Some predictions require crystal balls. Others can be made using more tangible things, like ears, a heart, a rump, and a devotion to righteous grooves. That’s all anyone needs to know that “Pull Up (Skrrt),” the electrifying new single from fast-rising Ottawa R&B singer/songwriter Mandia, is poised to be the break-out smash of the summer, if not the year.
The slinky and decidedly after-dark “Pull Up (Skrrt)” juxtaposes superstar singer/producer Eric Bellinger’s soulful voice against Mandia’s, as expressive and gravity-defying an instrument as those of her spiritual sisters Mariah Carey and Christina Aguilera. Seriously, girl could start fires with that thing! Mandia’s soaring counter-narrative to Bellinger’s lyrics in the single is positively dazzling.
Co-written by Mandia and Bellinger with Toronto’s own LUCA, Savannah Ré and Emerson Brooks, and produced by SLMN & LUCA, “Pull Up (Skrrt)” is out now on all streaming platforms. A stylish lyric video (“Which contains all the tools you’d need to pull up and skrrt,” Mandia howls)
“We were all in one room writing, and then Eric ended up hopping on later and writing his own verse. It was so cool,” Mandia, just 21, recalls of the single’s creative process. “I had been looking for a feature to add to the song and when I came across Eric, I knew he would be perfect with the vibe I was looking for.”
As for the song’s saucy lyrics, Mandia says, “To me, ‘skrrt’ means you’re in and out. This single began as a bit of a joke, something people would say, ‘We’re going to pull up and skrrt!’ But I insisted we stick with the line and melody we came up with because it flows and is so memorable. When I listened to the demo, I knew we had to follow that through.”
“Pull Up (Skrrt)” demands inclusion in the fiercely innovative R&B/hip-hop arena. “I am a vocalist first,” Mandia says. “I grew up listening to Beyoncé, JoJo, Mariah Carey, Christina Aguilera. What’s coolest for me about R&B and hip-hop is that the vocals are the main attraction. I’d like to explore other genres but R&B/hip-hop is where I see myself now.”
While fans are grooving on “Pull Up (Skrrt),” Mandia will be hard at work crafting future singles to cement her status as Canada’s most exciting new voice. “I am working with some really dope producers and writers on an EP, Cocktails & Dreams, that I hope to release later this year. And performing live is one of my favourite things to do, so shows will be coming up as well.
“I think this single will let people get to know me as an artist, get to know my name,” says Mandia, already an Instagram sensation. “The reaction so far has been amazing; people have been loving it. Even DJ Khaled has backed the single. I couldn’t be happier.”