Music Spotlight: Madi
LA-based singer-songwriter + producer Madi gets emotional with her debut EP Reprisal, tackling dark issues from her past. Her sound is a flawless blend of electronica + dark pop beats, and we can’t get enough. We chatted with her about the EP + where she’s taking her solo project, and we’re stoked for what’s next! May we suggest playing our favorite tracks rosé + move on repeat?
Asymmetric Magazine: Congrats on the release of your debut EP. Can you tell us about Reprisal?
Madi Walsh: Thank you so much! It’s definitely come a long way. The executive producer of the EP, Dallas, and I had created the foundation of the EP over a year ago, and we are both so phenomenally proud of what it has matured into—not only sonically but intentionally and meaning-wise, as well. The EP began as an ode to some of the themes that I carried along with me in the childhood, and a lot of them were particularly dark and nostalgic. I wanted to create a project that was explicit but was still ‘show not tell’. As I’ve grown and am still figuring out the adult-ing situation—I’ve only just turned 20, I’m starting to understand where to put my passion, aggression and emotions. For me, I’ve wasted a lot of my time expressing that and taking it out in my life, and now I would rather just process my emotions for a hot second, lock it up and compartmentalize, and when it’s time for music, then bring that out. As a writer, I think picking and choosing your battles of emotions and when the time to express them is really significant. This EP brings about my past in medical trauma, religious trauma and basic being-a-female trauma. Truly, the only way I have been able to therapeutically recover from these has been calling these topics by name and exploiting them via this medium.
AM: What message do you want people to take away from your music?
MW: If anything, the goal of the EP is to spread exactly this message: pick and choose your battles. Don’t waste time being passive aggressive, because that is what art is for. And I think a lot of the time, art is criticized for being ‘too dark’, ‘too avant garde’, ‘too explicit’, etc., but opposing that is just hypocritical in general. I think that as cognitive humans, we have this unique gift to really sink within our emotions and get so far deep into levels that take us out of ourselves. The times where I’ve fallen into these places of really looking internally, I have found the greatest maturity and strength. As an artist, I want each sound to resemble an emotion and for each word to force people to look in. Be vulnerable, be open, be reserved, be still, be whatever you need to.
Be vulnerable, be open, be reserved, be still, be whatever you need to.
AM: How would you describe your sound?
MW: It definitely fits within the realm of alternative pop and dark pop music, however I would love to pursue a more contemporary or electro-R&B side of it.
AM: What other themes do you typically pursue through your music?
MW: A lot of it is mortality, being that my childhood dealt with medical issues and religion. But with that said: revenge, spirituality, love, pain, and aggression.
AM: What role does Los Angeles play in your work?
MW: Los Angeles is my one love and home, and I truly cannot imagine living and working anywhere else. I’ve been drawn to the city ever since I was 13, and something about the electricity, vibrancy of the entire landscape has always attracted. I am infatuated and inspired daily by its people, micro-cultures and subcultures, opportunities, accessibilities, everything. As a creator, no day is exactly the same—I’m continuously on watch for new things that grab my attention, because Los Angeles is a place full of dynamics and excitement. I feel like every time I get out of my apartment and neighborhood and venture outward, I’m on a field trip trying to study and get answers for my music.
AM: Where is one place that you feel completely in touch with your creative self/music?
MW: A lot of the time, my 40 minute daily commute on the Metro really fuels my creative side. I find a lot of words through what I see and experience around me, as I am a very sense-based writer, and I find that most phrases that become focal points for songs are born there.
AM: What other musicians are you currently listening to?
MW: My favorite all time artist is BANKS, however right now, I really love Jorja Smith’s new LP, THEY (it is a dream of mine to go on tour with them), Xavier Omar, Sabrina Claudio, Daniel Caesar, Sevdaliza.
AM: What can we expect to hear from you next?
MW: I currently am crafting the groundwork for an extended LP, and hopefully within this upcoming summer, do some local touring. After that, I really am open to everything and anything and would love to take this entire project live, no matter what that means! Creating and creating—not only music, but visually and experientially—is really important to me in the early works of my career. I want to take advantage of this time in the early stages to develop what ‘Madi’ as a project means.