My Story

One day a couple years ago, I woke up and wished I was a different person. I wished I was reckless enough to follow my dreams. I wished my existence had a special purpose, and that I would have a reason to wake up every morning. I wished I was all the things that I wasn’t.

So I created that person. I heard a psychologist named Jordan Peterson give a lecture about the movie Pinocchio, and in it he talked about something called a mandala. He said the mandala had a deep meaning and represented many things, including the universe and the “self”, It didn’t matter to me so much what it represented, what mattered to me is that it had meaning. I thought “Gee, wouldn’t it be great if my life had meaning to it, just like a mandala.” 

So I started calling myself “Mandala”, and acting as if my life had meaning. Then things got really crazy. 

I started feeling bold enough to pursue my desire to be a rapper. It felt like my shell was peeling off and I was finally becoming my real self, just like how Pinocchio transformed from a wooden boy into a real one.

So Mandala is me. What I represent is the ability to transform your life, from something that lacks meaning to one that is a constant journey of discovering your true self. 

Shots from the ROXY Theater on 10/28

Mandala Promo Video

New Single "Confessions" Out Now

Debut Album American Pope Out Now

American Pope


After trading in his dancing cane for a staff, Mandala has pompously declared himself the pope of America. He comes out guns a blazing in the first track, announcing his presence and seeking to light a fire within “his people”. This album is an answer to Mandala’s prophetic call, and he dedicates it to Mother Mary, whom he credits with helping him when he was “lying dead in the dirt”. Get strapped in before listening to this Magisterial masterpiece, complete with club bangers and heartfelt, vulnerable lyrics. It’s just a matter of time before Mandala’s name is more well-known.

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About Mandala

A Hip-Hop artist born in Joliet, Illinois, Mandala first gained confidence as a rapper when he performed as the Joker in a rap battle. The crowd loved his dark and horrorcore style he used to attack his opponent.

Since then, Mandala's lyrics have evolved to become more hopeful and concentrated on religious themes. He has been compared to rapper NF for his religious content, Danny Brown for his vocal quality, and Eminem for his lyrical style.

Mandala embraces the notion of showing your “complete self” through music, including those parts of yourself that may be judged as sinful or unholy. Mandala is happy to display his “woundedness” in his songs, as he believes that being vulnerable is the role of the artist in society.

Mandala hopes to use music as a means for self-discovery. He tells his life story through his music, and he considers it a blessing if others are able to relate to him. Currently, Mandala is preparing to release his debut album and performing at live venues in his area.

Listen to American Pope on youtube

Listen on Spotify

Mandala - You Should Be Dancin' (feat. Mia Bertino)

Release date: 4/30/2021

This brother and sister duo teamed up previously on the song "Blind Love", which was featured on Mandala's Chronicles of a Blind Man EP. They now seek to eclipse the popularity of that track, and give listeners something they will want to dance to.

 Click to listen:

Echo Down (feat. Arbor Road)

No Idols (feat. Armani Devon)

Chronicles of a Blind Man EP

Chronicles of a Blind Man EP


After spending years in darkness and having an infatuation with the Joker villain, Mandala has stumbled into the light and needs time for his eyes to adjust. His vision is poor and he has trouble seeing reality for what it is. The first place he looks is his own body, asking “what is this?” in the intro track. The entire EP is a raw, unfiltered look at Dominic Bertino AKA Mandala, who writes a lot about evil in the modern world, but also has an assurance, as expressed in his last words on the EP, that “in the end it will be all okay”.

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Temptations Music video out now!