They’re Mandala, They Make Music

Carolyn Martin, Assistant Arts and Entertainment Editor

In late August while most Central Connecticut students were preparing for a new semester, Abe Azab was gearing up for his debut EP with his band Mandala.

Mandala was formed while the members were in high school, and they have kept at it since. As for how they chose the name “Mandala,” it has a charming story attached to it.

“There was a dentistry office and the name of the office was ‘Mandava,’ but it sounded like ‘Mandala’ so I was like ‘what do you guys think about the name ‘Mandala?” Azab said. 

While things are going well for the band now, things have not always been easy for Azab. Azab was homeless during the beginning of the band. It was then he lived with Morgan Fasanelli (vocals) and they were able to hone in on their sound.

There’s an unmatched resilience in this band, and it comes up in Azab’s daily life. Being in a band is a lot of work, but being a college student at the same time is difficult.

“It’s tough because I also work. You can imagine my week is consisting of class, work, remembering to make food, things like that and then all weekend is playing shows and touring,” Azab said. “We just went to Massachusetts this weekend. The weekend before that we were in Vermont. The weekend before that we were in New York. Sometimes we hit multiple places during one weekend span, we’re almost like a weekend warrior band right now.”

But all the hours spent on this band are worth it.

“It’s tough, but it’s rewarding because we love to do it,” Azab said.

Mandala was also lucky enough to get to track some vocals at Sliver Bullet Studios with producer Chris Teti near the end of last year. 

“It was really cool working with Chris because it was the first time that we’ve been in a real studio setting,” Azab said. “He really helped us to make the record very tight, very clean. He coached us to get through those rough spots that you get in the studio. Overall some of the best recordings we’ve had.”

Their newest release “Damsel in Defense,” the six track EP has already proved to do well in it’s early stages.

“We landed on a Spotify playlist right off the bat that had like 30,000 followers,” Azab said. “‘Bowery and Bleaker’ [the opening track] in a month’s time now, should be around 8,000 [listens]. I think overall we hit 10,000 [listens] the first three weeks on Spotify alone.”

 As for the rest of this year, Mandala is going full speed ahead. 

“There will definitely be a music video coming out for one of the songs off of our EP. There definitely will be a longer tour if not a national tour coming, which will be a first for us. New merchandise of course. Possibly a brand new single that will be coming out through a distribution service that will be specified later. And also there may or may not be an album coming out. I can’t totally disclose that yet, but there’s definitely a lot of new music that’s been written,” Azab said.

If you haven’t started listening to Mandala yet, now is the time to. But at the end of the day, they aren’t flashy rockstars, and if a reader should take anything away from this it’s this simple phrase.

“We’re Mandala. A band from Connecticut. We make music,” Azab said.

You can find all of Mandala’s music on all streaming services and at