She was bullied, struggled with weight, and even tried to commit suicide. Today, Karina Mendez is helping others overcome the impossible by providing sound healing music. "'O,Ha Na,’ focuses on frequencies of the heart chakra. When your heart chakra is open, your aura is ten times stronger. People will gravitate toward you. I want people to open up more and to be more vulnerable to emotion.”~ Karina Mendez
"I wrote 'O, Ha Na,’ while I was in school. This song is so close to my heart. It’s like my favorite song that I have ever written. When I wrote 'O, Ha Na,’ I felt alone. Family isn't always there for you and you never know who your friends are. While writing this song, I found my own home within myself.”
During morning car rides to school, Karina and her father would jam out to Colbie Caillat, Norah Jones, Linkin Park, and Corinne Bailey Rae. As a 6 year old with newly divorced parents, Karina had found a way of expressing her emotions, explaining; "My parents were divorced and I didn’t understand it. It was all really confusing to me. My dad and I would harmonize to every cd, one after another. This was my way of letting out those emotions. Singing in the car with my dad is when I first fell in love with music”.
During the eighth grade, Karina’s life would begin to take a turn. This was a turn that no parent is ever prepared for. Mendez was a freshman who began dating a sophomore. This pissed off the other sophomore girls who fought back by bullying her online. The bullying led to depression and suicidal tendencies. Years later, Karina sent pictures to a guy she liked which became contagious as they traveled from phone to phone. She was devastated. She had no clue how to handle this situation than to rebel. She had never felt so alone, as though no one could be trusted and the world was against her. Mendez continued; "Things were happening that I couldn't control. I felt like it was the end of the world. I was in a position where I had to surrender to what was happening to me”. Adding to her stress, she had now gained over 60 pounds. This was one of the lowest times in her life. Mendez longed to end her troubles and attempted to do so by swallowing a bottle of pills.
"I was admitted into the hospital 3 different times. I became mentally aware of how I was feeling, including spiritual awareness. People didn't know the true story, but had lots to say about me. I hope I can be a role model for others going through the same thing. Every time I was in the hospital I would think to myself, Why am I even trying? My parents didn't know how to handle all of my emotions. What parent expects this to happen to their own child? It was a music therapist [gods angel] who changed my entire mindset.”
While in treatment, Karina continued to express her emotions through music, by singing to herself. "In this class, they just needed a singer for this track. I was picked by my class to sing this song. I didn’t want to, but I did, and it was fun.” Karina continued; "I was happy! When it was over, my music therapist came to me and said; Your voice is a God's gift. You need to get out of here and do something with that. The words that she said had to be embedded with a miracle. I had a total mindset change. When I went home, I stuck to myself. I was improving and had no contact with the outside world for 6 months. That could be hard for some, but I used that time to sing. Doors opened because I decided that I wanted to be happy, I wanted to be here! I’m glad this happened to me; I am a different person now and I want people to learn from what I went through”.
With a new mindset full of determination, Karina auditioned for plays and joined an all state choir. She was taking her music therapist’s words and putting them into action. She signed up for Berklee summer camp in 2016 describing this as; "The best time of my life”. Soon, all of her dreams came true with an acceptance letter into, Berklee College of Music! She lost all of her weight yet gained all the happiness in the world. Mendez had a whole new mentality and she was ready to face the world.
"In college, I started my spiritual awakening and began meditating more. I wrote in a notebook everyday for a year. I wrote things like, I am powerful and I am beautiful. I started to manifest these things and thought, What if I can heal people through music. I found all of these articles about sound healing. For example; Music is a perception and has 2 segments, pitch and volume. From there, it then moves through the amygdala, which creates an emotional reaction. Since Metal music is very dense and has a fast tempo, it immediately lights up the brain with a lot of activity. Because of the brain working extra hard to listen and perceive the music, it’s difficult to become stressed or angry because there is no energy for it. Since the song itself sounds angry and stressful, the brain already has those areas lit up which essentially is the outlet to those emotions people are feeling, therefore a form of therapy, if you will. Classical music heightens your emotional intelligence.”
