Here at Beyond The Stage, we had the awesome opportunity to talk with California born-and-raised singer-songwriter, Madeleine Mayi ahead of the release of her album, 2/14, which debuted today! See below to find out more about the album, her journey in music and more!
Beyond The Stage: How did your musical journey begin?
Madeleine Mayi: My musical journey began in choir at age 4 or 5 in choir! I fell in love with singing at a young age and honestly I think my parents needed me to get it out somewhere else besides the house lol. So I did choir for a while, and then that led me to starting a duo band in high school and then to USC for music.
BTS: How would you describe your sound to someone who hasn’t heard it before?
MM: A little haunting. Melodies and lyrics that are melded together inseparably. Whispery but strong.
BTS: Who are some of your influences, musical or non-musical?
MM: See I love this question. I have so many artistic inspirations that are not musical. Mark Rothko is probably one of the biggest inspirations to the theory behind my project. Give people enough but not too much. Musically, Prince is probably my biggest inspiration all around. He was a genius and is an angel now.
BTS: What was the writing process like for your latest project, 2/14?
MM: It was pretty spread out! A few of the songs came before my idea for the album, and so once I had the idea for the story, I filled in the gaps. It was emotional for sure, since it was in line with actual grief that was going on for me. There’s so many layers to it too.
BTS: Did you intentionally decide to name the album its release date or did it come about a different way?
MM: Yes, I did! All of it has been super intentional. In a way the album was inspired by my Valentine’s Day in 2019, so I knew it had to be consistent with that and it just seemed right to follow the theme fully. One thing I was very aware of though, was to not make it visually look like a predictable Valentine’s Day… I didn’t want it to be lovey dovey or mushy in any way, because that would distract from the actual point. So there’s hints of that, but it’s mixed with darkness and a lot of contrast.
BTS: Do you have a favorite track from the album? If so, which and why?
MM: It’s always changing, but right now my favorite is “here”. It’s the last track and it is supposed to be a message from the person who is gone letting you know they will always be there for you.
BTS: What are you most excited about when it’s safe to tour again?
MM: I was about to play my first festival ever when Covid hit, so that is probably what I’d say. But also I am really excited to tour in NY for the first time. Got a lot of friends over there I’ve been wanting to see and work with for a while.
BTS: What are you listening to right now?
MM: A ton of my friends have released cool stuff recently that I’m still stoked about. Maisyn “cool grl”, Joe Avio’s whole record. Sally Boy “sally boy”, Syd B “RITF”, and more… and then other than that I have listened to the new SZA like a million times. And a lot of old fave albums on repeat.
BTS: What does 2021 have in store for you?
MM: More music! And secrets!