Cynthia Manley Biography
A petite and powerful performer that can steal your heart in a moment and then melt you with her passion in the next. She can send shivers up your spine, causing what Quincy Jones aptly described as “truth marks,” singing stories as though she were talking to only you. She sings in the “blue eyed soul” tradition, and lists Janis Joplin, Aretha Franklin, James Brown, and Tina Turner amongst her heroes. She has been singing along with their records since she was a child on her parent’s coffee table.
Her performance record in America is hard to match. She has performed in every major city many times over as well as being invited to small town venues and lounges. Whether singing for a small number of music lovers or thousands of cheering fans, she gives 100% of herself when performing.
She was one of 10 artists asked to perform at the International New Music Seminar, in New York City and was named one of the Top 20 Artists of the Year, in Billboard magazine.
She has toured the globe several times. Her tours have brought her to Germany, Spain, Ireland, Italy, England, France, South America, Japa, Switzerland, and China, Oman and Brazil.
In a role that was particularly close to her heart, she was asked to portray Janis Joplin in “Janis” The one-woman show had a successful run and gave her vital theatrical training. Although she loved the experience, the role didn’t allow for anything else in her life, and she knew she wanted more.
When asked about career highlights Cynthia says she is “the most proud of her military tours.” She has taken bands into Iraq, Bosnia, Baghdad, Kosovo, Korea, and many other places of danger for our troops. They often had to wear flack jackets and bulletproof vests in 130* heat or perform in the freezing cold. On one base, only 23 soldiers were allowed to come to her performance because they were under alert. She slow danced with each soldier, one by one, while her keyboardist sang. By giving them each a special moment of peace, it brought tears to our brave men's faces as well hers. This is but one example of her connection with her audiences.
In addition to performing, she has had 3 of her compositions included in major movies. She has co-written and produced 4 original CDs, as well as an instructional package for up and coming singer/musicians. Her work has also included dozens of national commercials for both radio and television. And as a backing vocalist she can be heard on dozens of internationally recognized Blues recordings.
In April 2009 while touring Switzerland, she met international producer and D.J. Jamie Lewis. The two had an instant connection and soon began working on their first project together. In April 2010 they released their original composition “GIVE” on Jamie’s Swiss label, Purple Music. The record received critical radio and club exposure and sold well, topping several dance music charts in various countries. With Jamie doing the music and Cynthia composing the melody and lyric, the duo have become a creative musical force.
In June 2011, they put out their second release, “SUNSHINE HOTEL.” By now their vision was clearer and stronger. Cynthia recorded her master vocal tracks in Los Angeles. As part of the Los Angeles music community she was able to bring in top-notch background singers. Ruben ‘Swift’ Vidal directed the video. The disc featured American re-mixers and producers doing their interpretation, as well as the Australian team “PnP.” The accompanying video was placed on 12 in-store video play streams, such as Banana Republic and Hard Rock Café. Cynthia did satellite interviews from Africa and Brazil, to NYC and Hollywood in a promotional effort. With its success she had reminded the Dance music world that she was alive and well!
2012 was a busy year for Cynthia. She continued touring and composing as well as working with her L.A. based, old-skool R&B band. While catching up with old friends some suggested, “you should write this stuff down,” and so she did. She put it in a “how to” platform and basically told her story of maintaining a successful life, in Los Angeles, without being on television. The package entitled “YOU WANT TO BE A ROCKSTAR” continues to sell. It covers everything from running and promoting a band to marketing yourself in social media. Tips on make up, wardrobe, and walking techniques, are accompanied with visual aids. Also included is a short vocal coaching session, with exercises to strengthen and control your vocal chords.
In 2013, she recorded an updated version of “CAN’T TAKE MY EYES OFF OF YOU.” The recording was produced D.J., Paul Goodyear. She took the project on by herself with the help of some very talented friends. Glenn Rivera directed the video for the song, shot on a green screen, which was a first for Cynthia. The song received chart exposure and filled dance floors across the globe. She mastered 12 various mixes onto a compact disc, which allowed D.J.’s to do their own edits.
