouraging music and face the day! And/or if you want to listen to some #GirlPower songs check out my playlist below.

If you want to (re)read the full lyrics to Katy Perry’s “Firework” you can view them here.

MAY ALL YOUR DAYS BE FILLED WITH (ENCOURAGING) MUSIC! – Mandy

Feel the #GirlPower with this playlist.

 

Songs in Movies by Women

Here is a playlist of my favorite songs sung by women (and girls) in movies (most with video clips from the movies!)

Fun fact about me: If you asked me who I would choose to have coffee (or tea) with I would pick Julie Andrews! My love of music began when I was a young girl (around 7) watching many musicals! Among my favorites were the movies that Julie Andrews. Below is one of my favorite quotes from her:

Leave every place you go, everything you touch, a little better for your having been there. – Julie Andrews

 

Dance Move of the Month is Moving!

I am going to start sharing dance moves over in my new Facebook group Move(s) with Mandy! Let’s Dance! So make sure you head over there to join the fun! Not on Facebook? Email me at Mandy@MandyMixes.com and let me know. If there are enough people that aren’t on Facebook I’ll find another way to share with you.

πŸ—“ Saturday, April 10, 2021
Artifact Found & Made Outdoor Market

Β πŸ—“ Sunday, May 16, 2021
Virtual Survivor Strut Fashion Show for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

Β πŸ—“ Saturday, September 18, 2021
5th Annual Dance Party with DJ MandyMixes

 

Submit your answer (s) for a chance to win a prize! To qualify you MUST answer at the link below.

QUESTION:Β 

If you could choose ANYONE to have coffee or tea with, who would it be? (dead or alive, and does not have to be a musician).

Submit your answer(s) HERE.

NOTE: I will NEVER share your answers, this is a private conversation between you and I. I only use the form as it is easier to keep track of who answers. πŸ˜‰

Never Too much!

This month’s title brought to you by “Never Too Much” by Luther Vandross

Two Examples of Black History in Music

It’s “Never Too Much” when it comes to celebrating black musicians influence on the history of music! Just because the end of the month is here and it’s the end of the official “Black History Month” doesn’t mean we should stop celebrating! Especially when it comes to music. I think people often forget just how big of an influence black musicians have had on the history of our entire music culture! Below I share with you just a couple genres that black musicians have had a HUGE influence on, but there is so much more! I challenge you to do some research and searching to see what you can learn!

Rock-n-Roll

Did you know Rock-n-Roll was actually technically first started by a black artist! Chuck Berry to be exact (who was influenced by Bo Diddley, another black musician)! Yep, even before Elvis! Other original black rockers include Little Richard, Fats Domino, Ray Charles and James Brown. As much as I hate to admit it (this is a safe space, right? I can be vulnerable, right? We are getting to know each other, right?) I thought rock-n-roll was started by Elvis or some other white guy until I was probably a teenager, maybe a little older! Eeek! My Bad! BUT some would even argue that it was actually Sister Rosetta Tharpe that birthed Rock-n-Roll, how cool, a black artist AND a woman! Read more about the “Godmother of Rock-n-Roll” HERE. See my playlist below for a video to see her in action, she ROCKS that guitar! Either way, it wasn’t Elvis! I’m glad I educated myself and know better now! You can read a full article about how Chuck Berry has been credited for inventing rock-n-roll from Billboard.

Jazz

Jazz is another genre that for many years I thought was a bunch of white guys, you know like Kenny G, etc…because that is all I knew at the time. BUT Jazz is SO much more than a guy on a saxophone. AND there are SO many types of Jazz. When people tell me they don’t like Jazz I always challenge them to try again and pick a sub-genre of Jazz like New Orleans Jazz or Swing Jazz (aka Big Band) or especially Bebop Jazz (so fun!) There’s even Latin Jazz. I feel like there’s a type of Jazz for every person out there. There are about 40 sub-genres of Jazz, that’s so much awesome music to choose from and explore. I actually REALLY LOVE Jazz and I love all of them, yep even the “Smooth” Jazz that most people don’t like and are used to hearing on the local adult radio station, ha!

Like I said above there are SO many other ways black musicians have had an influence on music (and dance – more on that later) I could go on and on but I will leave you with those two for now. Let me know if you want me to do a part 2 and dive into other genres/examples. In the meantime, I challenge you to look into some of the music/artists I mentioned above and who knows, maybe you will find something new to enjoy while enjoying a piece of history!

