Music with Mandy, a jazz and family entertainment quartet, released a new album titled From My Head to My Toes on Oct. 22.
The group consists of Mandy Morris, a Medicine Hat native and the group’s front woman, as well as seasoned jazz musicians Matt Morris on keys, Kodi Hutchison on bass and Jim Johnson on the drums.
The album is filled with positive and affirming messages for listeners. In the title song, Morris touches on the importance of loving one’s self. In-between verses, children share the features they most like about themselves. “I like me!” one voice chimes. Another song, Painting, explains it’s alright to not always be happy and encourages listeners to channel their negative emotions into a positive activity as a way to let go and heal.
Respect is also a main theme of the album. In What’s Your Name? Morris explores the concept of gender pronouns.
Morris believes the messages in her music are important to share with young people.
“You can love yourself unconditionally and be proud of that self-love – and that is something I think should be celebrated – but meeting people where they’re at and treating people how they want to be treated (is also important),” Morris told the News.
These messages, though directed toward children and youth, are applicable to adults as well, Morris says.
“(They’re) important life skills. If you love yourself it’s easier to spread that love around the world and have peace and acceptance,” said Morris. “(When creating music) I think about the things I need to hear and my inner child needs to hear (and) the skills that help me in day-to-day life, in the hopes that maybe they’ll help kids as they grow and develop.”
Music with Mandy was established in 2017 out of Morris’ love for jazz music and interest in early childhood education. Morris hopes listeners enjoy the new album. From My Head to My Toes can be purchased or downloaded on Music with Mandy’s website. Each order includes a song-book with sing-along lyrics. The album can also be streamed on Spotify.
KENDALL KING, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Medicine Hat News