Lindsay Mendez
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Lindsay Mendez

New Orleans, Louisiana, United States | INDIE

New Orleans, Louisiana, United States | INDIE
Band Pop Cover Band

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Think back to when you were fourteen years old, back to a time when waking up for school was the hardest part of your weekday and weekends were reserved for slumber parties, watching football games with your dad, and playing softball during the spring. Now imagine living that life while also building performing at festivals, live on television, and meeting music legends backstage. This is life of Marrero native Lindsay Mendez.
When she’s not a normal girl walking the halls of Stella Worley Middle School, Lindsay spends her evenings working with her band, which she acquired just one year ago.
“Lindsay opened a show for Vince Vance, and there was another band that followed her,” Willie Mendez, father of Lindsay and her manager, said. “The guitarist came up to us after the show and said he would love to work with us, and that’s how it started.”
Now singing classic hits spanning nearly 40 years of music history with a full band, Lindsay’s singing career began in the most humble way. As a child, Lindsay’s favorite family memories were spent in her grandfather’s garage, where he had a studio set up.
“Music is a big part of my family,” Lindsay said. “I love singing, and I like doing it for the thrill. It’s really exhilarating to have people clapping before you even start the show.
“The first time I went on stage, my heart was racing,” she added. “I couldn’t feel anything below my neck.”
That first show was nearly five years ago when Lindsay was just eight years old, which was when she joined Louisiana Kids, a non-profit organization that helps promote primary age musicians in Louisiana by helping to book shows so the young performers have the time on stage needed to gain a greater comfort in front of a crowd and improve the overall aesthetic of their performance.
“Louisiana Kids will call and ask if you would like to perform at a venue, and it can be anything from a show for teenagers to a retirement home,” Lindsay explained. “My first show with Louisiana Kids was at a playground for a ‘Night Out Against Crime,’ event.”
Now in her fifth year with the program, Lindsay is an old pro and enjoys helping the newer, less experienced performers get over their pre-show jitters.
“When you go to these shows and there are six and seven year old kids shaking ‘cause they don’t know what to do, I just tell them it’s going to be okay, and that it will work out fine,” she said. “There were these twins who looked up to me, and they were really sweet. They would draw pictures of us together, and that was really nice.”
Louisiana Kids promotes teens through their senior year in high school. Both Lindsay and her father expressed their gratitude to Louisiana Kids. Lindsay said she will continue with the program through the entirety of her musical career. However, since acquiring her own band, Lindsay has begun to branch out and books her own shows without the assistance of Louisiana Kids.
“We never ask to be a part of something, we just wait for a phone call and decide if it’s a show she can do or not,” Willie said about booking shows independently from Louisiana Kids. “We don’t hang around the stage and ask other bands to let her open for them. We wait to get invited.”
If the invitations were on actual paper, she would have an entire sack to sort through. Performing with local legends such as Vince Vance, live on television for WWL-TV’s morning show, the National Anthem for the Zephyrs and the Hornets, and at the Liberty Bowl in Memphis, TN. are just a few of the great events she’s had the pleasure of performing.
Of all her self-booked shows, Lindsay said performing with Irma Thomas at the Audubon Zoo for a Mother’s Day concert was by far the most thrilling experience. Where the average thirteen-year-old girl might not even know Irma Thomas, Lindsay said she’s a big fan of her music, and now that she’s had a chance to meet her, she also admires her off-stage personality.
“She’s a wonderful woman,” Lindsay said when discussing meeting Irma Thomas at the Audubon Zoo performance. “When you meet her, you would swear she wasn’t famous, because she’s so nice and easy to talk to. I have great respect for artists who carry themselves the same way onstage as they do offstage, and that’s exactly the way she is. She doesn’t change when she gets off the stage.”
As for her future, Lindsay hopes to eventually write her own songs. For now, her biggest dream stays close to home. She wants nothing more than to perform the National Anthem at the Superdome.
“Me and my dad watch the Saints every Sunday that they play a game,” Lindsay said. “Singing for the Saints is something very New Orleans that I want to do, and it’s the last frontier for me.”
For Willie, his hopes for his daughter’s future are not that of a manager, but rather, it’s more reflective of what any dad would say.
“I want her to be a lawyer and have this as something she can do on the weekends for fun,” Willie said. “I think it’s a healthy thing for her to - Where Y'at Magazine April 2009




