"You Rock My World"

 Let’s go back to the beginning.
It’s funny how all the little things from your childhood sculpt you. One of the most common questions people ask me and my sisters is, “When did you start singing?”
It makes me laugh because I can’t look back on my life and think of a time where I didn’t love singing. Whether it was the church talent show when I was three, my five year-old self in my room screaming “Once Upon A December” at the top of my lungs along with the cassette tape, or filming a music video of one of my own creations at nineteen, music has always been a huge part of my existence.
I guess you could say music is my life.
Well that and food, but that’s beside the point… 

I don’t think I could pick just one genre or style of music I love and listen to. My iTunes library has everything from classical to rock and I love it all! A great song is a great song, right? There are certain artists and genres however, that have definitely influenced me, and I’ll add my sisters too, over the years.    
 Growing up we listened to Michael Jackson all the time. Our mom loves him and she has ever since she was a little girl. I specifically remember her playing him in the car a lot and we would dance… Well as much as you can in a booster seat… Our mom also played a lot of Mariah Carey. 
                                           Her album “Butterfly” is still one of my favorites.

Our dad on the other hand was never a huge Michael fan (I know… something I will never understand) but he has this huge love for Jazz music and specifically for Russ Freeman. As kids he would always play The Rippingtons. I remember loving to jam out in his little purple car because of its great sound system! They always had the most interesting album art - like the one with the cat and all the crazy colors. Classical music is also one of our dad’s favorites. He used to wake us up on Saturday mornings blasting Mozart and Beethoven, and all the other ones you could possibly think of. We hated it at the time, but now looking back I find it pretty funny. 

 Our little sphere of musical influence didn’t end at Bach though.
Some of my fondest childhood memories are at my grandparent’s house included Céline Dion and Josh Groban. They were a popular favorite. I have a huge love for both of them still, and I confess I listen to them every Sunday to this day!
 Looking back on all the music around us as kids, I can see what aspects of each album or artist influence what I listen to, and how I create music. I’m totally obsessed with all things Michael (that one I blame on my mother). Because of all that Jazz music from my dad, I love smooth harmonies, complex chord progressions, and syncopation. I also tend to get hooked on R&B artists, probably because it’s like a mixture of Mariah and Jazz… Weird huh? R&B definitely influences our sister harmonies.   

Jump5 was a Christian group, and basically was my childhood in a nutshell.
We had a babysitter bring one of their CD’s over one day and we were hooked after first play! We bought every album and song they ever released, and they were actually my first concert (that I was old enough to really remember). We always admired how uplifting their music was, and they really inspired us to make our music and message positive. 

Another group I can remember us learning all of the songs to was Celtic Woman. I remember seeing them in concert and wanting to be them! There harmonies are beautiful, and they look like princesses! I could see my sisters and I doing something similar to them when we’re older! Ahh! It’s just so beautiful…

It really is so interesting to look back and see how the artists we listened to and were inspired by influenced the music we create and arrange as sisters. I thought it would be fun to tell you the specific songs, and what parts and components sparked ideas for the writing and production of my original:

“Rock With Me”
Love Never Felt SoGood- Michael Jackson: When trying to learn this song on the piano, I started messing around, and I stumbled across the chords I ended up using for my song.
Off the Wall- MichaelJackson: The lyrics inspired me to write my own “feel-good” song that would make you wanna get up and dance!
Treasure- Bruno Mars: The over-all throwback feel for production.
Don’t Think They Know(feat. Aliyah)- Chris Brown: Random, I know… but I loved the smooth breakdown bridge, and I HAD to do one in my song.
Nobody But You-Kimbra: Has the fake-out ending, which I like to call 'The After Party’ in “Rock With Me”.

Thanks for joining me on my walk through the past!
Music is one of the greatest things the world has to offer! I love you guys and hope you enjoyed a look into what makes the Gardiner Sisters the Gardiner Sisters! And as for the pictures... Well I thought they might make you laugh. Love you guys!

<3 Mandi