Her hair is often painted with the colours of the rainbow and her nails decorated with name brand designs such as “Comme Des Garçons.” Adamandea Nantsios’s fashion sense is as unique as her voice. A Barrhaven native, Nantsios now goes by the name Mandia and has won competitions such as Ottawa Idol and Kiwanis Musical Festival.
Mandia started dancing at the age of five, helping her gain a good sense of rhythm, and at seven years old she began singing lessons. It wasn’t until she was 15 that Mandia started to take her talent seriously. Not only does the artist take pride in her voice, but she is a talented songwriter as well.
She kicked off her career by competing in singing shows all over Canada and the U.S., winning every show she competed in. Mandia explained that she would intentionally enter herself in every category she could and would go on to win in each genre.
“Once I started doing that, I realized that maybe this is something I should take professionally,” said Mandia. “That’s when I realized I can do pretty much anything.”
Lucking out with a connection in Chicago, Mandia recorded her own songs. She has been releasing content since she was 15 years old.
“I have just been recording ever since and I haven’t stopped,” said Mandia.
The Ottawa singer went on to produce music videos for Family Channel and describes this as her biggest accomplishment. Mandia grew up watching the network and, as a young girl, dreamed of being part of it. After that, she went on tour across Canada and started to get recognized in cities she had never visited before. Mandia quickly realized the power of Family Channel when her fans began asking for photos with her.
“It’s really cool to know that people are listening to music I am creating,” said Mandia. “There really is a lot of time and effort that goes into my content.”
This success could not be possible without her family, she explained.
“My family has been such a crucial part of my journey.”
They would drive her to singing lessons and to Montréal for last-minute auditions, often spending late nights in studios by her side. Mandia admits that if she did not have their support, she would not be doing what she is doing right now. Margaret Nantsios, Mandia’s mother, has seen her daughter grow since she started singing Whitney Houston songs at the age of 10.
Mandia’s mother said that her daughter has been bettering herself over the years and has the mentality that if you quit, you won’t make it.
“She has a very fun personality, but yet when it comes to her music, she is very driven and takes it very seriously,” said Mandia’s mother. “We hope one day, she gets what she deserves.”
Mandia wants to be recognized worldwide and she’s in it to win it, believing she has the talent to do so.
“I truly believe that a lot of it is patience, everyone gets their time,” said Mandia.
In the music industry, artists are frequently faced with challenges. For Mandia, her biggest obstacle has been transitioning her music from Family Channel pop to her own brand. Eventually, Mandia succeeded in making that transition. She worked with Eric Bellinger, an American singer, to produce her song “Pull Up,” which was later acknowledged by DJ Khaled, helping her to become viral.
Mandia often splits her time between Ottawa and Toronto, balancing the two cities in very different ways. When she is in the “Six,” Mandia uses every minute in the city to make the most of her production time.
“When I am there it is all work, work, work,” said Mandia.
In Ottawa, the singer can breathe, find her own rhythm and be creative. Using her home as a creative space, she usually manages to write four to five songs to bring back to Toronto and record. Mandia gained a community and following on her Instagram, using it as a way to self promote. While she uses social media to reach a wide audience, she makes sure to attend events the old fashion way to network.
“Being everywhere, you just want to put your face in everybody’s minds,” said Mandia.
By putting in the time and maintaining a solid work ethic, it comes as no surprise that Mandia is constantly finding success whatever she does.