Check out our interview with chaotically-relatable rockstar Mandi Crimmins who just released “BORDERLINE,” an EP about mental health, showcasing an epic experience of introspection and high emotions bursting with raw-edged, hyper-confessional lyrics.
This Los Angeles-based Berklee grad is known for her vulnerable raw lyrics and unhinged pop hooks that draw the listener in. Mandi suffers from Borderline Personality Disorder and does not hide that, but instead uses it to connect and relate to listeners also struggling with mental illness. Her fierce authenticity has garnered her a cult following of 40k on TikTok, with the mental health community rallying behind every release.
Mandi shares, “While I was in the process of writing the EP, I actually ended up getting diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. Writing to me is therapeutic and usually whatever is weighing on my mind most comes out during the writing session. After I finished the EP, I realized that I had been writing about my diagnosis before I even had it. They all perfectly described what it feels like to be in my head.”
Follow Mandi @mandicrimminsmusic
Hi Mandi, please tell us a little about you?
I’m an Alt Rock artist based in LA that writes music about raw and relatable things, like mental health. I grew up in a small town in Massachusetts before relocating to LA in 2021. I am a graduate of Berklee College of Music with a degree in songwriting.
Describe your sound in 3 words?
Edgy, energetic, and fierce
Do you play any instrument?
I am a self-taught pianist! I wanted to be Amy Lee so bad growing up, so I taught myself to play piano by ear with Evanescence songs. I have nerve damage in my left hand/arm though, so I don’t quite play “technically correct”, but playing the keys is one of my favorite ways to decompress.
Do you ever get nervous?
All the time! Personally and professionally. But I was told once that if you get nervous before you perform (or release a song, etc) that’s good because it means it matters to you and that you’re on the right path.
Tell us about your new EP “BORDERLINE?”
“BORDERLINE” is about my struggle living with Borderline Personality Disorder. It is some of my most vulnerable work to date. Mental health is not talked about nearly enough and I personally became tired of seeing the same harmful stigmas perpetuated. I wanted to put out a body of work that transcended music, and became more of a statement. It’s an EP that came together on its own, and has healed me through the process.
What’s the story behind the songs?
Each song on “BORDERLINE” is rooted in a different struggle I face with my mental health. Some deal with anxiety and paranoia, while others deal with intense anger and depression. This EP is through the lens of someone with Borderline Personality Disorder, which by definition causes extremely varied intense emotions. “ILY, DON’T LEAVE” is my version of a love song. Relationships can feel intense and when you have trauma it creates fear that this amazing person will disappear. So it’s my way of acknowledging the fear that’s always present, but with the intense joy and love I feel as well.
What is the most rewarding part of your work?
I get these amazing comments and messages from fans that share similar struggles as me, and it fuels me. Sometimes they share trauma and just knowing I’m a safe space for someone makes all this worth it.
What advice would you give to your younger self and why?
Be yourself!!!! Be you and don’t shame yourself. We are our own worst enemy, and the sooner you get out of your own way, the sooner you’ll be authentically happy within.
I was afraid to really know myself as a younger person. I knew I had interest in women when I was very young, but was too scared to really figure it out so I buried it deep down. I was too afraid to dress how I wanted and say what I wanted, so I became what everyone ELSE wanted me to be. The minute I stopped all that, I felt truly happy for the first time.
How would your best friend describe you?
As a hot fucking mess that she’s stuck with forever!! I’ve been best friends with Meg since we were in 4th grade, so basically 20 years. She’s like my sister, so she knows me more than I even know myself.
If you are a book, what would be the title of the book and why?
Welcome to the Chaos. This is my slogan and nothing has ever describes my life more
What’s next for Mandi Crimmins in 2023?
Lots of new music!! Been collaborating with members of The Haunt pretty consistently and we’ve really locked in a solid sound that you’re all going to scream about.
What is your favorite healthy food?
I’m a vegan, so most things I eat are healthy. But it would probably be Brussel Sprouts!
And your favorite cheat food?
How would you explain your fashion style?
It’s the amalgamation of alternative mixed with goth mixed with streetwear. My girlfriend is a clothing designer and owns her own brand (Crave Stvdios), so I get to wear a lot of custom pieces that fully encapsulate my style.
What is your own definition of happiness?
Happiness is a dream that’s always in reach, but I forget that sometimes
If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?
Amy Lee, though I have met her before. Her music saved me as a kid!
What would be the dream holiday, and who would you go with?
Probably to the UK with my girlfriend. I’ve always wanted to see travel there
Best advice ever given?
That when you’re knocked down, you never let yourself stay down. You let yourself cry, but then you pick yourself back up and keep going.
Where do you see yourself and your career in 5 years from now?
Hopefully just put out a 2nd album or something after touring the country! I try not to have expectations – I want my life to unfold as it’s meant to.
What is you favorite song to belt out in the car/for karaoke?
“Bring Me to Life” by Evanescence
What do you think of Social Media?
It’s a necessary evil that I’ve grown to love its ability to connect people.
Where we can follow you?
I try to be very active on all socials, but especially on Instagram and TikTok.
Book: Thirteen Reasons Why – Jay Asher (I read this book right when it came out!!)
Quote: “you’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you know” – e.e. cummings
Movie: Nightmare Before Christmas
Tv Series: Gilmore Girls
Favorite Food: donuts
Travel Destination: New York City
Sports Team: Red Sox
Photo: Nic Wheat @nicwheat