Following the success of her Jazz FM, The Line of Best Fit & Reprezent Radio-endorsed single 'Hold Her', MADELEINE is back with her second single of the year, 'See Me Too'. Written at the piano with a mood of serenity at the forefront, the track focuses on positive emotions and reciprocated love and affection.
Tell us a bit about your story: who are you and what has your journey looked like so far?
Hey, I’m MADELEINE; female producer, songwriter, and artist. My journey really started in South London as a keys player, meeting collaborators through jams and improvised nights across the scene. I’ve co-produced for artists such as Bawo, KAM-BU, and played keys for Arlo Parks, Poppy Ajudha and Kwaku Asante. Working with different artists has really given me the confidence to pursue my own project, which dives into nu-jazz and future soul genres.
Who inspires you musically and creatively?
I get inspired by consuming art through different mediums; reading poetry, viewing art shows
at gallery’s, listening to music by myself, performing at live shows. I think I get quite easily influenced by my environment, so that really feeds into my creativity. There’s some creatives that I’m super excited about right now, artists like Salami Rose Joe Louis, Soccer 96, Kiefer, along with my first-loves Erykah Badu, Stevie Wonder, Hiatus Kaiyote, and darker electronics such as James Blake, Sampha, Flying Lotus. While the accessibility of music can be super overwhelming sometimes, I’ll always find myself going back to music by these artists. I feel so excited by their craft, and it’s always so interesting to me to really dive into an artist’s world through continuous listening.
What is the creative process behind your music?
The creative process behind my new single ‘See Me Too’, follows a slightly more traditional
approach to my usual process. I really wanted to create a more natural, live sounding record,
that breathed soul and spring. Most of my upcoming project is pretty DIY, pieced together in my bedroom or on the road, but I managed to take this one to the studio before touring a
while back. ‘See Me Too’ features my wonderful brother John Jones on bass, and the extremely talented Jack Robson on drums. We tracked the foundations of this track in a couple takes, myself on Wurlitzer, and it felt super special to create something that came from live musicians. There’s something distinct about featuring other musicians, because each person brings something that’s unique to them to the music. We also recorded guitar at a later date, performed by the incredible Alex Blake. This track is super special to me, and I’m so grateful to feature such amazing friends on this single.
What’s the best advice you’ve received during your journey?
The best advice I’ve received during my journey is really learning to challenge self-doubt. Growing up in a musical family, particularly as an instrumentalist, I think I fell into the idea that I always needed to be better. This can be productive when you’re trying to develop as an instrumentalist, always looking to the next thing you need to work on, but it took me some time to realise where I’m at is also enough. As a creative, it’s so easy to be overly critical of ourselves, because that is our job; questioning and pushing the boundaries as far as we can go. So finding a healthy balance of feeling creative, while trying to get better at your craft, can all get too much sometimes. In the last couple years, I’m trying to channel my self-worth and value my own music.
How do you nurture your creativity?
Nurturing your creativity is like nurturing a seed. If you feed it too much water, it will drown, if you neglect it, it will die, but if you maintain the right balance of sunlight and water, the seed can blossom into a flower. I feel like creating music is about finding the right balance to feed into your creativity. Sometimes it’s super random and you have to seize it while it’s there, but ideally having space, time, and dedication to develop is so important. It’s kinda crazy that as artists, we’re expected to churn out album after album, and there's always a pressure to be moving onto the next project as soon as you’ve released your life’s work. But really listening to your body and your creative cycle is so much more important, and allowing yourself the time to really self-love and live.
What do you hope your music will reveal to your listeners?
‘See Me Too’ reveals a sense of balance and serenity that I wanted to explore. I wanted to dive back into my roots for this track, and write something that felt like my purest self, that was honest and natural. It’s definitely influenced by my jazz and soul upbringing, surrounded by music like Stevie Wonder, Esperanza Spalding, Herbie Hancock, along with more modern influences such as Hiatus Kaiyote, Lianne La Havas, and Erykah Badu. Hopefully my new music will show listeners that I have something more to say.
Are there any upcoming shows or projects we can look forward to?
I’m so excited to announce I’ll be performing at my EP launch on 20th April, hosted by the wonderful JazzRefreshed. My upcoming mixtape, ‘Sun Daughter’, lands at midnight that night, so we’re gonna be celebrating! Come down for super special vibes.
Is there any advice you want to give to new artists?
If there’s any advice I could give to new artists, it would be to remember that social media isn’t real. I remember when I realised that instagram isn’t a true depiction of anyone, and it changed my outlook so much for me. It’s so easy to compare ourselves to other people, but you are unique and nothing will take that away from you. You are your truest self, so dig deeper into that feeling, because nobody can replicate that. Live in the real world as much as you can, because that’s where true creativity is.
In the two years since the release of her debut project 'Colour Me', MADELEINE has been quietly developing her sound to reveal her new sonic palette in her upcoming ‘Sun Daughter’ EP. You can catch her on the night of her EP launch at the jazz club, Ninety One Living Room.
While you wait for the full EP to drop, you can listen to her latest releases below!
Photographer credit - martin (gingerdope)