Q: Hi! Can you tell us about the inspiration behind your song “Reclaim Your Power”? What was the main message you wanted to convey with this song?
A:I would love to tell you about the inspiration behind this song! It is probably my favorite song I’ve ever written since it is responsible for lifting me out of the deep dark pit I found myself in.
It was the lowest point of my life. My emotionally abusive ex and father of my two children, broke up with me via text when I was out of town. Then nine months later after moving three times, my daughter and I had to be pulled out of the ocean after getting caught in a rip tide after I attempted to rescue my her from the same rip tide. That night I sunk lower than I thought possible. Suddenly a song came to me and I started writing songs again as a form of therapy. I wanted to never write another song. But this song insisted after a very long hiatus.
I played that song to my daughter. “Do you like it?” I asked. She shrugged and said she did then added, “But WHY do you want to remember that?” In that moment, I realized writing songs about despair wasn’t going to help me out of my deep dark pit. It would only reinforce it. But maybe if I did the opposite and wrote a song with affirmations in it, I would start to believe them. So I did. And it did!
That’s when I realized by sharing this song, I could help others begin to climb out of their own personal deep dark pits. Hence, Madam Who? was born.
Q: How does “Reclaim Your Power” reflect your personal experiences and beliefs?
A:I believe while my whole heart that in order to love someone else, you have to love yourself, and that is hard. If you are anything like me you are hard on yourself. Now I know you have to treat yourself like you would treat your best friend. You wouldn’t punish your bestie for being sad, right? So don’t punish yourself! Be kind to yourself. Forgive yourself. Talk through your problems with a therapist helps too, as does medication. There is nothing in the world wrong with either of those things and there never should have been. Repeat the chorus to yourself everyday: I am powerful, I am beautiful, I’m incredible, and I am worth it all. If you don’t believe it now, you will. Try it right now. Go ahead.
Q: You’ve been praised for your empowering lyrics. How do you approach songwriting to ensure your messages of empowerment come through?
A:In general I am a positive person who believes in people so I tend to write many empowering songs. I am a humanist, after all. With every song I write, I come up with the concept and/or hook first. If I don’t have an interesting concept or catchy hook, I consider it a waste of time and energy. I tend to put my most important messages in the chorus where they will often get repeated over and over and/or be emphasized by the rhythm and melody.
Q: You play numerous instruments, produce, sing, and write your songs. How does this multi-faceted involvement in your music influence the final product?
A:Sometimes it is actually a hinderance! I love so many different genres and want to experiment with them all, blending them into my own creations. Same with instruments. And now with midi, your only real limitation is your imagination. That’s how I got the label “eclectic”. But unfortunately, if you constantly bounce around with your sound from genre to genre, fans can’t latch on.
I personally used to hate it when I’d buy an album and all the songs sounded the same. Same voice. Same instruments. Sometimes even the same tempo. So boring! However, you have to walk that fine line between excitement and consistency. If successful, the music can be marketed effectively in this day and age of micro genres which is a step beyond sub genres. I can’t even get my head around that. The goal is to cut through the noise to capture attention and keep it. An increasingly difficult task these days.
Q: You’ve faced significant challenges in your life, including a battle with cancer. How have these experiences influenced your music and your career?
A:Well, once after one of my yearly brain scans, I wrote a song. I tried to convey through loops and electro beats what the MRI machine sounds like and what I’m thinking while it does it’s thing. It’s called “Unremember”. It turned out sounding like a dub step tune, so it doesn’t really match my other stuff, but that’s an example of one that was directly influenced! Other than that, life experiences always influence lyrics. I have been considering starting a charity organization to tour women’s/family shelters and mental hospitals to be a motivational singer and bring an hour or two of hope and fun. If anyone out there would like to donate, hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org
Q: How has your approach to music changed since your early days with the band “Audra and the Antidote”?
A: I am much more relaxed about songwriting. I realize now that songs can be rewritten. Also, that not every song is going to be great. I used to think I had to write The Greatest Song of All Time every time. That’s a lot of pressure, so I didn’t write many songs. I also didn’t enjoy it when I was writing. It was as if I was musically constipated. I always liked the songs once they were done and arranged. Now I enjoy every part of the process, because it is therapeutic.
Q: You’ve mentioned before that you write empowering songs to avoid feeling sad. Can you elaborate on this process and how it has helped you?
A:I wouldn’t say I write empowering songs to avoid sadness. Sadness is a part of life. It is good in short bursts. However, I realized I wasn’t going to help myself feel anything but despair by writing and singing sad songs while deeply depressed due to the situation I was in. So I changed course. And it worked!
Q: What are your future plans for your music career? Are there any projects you’re currently working on?
A: I have enough songs right now to do at least two full length albums, or 5 or so EPs. That’s if I stop writing. As long as it helps me and can help others, I will continue to write, record, and perform. However, in my experience, making plans for the future leads to disappointment. It is better to go with the flow and make the most out of what comes your way. These days I just have a vague idea of a direction I want to go, but I don’t set my heart on anything. I will try my charity idea and if it works, great! If not, oh well. I’ll move on to something else. At least I tried. The success of things not entirely in your control requires good fortune and you can’t make force it through sheer will, no matter how much you want it.