Happy Researching & Listening!

My Top 5 Songs by Black Artists, Featured in Movies

These are not ranked or in any particular order. There are so many more I like as well, but just stuck to my Top 5 this time.

#1
MOVIE: Ghostbusters
SONG:
“Ghostbusters” by Ray Parker Jr.
WHY I LOVE IT:
This one is just so nostalgic for me. I grew up with this movie and song and Halloween just isn’t the same without. Plus it really is a good fun song! I could listen to it all year!

#2
MOVIE: Shark Tale
SONG:
The whole soundtrack! (although it’s not ALL black artists) BUT especially “Got to Be Real” by Mary J. Blige & Will Smith (a fun remake of Cheryl Lynn’s song from the 70s)
WHY I LOVE IT:
Ok yes this is a cartoon and I have a daugther and I watched this with her when she was little but really the soundtrack is just so good! I mean with Will Smith and all the other artists how could it be bad?! Most of the songs are popular hits you’ve heard before that have been re-done in a super fun way by other artists. So fun!

#3
MOVIE: Despicable Me 2
SONG:
Happy by Pharrell Williams
WHY I LOVE IT:
So for this one, it’s really more about the song than the movie….although I do enjoy it, as you can see from above I enjoy cartoon movies! But this just goes to show how movies and music go hand in hand these days. Summer 2020 I did virtual music bingo and when I asked people if they knew what movie the song Happy by Pharrell Williams came from, not everyone knew! It became popular all on its own, but its very first appearance was on the movie soundtrack.

#4
MOVIE: The Wiz
SONG: Ease on Down the Road – Diana Ross & Michael Jackson
WHY I LOVE IT:
This is one of the musicals I watched when I was little (I was 2 when it came out! Yep, just gave you my age, ha!) and made me just LOVE both music and dancing! I wanted to be those characters on the screen easin’ on down the road! So fun! I just love this song in daily life as a good reminder and motivator when going through hard times, just keep movin’ and ease on down the road!

#5
MOVIE: Purple Rain
SONG: Let’s Go Crazy – Prince
WHY I LOVE IT:
Growing up my dream was to see Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson and Prince in concert! I loved them all so much! Sadly, I never got to see Michael or Prince but I did finally get to see Janet in the early 2000s! More on her in future blogs…back to Prince… Did you know the movie Purple Rain was made to show off Prince and his talents, that’s why it featured so many concert scenes, and it worked! Shortly after he went platinum with his album by the same title as the movie. Basically a whole album built around a movie! Pretty cool! Really the whole Purple Rain album is great, but I really love how fun “Let’s Go Crazy” is!

My FAVE Black Artists/Songs:

LISTEN HERE:Celebrating Black Artists Throughout History (DJ MandyMixes’ FAVES) (This project is taking longer than expected so right now it only goes from 1920s – 1970s, there is just SO much awesome music out there to filter through! So check back as I continue to add more!)

Challenge: If you don’t recognize some of the artists on the playlist I challenge you to look them up and read their history. MANY of them, especially from the earlier years are some key players in the history of Jazz, Rock-n-Roll, the Blues and music as a whole!

Warning: Be ready to be moved and possibly have a tissue nearby as some of the older songs on the playlist above (1920s/30s/40s) touch you to your core.

Black Dancers Influence

Instead of me sharing MY favorite dance move of the month I thought I would share this article with you called “15 Black Dancers Who Changed American Dance going all the way back to the 1800s! So cool! This, of course doesn’t include the more recent dancers who have also had an impact on dance culture like breakdancers, etc…but I thought, for now, it would be cool to go WAY back and look at the really early years of dance via the article above.

Also, fun fact…black dancers have been a huge influence on me! As a kid my dream was to be one of Janet Jackson’s backup dancers!

 πŸ—“ Sunday, May 16, 2021
A fundraising event! More details coming soon!

 πŸ—“ Saturday, September 18, 2021
5th Annual Dance Party with DJ MandyMixes

Submit your answer (s) for a chance to win a prize! Details below.

ANSWER ONE OR BOTH OF THESE QUESTIONS: 

Question 1: Did you always know Rock-n-Roll was originally started by black musicians? If not, at at what age did you learn about it? (no judgement here! I’m just hoping I’m not alone, ha! I will NEVER share your answers). Submit your answer(s) HERE.

Question 2: Do like or dislike Jazz? Submit your answer(s) HERE.

Submit your answer(s) HERE.