2014 began with a bang as Cynthia hit the road with her “Cruisin’ The Streets” tour. She enjoyed the stages of several gay pride events and was even asked to be the Grand Marshall for the Wilton Manor's parade. On August 22nd Cynthia and producer Jamie Lewis released their latest #-1 record, “ SAVE THE WORLD.” She celebrated disco's 40th birthday throughout the year and her chapter in it, as heralded by the very successful book, “ First Ladies Of Disco.” In December Cynthia ended a great year by releasing her long awaited “GREATEST HITS” compact disc. Of the 12 tracks, included are four of her internationally charted dance hits. Her signature medley of “Remember Me/Ain't No Mountain High Enough” is there in remixed form as well as the adult-rated gay anthem “Cruisin' The Streets.” It also includes “Back In My Arms Again” (making it's compact disc premier) as well as tracks that she recorded in Italy plus three previously unreleased songs. Of those unreleased tracks is a scorching hi-energy version of “Turn The Beat Around” produced by Kevin O'Connor. This song as Cynthia puts it “was my most technically challenging vocal recording ever.” With six pages of Cynthia's own recollections and pictures from across the decades, it is sure to charm and satisfy.
Now 2015 is in full bloom. So far Cynthia has lent her time, energy and talent to several fund raising events. Giving back to her community is a priority. Whether it's delivering food to the hungry through Project Angel Food, (a charity she has been involved with since 1990), or helping to raise funds for programs that empower teens against bullying, intolerance and discrimination. Cynthia can be found in the trenches doing her part to help. Her most recent humanitarian effort was lending her talent to noted producer Clifford Bell's project against suicide. “ We Care” (song and video) features Cynthia along with the cream of the crop of L.A. session singers and vocalists united in this worthy project.
On February 14th, Valentines Day, Cynthia brought the love to San Francisco. Her appearance at international DJ/Producer Paul Goodyear's Where Love Lives” event was a magical evening for those lucky to attend. The venue, Beatbox, was transported back over 30 years of hits as Cynthia rattled the rafters with her high energy show.
There is never a shortage of producers wanting to work with Cynthia, as her voice tells stories with such passion and conviction, but after releasing two records in 2014, she plans to roll slower into the next adventure. She discussed a project with fellow legends Carol Jiani and Claudja Barry, however the logistics made it better put on a slow burner.
Family and friendships were all needing nurturing, which lead to composing and producing 3 records to submit for tv and/or movies. Nothing like drama to inspire ! Performances, travel, home, and creativity kept Cynthia busy through the rest of the year.
2016 started off with talks about the “La-La Peace Project,” and Cynthia's participation with this “victims of violence” charitable project. This production is still in motion, including talents like Jessica Williams, Scherrie Payne, the incredible Vincents, and many more.
From there, in March, Cynthia recorded 2 records for Grupo Discolocos for their upcoming documentary entitled “DISCOLOCOS.” It is an pleasure to be part of this event, honoring the music that has done so much for my life. Jamie Lewis is writing a new track for her to sing and write a story. It will go out on Jamie's, Purple Music Records, Switzerland, probably early 2017. This is always a fun collaboration.
Suffice it to say, Ms. Manley is excited about all this. She has an optimistic attitude that keeps her working and creating. One thing is for sure, she won't stop singing, performing and creating new product until her “ ashes are thrown to the wind.”
She has always tremendously loved working with her old skool R&B band, so she plans to put a lot of energy into creating more venues with which to share this experience. Visit her “Cynthia Manley Band ” page on this website to read their story and see pictures.
Because Cynthia LOVES to perform, she and Annie Bertucci (www.anniebertucci.com) have created a duo to do local gigs that can't afford the trio, or want a more structured show. As of May, 2016, they have done 3 parties and are having a blast. They plan to work cruises, hotels, casinos, and any gig that "puts them on the road". They are “SUGAR AND SPICE,” and they are FUN ! Full into the electronic world, they can perform literally 100s of songs, according to audience. “Let them lead the way.” These talented women enjoy working together and have delicious harmonies woven throughout their performances. Their voices are their instruments and they are 'jammin' ....... and funny, too ! Stay tuned, as you never know what she'll come up with next!