INTERVIEW WITH… DARK POP SINGER-SONGWRITER MADLEO
I chatted with emerging dark pop artist Madleo about her first foray into collaboration with Grammy-nominated producer Boom Dice. The cynically playful new single is titled “Extroverts” and is out now. The moody electric pop sets the tone for the Florida-born and Serbia-based actress/singer’s forthcoming 2022 EP. You can check out my short Q+A with her below.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Hi, Madleo, Thanks for taking the time out to speak with me at The Reclusive Blogger. So how has life been for you lately?
MADLEO: I’m working, writing, and listening to a lot of music, life is good right now. I recently got a vintage record player and started listening on vinyl, which has really brightened up my life.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Can speak about your musical background and how you became an artist? Has music always played role in your life?
MADLEO: I don’t have a musical background, and my family is far from understanding why music is so important to me. It took me a while to understand it myself, and it’s an ongoing process that I try to work on every day. I never had a moment when I decided to be an artist, I always thought of myself as an artist long before I even released a song. Writing is what has always driven me, and music is my way of getting the stories out.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: I’d like to talk some about your new single “Extroverts”. How did the collaboration come together? What was it like working with Boom Dice?
MADLEO: Boom Dice created the beat and then contacted me for a collab, then I gradually wrote the lyrics/melody one writing sesh at a time. Writing Extroverts was my first time toplining a track, which means writing lyrics/melody to music, instead of the other way around. It’s also my first time collaborating with another artist.. something my introverted self kept me from doing until now. The experience jolted me out of my comfort zone and inspired the subject of the song.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Do you have a go-to place to write and create? What’s a typical songwriting process like for you?
MADLEO: I set up a little studio in the basement of my apartment complex, and that’s where I do most of my work. I get the best writing done late at night when I know nobody will interrupt me. I love being awake when everyone else is asleep, I feel most creative writing between 1 – 4am, as strange as that is. It’s not practical for the rest of my life though, so I try to make a balance with my sleep schedule.
Every time I finish a song, it’s a huge accomplishment. I write all the lyrics and melodies myself and have a big role in the music production, so a typical song is a long process of trial and error until I get it as “good” as I think I’m capable of. One day I want to have a band of amazing musicians around me to take that weight off, so I can focus on what I do best which is lyrical storytelling.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Taking a peek at your Instagram, I see it’s not only highly curated but very creative. What tips would have for other new creatives looking to get that highly curated feed?
MADLEO: I have a couple friends who help me create my Instagram feed, and I couldn’t do it without them. I originally decided on this style because I thought it’d be low maintenance, but it’s ended up being more upkeep than I thought, so it’s backfiring a bit! Haha My advice, to anyone looking to do this highly curated look, or any look, would be to ask yourself how much time you want to spend making content and make decisions based on how much free time you’ll have. For me, this highly curated look gives me a bit of freedom and allows me to think less about content. I take the quality over quantity approach, to keep my sanity, and to keep my eye on the correct ball, which isn’t social media, it’s music.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Going off from my last question. Your style is something that’s quite bold as well. Who are your top three musical style icons?
MADLEO: “Bold” is one of the best compliments I can receive, THANK YOU SO MUCH!
Some of my favorite style icons are Grace Jones, Róisín Murphy, and Cher. Talk about bold! These women invented it.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: What fictional character do you think would most identify with your sound?
MADLEO: Uma Therman in Kill Bill.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: And last question! What’s your pick for album of the year for 2021?
MADLEO: Oh goodness, I really don’t know. I would probably vote for Miley Cyrus or Lana Del Rey. They had my favorite albums this year, I’m a little biased, but I would just love to see either of them win.