Karina described Berklee as; "An awesome experience”. After an audition for Gil Smith she was over the moon. Mendez confesses; "It could have been anyone in the music field. I didn't get anywhere from that, but it was still a cool experience. I met the most amazing friends at Berklee. These are friends that I will never let go of. I didn't know that friends existed like that. Sounds so cliche, but they are the most supportive, sweet, and humble people I have met. College was a very memorable time in my life”.
Karina continued to gig all over Boston and Ny. She did her own marketing and had the chance to be creative. She utilized LinkedIn as another way of marketing her musical skills while writing and producing her next song entitled, “I Swear”.
"'I Swear,' is dedicated to my friend who had passed the year I wrote this song. He was always a consistent friend. He was my first everything...kiss, friend, boyfriend, etc. He was the first and only person that completely supported me throughout my life. I wanted this song to be about him. This song really resonated with me because Gareth Tong, who wrote half of this song, wrote it about a rapper who committed suicide and not coming back. Instead, I changed the story and based it on my suicide attempt and how I came back better than ever with the lyrics, 'you gonna see my face again, and it won't be the same’. I wanted to add a part of the song referring to my friend, so I sang about the M effect. I wanted him to come back, like how Nelson Mandela died in 2002, and then somehow came back and died again in 2012. I wished the same for my friend.”
Mendez has recently signed with IAM Versatile Records, and is excited to release three more songs by September. Her goal is to have twelve full songs out by next year. Make sure to follow Karina Mendez to endure inspirational tunes with a side of sound healing. Until Next Time...Stay Golden Team!
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Karina’s Goals and Inspirations:
"My dream is to perform at Madison Square Garden, and all big arenas in the world. Madison Square Garden, would make me feel like I have made it!”
"I really want to do a song with Jhené Aiko, who does sound healing. I would also love to sing with Ariana Grande. If I could sing with Colbie Caillat, that would be such a 360 moment for me. That's what I want to happen next. For now, just getting my music out there to be heard and seen.”
"My next release date is TBA. I am aiming for early July, but I’m still in the process of recording. I recently signed to IAM Versatile Records, and sadly I don't have a manager, so I am juggling a lot. I am on the hunt for one though, in the meantime it's all about the hustle! This summer, I have 3 more classes, an internship to do, and working 4-5 days as a waitress, but it's all gonna happen! I would like to have everything recorded by the summer.”
"Since 2011 when the Justin Bieber movie came out, I have wanted to be managed by Scooter Braun. I feel an instant connection with him. I want to work alongside other artists he has managed. They radiate such positive energy after all they have been through. I feel like I have been through alot, so I can relate.”
Fun Facts With Karina
"I played volleyball for 6 years, and was on a club team for it! I am also a blackbelt in KungFu."
"I saw my Berklee acceptance letter by waking up at 3am. My mom walked in the door at the same time. It was like a movie. It was so emotional and I knew at the time that it'll be nothing but up from that point on."
"I sang in every type of gig that I could, from choir to plays and gigs. I took guitar class at the age of 13 but hanging with friends was more important back then. I still know some chords but singing is my niche.”
"Keep on writing and keep on being positive. There will be times when you feel like it's never gonna happen but if you believe and manifest it, it will happen.”
"If you are thinking of committing, you will feel like the end of the world at the time but trust me, you have so much to live for. You have a whole life ahead of you. There are people here to support you.”
"There was someone I was in the hospital with. She committed 5 months after she got out. This was right before I was supposed to reconnect with her. You have no idea what others are going through. She had such a bright future ahead of her. Keep on pushing through. Hold your head high, you are going through things for a reason. You are able to get over these obstacles. God won't give you what you can't handle. He gives his strongest soldiers the hardest tasks.”
If you or someone you know may be struggling, seek help today. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ - 1-800-273-8255
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