NOTE: I will NEVER share your answers, this is a private conversation between you and I. I only use the form as it is easier to keep track of who answers. πŸ˜‰

“Let me reintroduce myself”

Today’s subject line is brought to you by Gwen Stefani’s fun new song by the same title “Let Me Reintroduce Myself” Take a listen and watch her video HERE. It’s so fun!

I’m starting a blog!

AN INTRODUCTION TO MY BLOG

My Intentions for the Blog
The blog is to simply share my ideas and thoughts related to music, events and maybe sometimes just life in general AND most importantly to use it as a way for you to get to know me better AND hopefully get to know YOU more too…more on that in the “Structure of the Blog” section below.

I won’t have a schedule for the blog, I like to leave it open ended for when creativity strikes!

If you have suggestions on topics you would like me to share in my blog feel free to hit reply and let me know. I want this to be fun and beneficial for you and not just another email taking space in your inbox. πŸ˜‰

Structure of the Blog
There will be 6 sections to each blog as follows:

1. My Main Musings – This is where I will kick back and share what’s on my mind. Let’s pretend we are chillin’ on the couch together having a conversation! A few paragraphs about me and my thoughts around music for the month. I’ll even share FAQs I get from clients, as well as everything from the history of music, to how music is used in our world, to celebrating certain sectors of music and more! 

THIS MONTH’S MUSINGS: For this month, I’d like to (re)introduce myself! Check out my BIO here, I just recently updated it! 

2. Music in Movies– This may include movies I recommend you watch if you want to hear some great music and/or feel inspired or it may just be some fun facts about the music found in movies. Movies actually play a HUGE role in my musical journey so I have lots of thoughts to share on this topic. πŸ˜‰ You’ll probably notice in my playlists below quite a few songs are from movies! 

MOVIE TO WATCH: If you need a fun and nostalgic movie to watch with tons of fun 80s music check out the re-make of “Valley Girl” that came out in 2020. It’s a musical adaptation of the original 80s movie. Movie details HERE.

3. Playlists – I’ll share what I am currently listening to or playlists I think you might enjoy for various occasions, moods and more! I will use Youtube to share the lists with you for a couple reasons, but mostly because it’s just fun to have the videos playing, kind of like the days of MTV and VH1. Most will have the official videos, unless I can’t find them. Enjoy!

I have 2 playlists for you, just in time for Valentine’s Day!

1. Music PlaylistDJ MandyMixes’ FAVE Love Songs
2. Music PlaylistDJ MandyMixes’ FAVE COUNTRY LOVE Songs

4. Dance Move of the Month – This will be everything from tips on how to feel more comfortable on the dance floor even when you think you can’t dance, possibly a video teaching a fun dance move for you, and/or what dance moves are currently trending, as well as some other facts and history about dance.

STAY TUNED! 1st Dance Move Video Coming Next Month

5. Events – I’ll share events I am the DJ for and/or hosting that you are invited to join me at (in-person AND online) as well as other events in the community that I think you might be interested in. You can check my upcoming events anytime HERE.

SAVE THE DATE: 

1. Sunday, May 16, 2021
A fundraising event! More details coming soon!

2. Saturday, September 18, 2021
5th Annual Dance Party with DJ MandyMixes

6. Question of the Month – Each month I’ll ask YOU a question. This will be a fun way for me to get to know YOU more AND you can win prize for participating!

WIN A PRIZE! I will be keeping track and in December 2021 I’ll pick 2 winners for a special prize.

PRIZE #1 – Whoever answers the MOST questions (no right or wrong answers!)

PRIZE #2 – A random drawing of everyone who answers at least one question.

NOTE: To qualify you MUST submit your answers via the “HERE” button/link below. 

ANSWER THIS QUESTION: What kind of dancer do you consider yourself? Not a dancer? That’s ok, you can still answer! Submit your answer HERE.


That’s all for now! Before I go, Let’s be Friends on Facebook! I have my business page on Facebook but I also have a special Facebook account/profile where we can “friend” each other and be even more connected. Send me a request HERE.

May your days be filled with music,
Mandy

P.S. – In case you missed it above I use song titles/lyrics for my subject lines and blog titles. Kind of like how on Sesame Street it’s the “Brought to you by the Letter M” ha! Today’s subject line is brought to you by Gwen Stefani’s new fun song by the same title “Let Me Reintroduce Myself” Take a listen and watch her video HERE. It’s so fun!