Interview: Madleo

We enjoyed listening to your song “Reminisce”. What is the story behind the song and how did you create/write it? Also, what inspired the song title?
I had most of the song written when I brought it to my producer in London, Harry James, but we decided to rewrite the chorus a few times with my friend Katie Sky, and after 16 hours in the studio the song was done. Originally it was called “Can’t Let Go,” but then I thought “Reminisce” was more fitting because it seemed to sum up the song really nicely with just one word. At the time I wrote it, “Reminisce” was a song I really needed to get off my chest, and I’m really excited to finally have it out in the world.

We’ve watched the music video that accompanies the song. What ideas went into making the video and is there any story – or message – that you hope the video contains?
I actually thought more about how the video should feel, rather than say. I wanted to make something that would represent the big empty space you’re left with after a breakup, that relentless unsure feeling of not knowing what to do with yourself, everything is a big question mark, and you start battling your own thoughts and rationales from the inside out. So the idea for the video was to show that emotional purgatory and self delusion that hits hard after any kind of heartbreak.

If you had to describe your sound, how would you do so? Furthermore, what artists (or other sources) do you cite as influences?
I would describe my sound up until this point as “dark pop,” but recently I’ve been really influenced by artists like Gorillaz and Arctic Monkeys, which I think you’ll hear reflected in my new music. Some other artists I admire are M.I.A., Lana Del Rey, Miley Cyrus, Tame Impala, and Kendrick Lamar. I’m also really influenced by current events, politics, history, horoscopes, all types of art, and generally just good people, good people are really inspiring.

What have been career highlights so far? And what is on your bucket list that you’d want to achieve?
I had a pretty weird journey so far! The short version of the story is, I released music under my real name for 2 years, but then after realizing I have nothing in common with the person I was trying to be online, I decided I needed a clean slate. So 4 months ago I changed my artist name from Aprilann to MadLeo, and I’ve been able to redefine the artist I want to be with a fresh perspective, so honestly the entirety of the last 4 months have been an ongoing highlight. I’m currently in the most rewarding phase of my career so far, so I’ve been trying to let it soak in and enjoy this new beginning while I have it. My ultimate bucket list item would be to work with one of the artists I really respect. Producing, writing, exchanging ideas, just any type of collaboration with one of the greats and I will die a very happy leo hahaha

If you could be the main support for any living artist, who would that be for and why? Alternatively, what would be your dream live booking?
If I could open for any artist right now, it’d choose Arctic Monkeys. My dream live booking would be opening for Arctic Monkeys!

What artists have you been listening to? Additionally, who should others be listening to?
Lately I’ve been listening to an unreasonable amount of Bo Burnham hahah His comedic songwriting is so underrated! But a few artists I think people should be listening to are M.I.A, Kendrick Lamar, Gorillaz, and older music by all the greats like The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Daft Punk, Missy Elliott. I think it’s important to try to understand and listen to all types of music.

Madleo: Facebook | Instagram | Spotify | Website | YouTube

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