Marrero performer Lindsay Mendez knows success doesn't come easy. She's been singing for years, often spending her weekends going from gig to gig, not caring how large or small the audience was, as long as she had the chance to perform, and finally, it's all starting to pay off.
She may well look back on this as her breakout year -- the year things started to happen the way she always wanted them to, the way she always dreamed. She'll remember it as the year she won awards and garnered the attention of the media, the year when her peers started to take notice and the year that bigger, better-known acts were willing to share the stage with her.
That's not bad for a 13-year-old student at Stella Worley Middle School.
Lindsay cannot remember a time when she didn't enjoy singing or remember a day that wasn't imbued with music. It's a dominant gene -- her father was a music major in college and her grandfather had a studio in his garage for family jam sessions. Singing came as naturally as breathing.
She got on stage in front of strangers for the first time when she was 8 years old, after she and a cousin decided to enter a Radio Disney contest at the local mall. She remembered winning a runner-up trophy for their duet, but even more so, she remembers the way she felt as she walked onto the stage and started singing. By the time the last notes of the song gave way to the audience's applause, she was hooked. She knew she wanted to keep performing.
Her parents, Willie and Melissa Mendez, were encouraging but cautious. Her dad knew enough of the local music scene to get her started, but he wanted to be careful about where she performed and what she was exposed to.
Lindsay joined Louisiana Kids, which bills itself as "Little League for young performers," and her dad credits the organization with opening doors for Lindsay, giving her opportunities to perform in low-key environments and to meet other young performers. Lindsay agrees, and says that the group is "like a big family" that is always willing to help each other.


In the five years since she stepped on stage for the first time, Lindsay has performed in many local venues. She has sung the national anthem for numerous teams, including the Zephyrs, the Hornets and at the Liberty Bowl in Memphis, Tenn.
In 2007, local music legend Vince Vance heard her perform at a family karaoke night and invited her to sit in with his band, Vince Vance and the Valiants. When the lead singer for one of their signature songs, "All I Want for Christmas is You," was out sick, he brought Lindsay up on stage to sing in her place. Twelve years old at the time, she nailed it, hitting every high note and getting the audience out of its seats and onto the dance floor.
One thing led to another, and soon she was sitting in with Irma Thomas, Bobby Cure and the Summertime Blues and other local bands. She has performed as close to home as the Audubon Zoo, and as far away as Branson, Mo. Appearing on WWL-TV's morning show was a high point, although she says that it was very hard to be cheerful and outgoing that early in the morning.
Last November, a local band saw her perform and approached her father about joining forces. Mendez knew that Lindsay needed her own musicians if she was going to break into the local festival circuit, so the Wildcard Band was formed.
The 2008 Louisiana Kids State Competition was held in May, and Lindsay scored win after win, earning the Outstanding Entertainer Award, the Kid's Choice Award and the Cypress Fest Scholarship Award. She shared the title of Overall Grand Champion Group Winner and had three "gold with honor" performances.
She has a slew of upcoming performances scheduled, including a return trip to Branson, and is scheduled to be a guest on WLAE's "Greater New Orleans" program in August. Lindsay is excited about the chances she's had so far, and wants to take it further.
"I want to sing professionally," she said. "I want to make it big."
Her father is less enamored with the idea of her becoming a professional performer. "I'd really like her to be a lawyer who sings on the weekend," he said.
Her parents say they have worked hard to balance performing with the more routine aspects of life. Although her schedule has become too crowded for Lindsay to join her friends on the softball diamond this year, she keeps up with her class work at Stella Worley and enjoys hanging out with her friends at every opportunity.
Success shows no signs of going to her head. She is polite and quick to credit those around her for their help and support.
"You couldn't ask for a better family than mine, and my school is amazing," she said. "My teachers are so supportive, and the other kids are great. They don't treat me any differently. They really don't care about whether I performed that weekend or not. They're just my friends."
She has to think hard to come up with a drawback to performing, finally allowing that it can be tiring to run - Times Picayune - New Orleans


