Mad Kelly looks like he belongs in a Rob Zombie movie. With a tattoo imprinted on his forehead, heavy eye makeup, and his black, Matrix-gothic attire, the artist/producer from South Florida performs an intricate balancing act. His aesthetic is incredibly modern, yet a sense of nostalgia can’t quite be shaken off. And it is this doubleness that perhaps represents his brand best: progressive and off-kilter, but also referential. Through him and his music, the past and future intertwine and this intermingling has never been clearer in his new single “Hostage.”
“Hostage,” the first release of a larger project, is a tour-de-force mash-up. Incorporating the sounds of nu-metal, 90’s punk and scream rap, Kelly merges these genres to create something incredibly fresh. The song takes its name from the concept of being kept captive (or hostage) by bad decisions that prevent doing what is needed or right. In a press release, Kelly explains the meaning of the song, saying, “the song talks about the discomfort of keeping yourself captive when you know your freedom is within reach, not being able to be who you want, and always doing what is wrong no matter how hard you try to do right.”
To accompany the song’s release, Mad Kelly dropped a music video directed by Abraham Rasmussen. Viewers watch Mad Kelly inhabit a completely blank space devoid of anything except himself and a TV that only shows him. As the video progresses, the artist’s sanity slips away.
With a strong knowledge of music history and an equally strong vision for himself, Mad Kelly is certainly one to watch as his continues to develop his aesthetic, brand and sound.
Watch the music video below.
Listen to “Hostage” on Spotify.
Follow Mad Kelly on Instagram.
Subscribe to Beyond the Stage for more music news and reviews.