Tag: Singer-Songwriters



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. 

Stream MADLEO + BOOMDICE’s new single ‘Extroverts‘ out now.



I caught up with soulful Folk-Pop Singer Juliana Riccardi last month ahead of her “Full Cup” EP. Out now, the EP is a project of reflection, featuring seven tracks, including the Bluesy title track “Full Cup”, and the vulnerable “Hold Your Woman”. Juliana recorded the entire EP live at Dreamland Recording Studio. You can read my interview with her below.

THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Hi, Juliana! Thanks for taking the time out to speak with me at The Reclusive Blogger. How have you been doing?

JULIANA RICCARDI: Doing great. The band and I just put on a great show at the legendary Mint music venue in Los Angeles for the record release party and we are getting ready for the next show date.

THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Can you speak a bit on your background? What was Juliana like? What role did music play in your life at that time?

JULIANA RICCARDI: I grew up in a home where music was always on, from doo-wop, to crooners, to grunge rock and Motown. I loved music and dancing. I always memorized lyrics and melodies easily, and began writing poems at a young age, singing more in my early teens, but being private about it. I began experimenting with songwriting toward the end of high school, taking voice lessons and learning basic piano into early college years. When I was 19, I began playing live gigs and learning guitar – mainly cover songs, to strengthen my singing, performing and overall knowledge of music. Music was a growing part of my identity, it was something I felt natural doing, it was a healthy release for me and it challenged me. Music made life more interesting, fun and emotional.

THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Was there a specific catalyst that set in motion you wanting to pursue music professionally?

JULIANA RICCARDI: Out of high school, I wanted to pursue music more seriously. I don’t think there was one specific thing that moved me but more of a culmination of musical influences, wanting to hone in on my raw talents, and seeing others around me succeed. I had a lot of melodies in me, lyrics, ideas – and music felt natural and healing to me. But, there was so much to learn and understand, I knew it would be a long journey.

THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Let’s talk about your new EP, Full Cup? What inspired it? How was the recording and writing process like for you? Especially since you recorded this EP live at Dreamland Recording Studios?

JULIANA RICCARDI: The songs were written at different times over the last 4 years, with no intention, other than to be authentic by writing about my life experiences, my perspectives and allowing my voice to come through naturally. I left my home, in Queens, New York in 2015 to start fresh and these songs were written while I was alone, after heartbreak and uprooting, getting familiar in a new place, and slowly meeting like-minded creative people who shared, supported, and collaborated with me.

(cont.): As my sound solidified and my confidence in the direction of my music grew, I knew I had to record the songs. My first EP was an icebreaker. It was recorded from home, and with musicians in their home studio in 2020 during the pandemic. I wanted to use the at-home time wisely and share something people could connect with. But for my sophomore EP, I wanted to elevate the recording process to celebrate the songs and my journey in a bigger way: with a full band in a professional and magical recording studio. The sonics, new arrangements, and environment were perfect. Dreamland Recording Studios is a converted church turned studio and it’s been used by many outstanding bands and singers. We tracked over a weekend, using vintage gear and instruments, and then the following months were spent doing some post-arranging, vocal comping and mixing.

Full Cup” by Juliana Riccardi

THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: In terms of your influences, what are some of your influences outside of music but still within the arts?

JULIANA RICCARDI: All of my main influences in the arts are either singers or bands. I love film and art as well, but the most profound impact on me comes from music – from Billie Holiday, Stevie Nicks, Bonnie Raitt, Van Morrison, Bob Seger, Sheryl Crow, Brandi Carlile and many more.

THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Do you have a favorite place that you like to write songs in?

JULIANA RICCARDI: Wherever I am inspired or emotionally charged – it all depends on what is happening in my life. Usually the lyrics and melody come out simultaneously capturing a theme, feeling or part of a larger story. When there is a moment alone, at home, in my car, in the shower, on a walk; there is space for the song to come through. Other times, I plan to write, pick up the guitar, and revisit my last idea or explore something I’ve been feeling.

THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: What lyric from the ‘Full Cup’ EP do you feel is most representative of our current times? Or where you hope we should be?

JULIANA RICCARDI: In the track ”Full Cup‘,’ I encourage self-love. I think loving ourselves is key to having healthy relationships, and to avoiding unnecessary struggle and conflict. When we love ourself (not just our physical make-up, but our whole being), we make better choices. When we take care of ourself, and don’t stand for abuse and mistreatment, then we are able to give our best energy toward others, and so on – and we set that example to those around us. In a world where there is still hate and fear of the unknown, love is everything. But, it starts within.

THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: To close out, Is there anything else you would like to add?

JULIANA RICCARDI: I hope everyone checks out the new record, Full Cup! I put my all into delivering it in its best form possible, and if any part of it moves you – any of the songs- then that is the greatest gift in return I could ask for! And if you love one of the songs, request it to your local radio station!

THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Thank you for your time, Juliana!

JULIANA RICCARDI: Thank you for taking time out to get to know me and for sharing my new music!

Stream “Full Cup” by Juliana Riccardi here.