If the title of Lindsay Mendez’s CD, Christmas All Year Long, sounds appealing, then this is the LOCAL CHRISTMAS ALBUM OF THE YEAR FOR YOU. Mendez opens the CD with the local classic swamp-pop holiday favorite, “Louisiana Christmas Day”, and carries the old standard Christmas songs like “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and “Rocking Around the Christmas Tree”. Mendez has a vibrant voice and definite potential for the pop charts with much enthusiasm like a little child for Christmas. – Jordan Shay

Available at Louisiana Music Factory, LA Cajun Stuff and Online at CDBaby.com, iTunes.com, Napster.com and Walmartmusic.com
- Where Y'at Magazine December 2009


Discography

Discography
Music From The Heart (2007)
LNM Productions

Track 1: One Last Cry
Track 2: At Last
Track 3: Rockin' Robin
Track 4: Sunday Kind of Love
Track 5: L-O-V-E
Track 6: Where the Boys Are
Track 7: Jambalaya
Track 8: That's What Love is All About
Track 9: Orange Colored Sky
Track 10: Band of Gold
Track 11: You Don't Have to Say You Love Me
Track 12: It's Raining (Live)
Track 13: Don't Mess With My Man (Live)
Track 14: Breakaway (Live)
Track 15: Done Got Over (Live)

Christmas All Year Long (2008) LNM Productions

Track 1: Louisiana Christmas Day
Track 2: Hard Candy Christmas
Track 3: My Only Wish This Year
Track 4: Rocking Around The Christmas Tree
Track 5: My Grown Up Christmas List
Track 6: Put A Little Holiday in Your Heart
Track 7: All I Want For Christmas Is You
Track 8: Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

It Hurt So Bad (single) (2008) LNM Productions

Track 1: It hurt So Bad

Reaching Out (2009) Rabadash Records

1) A Girl Can Get Hurt This Way
2) I'll Always Love You
3) I Think We Got Something Baby
4) Reaching Out
5) Blues Blvd
6) It Hurt So Bad
7) When You Smile At Me
8) Good For Nothin'
9) Something Just Ain't Right
10) I Believe in You
11) South Louisiana

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Bio

Recently signed by RABADASH RECORDS in New Orleans, Lindsay became the youngest artist (13) to ever sign with the Label. Lindsay has a very impressive resume' at such a young age. Her National Anthem performances has landed her in the Liberty Bowl in Memphis, TN., the New Orleans Hornets NBA Team, The New Orleans Zephyrs AAA MLB Team, and every Major college in South Louisiana, as well as private functions throughout the Southeastern United States. She has performed with such local bands as Irma Thomas and the Professionals, Vince Vance and the Valiants, Bobby Cure and the Summertime Blues, The Wise Guys, Big Daddy O, Waylon Thibodeaux, and many others. She was voted the 2009 "Local Entertainer To Watch" by Where Y'at Magazine in New Orleans. Her Christmas CD, which was self produced, was named the "Local Christmas CD of the Year" by the magazine as well. She has performed all over the south and on Carnival Cruise Ships out of New Orleans and Galveston. Lindsay's last year has consisted of 4 local television appearances, 3 radio interviews, several newspaper articles, and a 30 minute local TV Show documentary on her and her band. This past year, she was named an “Ambassador of Louisiana”, and represented her great State in Minnesota, and Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada. She is constantly recognized as New Orleans' Hottest young Entertainer, performing at fairs, festivals, and city sponsored events. Lindsay also takes time every July to perform several shows in Branson, MO. She has also represented her home State of Louisiana for Fairs and Festivals all over the US and in Canada. Lindsay electrifies the crowd with her spirit and stage presence. Lindsay has also recently performed the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. Her first CD with Rabadash Records, titled “Reaching Out” is now available.