The introspective songwriter gives us an insight into her 2021 debut album and shares how she created her Valentine’s indie ballad ‘love me’.
We were blown away by Madeleine Mayi’s single when she released it on Valentine’s Day of this year. It’s no surprise that it went straight to number one in our chart. We’re thrilled to be sharing a more in depth conversation with the artist about some of her future plans and what it’s been like to record her debut album.
‘love me’ is a laid back, spacey indie ballad which happens to include the world’s catchiest pre-chorus.Emma Miller » INdie top 39
‘love me’ is a laid back, spacey indie ballad which happens to include the world’s catchiest pre-chorus. I have not been able to stop playing this track by Madeleine Mayi and it has got me totally hooked on the Californian artist. I would recommend this songwriter to any fans of Phoebe Bridgers, Juliana Daugherty and perhaps even a cross over to the more mainstream Haim. The doubled vocals, sparse electric guitar strums and the rhythmic delivery of lines like ‘am I too much, or not enough…’ keep you hanging on tenterhooks. Sure enough the pay off comes with that addition of a syncopated drum groove and a swell of production carrying the song to even giddier heights. Go now and immediately submerse yourself in this most perfect of tracks, you can thank me later.
How did the song ‘love me’ come about? When did you write it?
“Love me” was written with my friend Matt DiMona in his apartment in the Fall. It was the first session I had after being gone on tour for a few months and the idea had kind of been sitting in my head for a while. The song took about 6 hours to get right, but we had a fun time (even though it’s kind of intense). We were jumping around and making jokes (there’s proof online).
My approach has completely changed and with it, my sound.Madeleine Mayi
How has your development been as an artist in terms of your sound and how would you describe where you are, currently?
My first release had a totally different approach than my other releases, at the time I was more interested in showing the different styles of writing I had done than telling a story through my project. In this way, my approach has completely changed- and with it, my sound. I think where I have landed (without sounding obnoxious) is the most honest reflection of how things feel inside. There’s an earnest and deeply emotional aspect to all the sounds that haven’t shown up in my music before, and I think the only way to explain that is that it is following what things feel like and how it complements what I want to say.
The songs are just fitting into place where they should. I’ve had the idea for this record for a while and it’s really cool seeing it come to life.madeleine mayi
How has it been making your debut album? When are you planning to release and what can we expect?
My release is planned for Valentine’s Day of 2021. I am so excited about it. It has definitely been an interesting process as I’ve never worked on such a long project before, so there is so much more space to tell a story with. I have a very clear vision of what the story is though, so that has made the process pretty simple, because the songs are just fitting into place where they should. I’ve had the idea for this record for a while and it’s really cool seeing it come to life.
Where is home for you?
I live in Los Angeles, but I grew up in Santa Barbara, which is a short two hour drive north. My music is definitely influenced by growing up where I did, living by the ocean.
Who would be your dream to support on tour?
Oof. I have a few. I have this funky idea that it would be really cool to open for Ray LaMontagne. I don’t know why I just think it would be. But I would love to open for Radiohead or Japanese House or something. I know those are three very different bands but hey.
What are some of the most difficult challenges you’ve faced as an artist working in the music industry?
I like a challenge. I think it’s crazy that completely indie artists (self-funded) are expected to have the same level of product as signed (not self-funded) artists. I don’t think this should change, it just requires a lot of problem solving, which I love.
Get rid of the pay to play model. I don’t think that’s very ethical.Madeleine Mayi
Is there anything you’d change about the industry if you could?
I mean yeah, a lot of things. But a lot of it falls into greater societal problems.. I think a minor thing would be getting rid of the pay to play model. I don’t think that’s very ethical.
What is a song you’ll never stop listening to?
If you weren’t doing music, what/where would you be?
I think I would probably be a Historian or researcher something. History is my favorite.
What is your biggest achievement to date?
You really are hitting with the hard questions. I think professionally it would be the rate of growth in my writing so far over the past three years. I didn’t really write too much before that or view myself as a serious writer, so that has been really cool to see the work pay off so far. In general though I think finishing art school at USC this semester will be a big accomplishment for me.
Do you have any recommendations of artists we might not have heard of yet?
Yes! Jessi Mason. She’s awesome.
Every month or so it feels like I’ve hit a new landmark, by doing something I know I couldn’t have done a few months ago.Madeleine Mayi
How would you quantify success in music for yourself? Is there a landmark you’ve already reached or are aiming to reach that would make you feel ‘you’ve made it’?
Hm. I really think this changes over time. Every month or so it feels like I’ve hit a new landmark, by doing something I know I couldn’t have done a few months ago. When I release my full length record that will be a big deal for me. In the future, playing my first European headline tour will be a big accomplishment.
What have you got planned for the rest of 2020 and has anything been affected by ‘you know what’?
My team and I have been planning a few short tour runs, which obviously are up in the air- but I feel confident that at least most of it will still happen eventually. I am planning on releasing another single soon-ish which I am very excited about.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with our audience?
I know this is a really weird time, but I hope everyone is able to connect with a few things a day that make you feel true joy. I will be releasing music in the coming months and if you like “love me” I hope you will stay in touch with what I’ve got going on.
Make sure to connect with Madeleine Mayi via Instagram » Twitter