I'm part Filipino, part Japanese, part Chinese, part Malaysian, and part Spanish, and all those people, they love their karaoke. So whenever my family got together, we'd all karaoke.
When I'm about to go on stage, and I look out and just see the fans filled out in the arena, all pumped up and screaming – that gives me butterflies! I just love that feeling, and I'm like, 'Oh my gosh, it's gonna be a great show!'
'Just Can't Let You Go' is a song about passion. It's when you have such a strong passion and love for someone or something that your heart just can't let it go. Whether it's a special boy, girl, or that feeling you get when performing on stage or playing a sport. For me, my passion is music. I just can't let it go!
The thing that can get kind of annoying is, when you travel so much, how hectic it gets. I was being interviewed once – it was a phone interview – and they said, 'Where are you right now?' and I didn't know where I was.
My iPod will shuffle from rap to pop to rock to classical … It gets confusing!
I always have melodies flowing in my head – whether I'm just at home, at the mall, at a restaurant or wherever. I'm always humming along to the random melodies that form in my head. My friends always ask me, 'What are you singing?' and I'll be like, 'I don't know!'
When I'm on stage, it's like a different world … me connecting with the audience. It's a surreal experience.
It would be pretty awesome to hear Eminem singing 'I'm a Good Girl'. Haha! Love Eminem!
I am pop, but like to shake things up a bit – funky things people wouldn't expect.
One thing I really love in my single, 'Just Can't Let You Go,' is the beatboxing; I think it's really cool. Also, in my music, I'm not afraid to say what I want to say. I also think it's relatable for other girls out there.
Growing up, I was so shy, but it was weird because I was the complete opposite on stage. I was just free to be myself.
It's really important to me that my sound is a combination of beats and melody. I love hearing strong, confident beats in music because I love to dance. At the same time, melody is really important to me because I love singing.
I wrote my first book when I was 15 years old. And my second book '1,2,3 Publish Me!' shows everyone how writing a book is done in just the three secret editing levels I discovered!
I just love to dance. Pretty much every night, I'll just turn on the radio in my room and dance like crazy.
If I weren't a performer, I would be still be writing and songwriting. Plus, I also really want to get into producing.
I had the opportunity to go and read to cancer patients in hospitals and saw how something as little as that could make someone's day. I also think it's important to support people who are standing up for a good cause, so that's why I get involved with different campaigns and charities.
When I was 17 years old, Frank DiLeo saw my very first music video and flew to my hometown of Las Vegas to meet with my family and me. Frank told my dad, 'I am coming out of retirement to manage one last big act: Manika.'
'Don Quijote' by Cervantes. I read the original Spanish version when I was in high school. Such a classic!
I know it's a guy thing to chest bump, but me and my dancers chest bump before hitting the stage. Not too hard though…ouch!
Growing up, my parents always played artists like Alanis Morissette, Aerosmith and Michael Jackson, so I just grew to love their music. And I just love so many diverse artists for different reasons; some for their instruments, some for their edge, some for their vocals.
The number one thing I look for is personality. For me, the personality of someone makes them more and more attractive over time … and for those with bad personalities, less and less attractive. I look for honesty, intelligence, kindness, and a good work ethic, to name a few.
Alanis Morissette – I love how she's not afraid to say what she wants to say. Love it or hate it, she's going to say it. And her vocals are crazy; they're amazing, and I also love how her music is really organic.
My book 'The Exciting Adventures of Boo' was first published when I was fifteen. It is a children's book with ten different stories. In each story, the main character Boo learns a lesson – one of the ten most important lessons I learned as a kid. I also donated all the money from my books I personally sold to my local ASPCA Animal Shelter.
I've always loved both writing and songwriting. The journey is fascinating to me.