Mana Contractor is a multi-hyphenate artist with a deep enthusiasm for collaboration originally from Bangalore, India. She co-founded a music school called The Mela Centre for Learning (Bangalore, India) in 2015, where she taught jazz and contemporary vocals to students of all ages with the aim of giving more aspiring musicians access to contemporary western music traditions in India. She has worked with a host of singers and voice artists across all age groups in an effort to combine Indian pedagogical concepts with western techniques to create her own unique brand of voice training. As an educator it is her philosophy that no voice is the same, and thus tailors one-on-one music lessons specifically to what her students want to achieve and their individual strengths.
Mana credits her various mentors and teachers for the solid foundation in vocal music and technique that has helped her find her distinctive sound. Having graduated from the Swarnabhoomi Academy of Music (India) with a diploma in Voice Performance, Mana’s desire to continue an education focused on innovation through improvisation led her to pursue a master’s degree in VoiceArts at the California Institute of the Arts, from which she graduated in 2020.
With her formative learning experiences steeped in jazz and Hindustani classical music she has created a unique space for her globally-influenced vocal style. This is evident in her role as lead singer/composer of the neo-soul quartet Lace and a member of the Bangalore fusion quartet Chandbibi and the Waste Candidates. Between these projects and her work with NMND, she has performed in venues across Los Angeles, India and parts of South Asia. Mana has also performed with the experimental opera company The Industry, which has been lauded by the Los Angeles Times as “an essential component of American Opera,” in their production of Sweetland.