Not everyone can make the model-to-artist transition: many is the brave face to have attempted it and long is the list of those who’ve failed. Still, have no fears about MAAD. Although she’s graced the covers of the industry’s greatest publications and worked with some killer brands, music’s always been her first love. That’s obvious enough when you plug into freshly dropped track “Black Ice”, whose dark visuals crackle with a hypnotic energy – not to mention the killer voice that’s a prerequisite for any burgeoning diva.
With a sound that’s a little bit throw-back funk’n’soul and a little bit contemporary r’n’b, MAAD will be releasing her debut EP, “Lé Funk“, next month. On top of working on the record, MAAD’s also found time to collaborate with A$AP Ferg, hit the decks as a DJ, and put together a playlist exclusively for us. Encompassing everything from well-known Pharell and Miguel, to obscure gems from fresh up and comers, it’s the perfect selection to kick the week off. Listen up and read on as we chat personal style, the upcoming record, and the meaning of success.
Tell us how you got into making music – what’s your story till now?
I got into making music around the time I graduated high school. It all started with me songwriting with a partner of mine at the time. We would buy hip hop instrumental CDs that had beats from Nas, Jay Z, The Neptunes and wrote original records to them. As time went on I started connecting with producers and really got to experience what it was like to create records from scratch.
I remember a time I would reach out to producers/songwriters on MySpace that I’d see in the credits of my favourite albums and would end up meeting with them to work. Fast forward to now I work with a production team named TheVamp, I absolutely love collaborating with them, not only because we’re all friends but we really get each other musically. Up until now, it took me some time to really understand who I was as an artist and what sound I wanted to push out. Now I feel super confident with who I’ve become and where I’m at with the new music and I’m excited for people to hear it.
Where does the name MAAD come from – a self description?
MAAD is just a play on words, I’m mad for music, fashion & creating.
Describe your sound/vision in a few words?
Groovy, Flirtatious, Sensual, Playful and Honest.
And you’ve been fearlessly self-promoting up to this point haven’t you? Was that independence important to you?
Being an independent artist is such a blessing. I’m able to release music and content when I want to. I’m grateful that I’ve been able to fully fund everything that I’ve put out with modelling and DJing. Being able to connect with my audience means so much to me.
What can we expect from the upcoming EP?
With this “Lé Funk” you can expect some fresh, retro vibes. I’ve always been inspired by the 70s & 80s and wanted to make a project that embodied that feeling. Those eras seemed like they had such a sense of liberation with what they created & their personal style. I feel like once I started making music that I really loved it all started to click and make sense for me. Realising my value as an artist,coming into my own & feeling confident with what I released made everything that much easier.
You’ve definitely got a strong personal aesthetic; where does that come from?
It definitely comes from my parents, they’re so chic! My mother is a stylist and it’s all her fault that I’m obsessed with fashion. She would always take me to her photoshoots and backstage to fashion shows and I really got to dive in to that scene. I remember the first time she took me shopping, I want to say I was 5 years old and had me pick out my own outfit.. that was the day she created a clothing monster.
You both DJ and record your own music? Which do you prefer doing and why?
I love them both! Recording music comes first for me though, I’ve always loved songwriting and performing! I initially got into DJing about two years ago to spin my own records at my sets but as time went on DJjing took on a life of its own and opened me up to work/collab with some dope brands. I feel they go hand and hand, same with modelling.
Who are your big musical influences?
I love Diana Ross, she is just so effortlessly chic. Her style, her stage presence, I truly admire her and her longevity as an artist. Pharrell, Nile Rogers, Tina Turner & Michael Jackson are also some of my favourites.
What makes you motivated to create music and what would you like to see more of in the music industry right now?
I love to inspire and I think creating music makes others happy. Every time someone sends me a message or post about something I’ve released its just another reason to keep going. Music really is an escape for a lot of people. I’d love to hear more indie artists on the radio, there’s so much great music in the world & people need to hear it. I love that fact that streaming services exist as it gives more opportunities for new artists to be discovered.
Lastly…what is success to you? Platinum records or something more personal?
Success to me is being able to help those around me and to make the lives of those I work with better in any way I can. It’s also about inspiring as many people as possible through my music and it would be amazing to constantly grow my audience in order to do this. Obviously platinum records would be a great too!