Model, DJ, and singer-songwriter MAAD is a force of nature. Blending current R&B sounds with more classic funk and soul influences, her 2017 EP Lé Funk offers a sleek and addictive brand of pop that’s drawn the attention of Wonderland and i-D Magazine. Her musical talent has also seen her take to the decks as a DJ at REVOLVE and Chrissy Teigen’s 4th of July Hamptons Party, to name just one place, and accompanied by her flawlessly on-point personal style seems primed to propel her straight to pop stardom.
Spindle wanted to capture the starlet at this point in her journey, so we caught up with MAAD for a photoshoot and to talk all things music. She even made a DJ mix just for us! Check it out below…
How did you first start making music?
Wow, I’ve been doing music for some time now! I initially got into it out of high school – you know, I’ve always had a love for music, so as cliché as it sounds I feel like I’ve been doing music for the longest. Literally since birth! [Laughs]
So when did you write your first song then – how long ago was that?
Oh man, I wrote my first song… again, probably right out of high school. When I got out of high school that’s when I first started to get into the music scene. I met a producer named Jaume and he really just helped me grow as an artist, and let me know that it’s okay to be a bit quirky and to just have fun with music. So all my other songs before that are like a distant memory, ‘cause they were just so hideous! But [Laughs] you know, there’s always a learning period when you go back to those old songs… I try not to listen to them, ‘cause they make me cringe a bit! But yeah – it’s nice to see how far I’ve come with my writing, and with myself hopefully!
Yeah, definitely! So, tell me a bit about writing your single Wonderland.
Oh, man – Wonderland was a fun single! It was really random, because… Actually it wasn’t random at all, I was just really sick during that trip. Towards the end of that trip I had a performance at Cake, and I had a session before Cake and I was just in the session with Hannah Yadi and Lost Boy and I was telling them how I was feeling and Hannah was like ‘Gurl, just go sit in the corner and write down all of your emotions.’ So I wrote down everything that I was feeling – I was like, you know, ‘I’m missing people that I love…’ And I had just had the editorial with Wonderland come out… [Laughs] So it kind of all just came together into those ideas and words I’d written down that we turned into lyrics. So – pretty cool!
Yeah! That sounds like a really interesting, kind of organic process, [starting] from feelings [and going] all the way into the song. It sounds great!
Yeah! Typically, when I write songs, I sit down and think of melodies first – I don’t tend to write down how I’m feeling initially. So it was a different way of writing for me, but I really enjoyed it.
When I write songs, I [typically] sit down and I think of melodies first… So [Wonderland] was a different way of writing for me, but I really enjoyed it.
Yeah, I’m sure! So, as well as a musician and DJ you’re also a model. Are there any lessons that you feel like you’ve learned in your modelling career that you feel have helped you since you transitioned into the music industry?
Definitely! I think, you know, being that I got into modelling first, modelling really helped me to learn how businesses are run, how to look after my money, how to save money, how to speak to clients… You know, I can do an easy face of makeup but anything where it starts to get really difficult, I’d probably need a makeup artist! [Laughs] But yeah, I learned a lot [about] business from just being in modelling, so I would definitely give a lot of props to that business for helping me grow.
All of your music videos feature amazing fashion looks and visuals – which one’s been your favourite to film and why?
Oh, man… They each have a little place in my heart! But I think my favourite was probably Black Ice. Black Ice was just fun – to have all those dancers, and it was a different energy on the set because of the fact that, you know, you feed off of other people. Sometimes when I do videos, I typically end up in the video by myself or the models get shot after I’m there, so it kind of worked out that I was able to just, you know, dance with the dancers. ‘Cause they are so inspiring.
What has been the highlight of your career so far, would you say?
Oh, the highlight… I recently did a performance at Selfridge’s!
Yeah, that was pretty amazing. I did their Music Matters campaign, I was on the show with RAYE and another artist named Sam Willis, and on that same day, Wonderland premiered with Billboard, so… that was a pretty awesome day!
Yeah, that sounds like a massive day! It sounds amazing.
Yeah – I was on top of the world that day.
I’m sure! What are your biggest goals for the future?
Oh, for the next year definitely putting out more music, more visuals, going on tour, and yeah… That’s basically about all that I would really love to do! But touring is on the top of my list.
One last question: what advice would you give to young creatives starting out in the music industry – what would you say to them is the biggest lesson that you’ve learned that you think everyone should know?
The biggest lesson I’ve learned? For sure to stay true to yourself. I think in this business, because of the fact that the business changes so much, you really have to know yourself, know what you want to give to the audience, and know the business side of it, ‘cause the business side is a huge part of it. I remember when I first got into this industry I read a shitload of books! Just like, knowing your publishing, knowing your writers, knowing what managers are supposed to get, knowing what tour agents are supposed to get… And I think the more you know the better. And me being indie has definitely helped me to learn the business because I’ve done so much on my own. So yeah, I would just say to really just be yourself and know what you’re doing and how to handle yourself in the industry.
Listen to MAAD’s mix exclusively for Spindle below: