Today our guest is Maddie from Sweden. She is studying songwriting in Sweden and her performance name is Acousticmaddie. Her main area is indie folk and storytelling folk-rock inspired by Tom Waits and Leonard Cohen as well as Bob Dylan. We have conducted an interview with Maddie.
Where are you from and what are you currently doing there?
I am from Sweden and currently living here working at a vocational university but also study songwriting at the university.
What kind of songs do you write?
I try to write songs that tell you something both within the lyrics but also with the music. It's mainly a story, shortened to make you feel it.
My main genres are Nordic (folk rock) ballads (It's actually not necessarily ballads but that's the closest thing to ´translation of the genre “visa” Usually a ` visa`` tells something about your context and time, but most of all its narrative and should transfer you to the place of the story.
What kind of musical instruments do you perform with when storytelling folk?
Guitar, both acoustic and electric, sometimes with the electrical one I use pedals for chorus or sustain.
How do you make lyrics touchy and creative?
I actually always ask myself how would this taste when I'm telling a story. Like “How does a snowstorm taste” or how does a sexy person taste. It might seem weird but when you talk about taste in writing. It appeals to all senses so I start there.
What descriptions would you give about your voice and your style of music?
I often get to hear that I am a female Tom Waits, due to my (mainly) raspy way of performance. Which of course is a huge compliment since Tom Waits both in style of writing and performing is one of my role models in musicianship.
My style of music is somewhere in between the medieval ballads of north and Tom Waits/Cohen. I like to make the story a bit weird, the character special and I don't think that music must be nice. It's art and art is not supposed to be nice, it's supposed to make you feel something. If I upset someone, make you happy, sad or piss you off with a lyric my art is successful.
I usually choose this way of performing because it gives effect to my way of writing, to become the person in the story. But I also have”other voices” I was in a collab this February where I had a power ballad to sing … and when I perform at a funeral I would probably scare the crap out of the people there if I choose to perform like this. But when I can choose I perform with a raspy Tom Waits kinda voice.
Which are the song competitions that you have participated in?
I was in two last year (Which was the first time I had the guts to send something in. The one where I came to final was the barnvistävlingen at the Vis-festival in Lund. The song was very simple AABB kind of song and to be in the finals were surely unexpected. I did not win but it was a great experience and the guy who did win was a true star.
This year I will enter that again, I also entered indie international and I've sent an audition video for the Swedish Idol although I don't expect to get anywhere there since I'm not much of a pop-star :) Again Tom Waits was neither still he got his crowd :)
What was the most memorable experience for you?
Oh, I have to choose one? I think the first time when I was singing at a funeral. Not enough that it was a funeral and at a funeral, you just can't fuck up. It's the last way to rest. There is no return, no second gig. It was very special since I've actually met the person who died a couple of months before and he ordered the set list for his own funeral since he had heard me sing his favourite songs (lyrics of a Swedish long time past poet Dan Andersson) and knew he was dying. So every second in the chapel I saw the old man's face in front of me and I was scared shitless to mess things up.
After that, I haven't been afraid to use my voice. I grew somehow in trust and self-esteem.
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