Published on September 7th, 2017 | by Tariq Peters0
MADZ – L.Y.L.A. (EP REVIEW + INTERVIEW) [@MADZHALFLIFE] #EXPLICITLDNNEXTUP
Madz is an emerging UK singer/rapper/songwriter hailing from South-East London that has created his own wave in the UK Rap scene with a unique, captivating sound that will leave you mesmerised.
His approach in music gives us the best of both worlds with a melodic range of vocals infused with his Rap roots showcasing a perfect blend of Trap, 808s and the smooth, sensual sounds of R&B.
Named as one of MOBO’s ‘Artist to Watch in 2017’ earlier in the year, Madz has built on his growing success with many noteworthy tracks on his SoundCloud which has racked up over 100,000 plays in total, proving that he is an artist with appeal and something special to bring to the UK music scene.
After what has been a game changing year for the South-East London artist, Madz proudly presents his long-awaited debut release ‘L.Y.L.A.’ (Live Young Love Always), an 8-track EP that symbolises the conflicts of wanting to be young and carefree whilst yearning the desire to love and be loved.
Tracks like “Love You Better”, “Hold Me Down” featuring Clicklak and “What About You” featuring JNRDIDIT bring out a range of different scenarios as Madz’ versatility shines through on the EP as he stays true to the recurring theme of love, relationships and commitment.
Madz covers an array of topics and does an exceptional job in capturing the viewpoints of both men and women. Madz cleverly ties them together in a way where you can resonate with the contents of the EP as well as gaining an insight on how the opposite sex thinks.
A noteworthy track on the EP (“Indecisive” featuring Shaé) does this wholeheartedly focusing on the breakdown of a situationship from a male’s perspective with the standout line: “What do I want from you? You to be mine but not mine but no one else’s”.
From the vibrant production to the relatable lyrics ‘L.Y.L.A.’ will leave you chuffed as you can hear the amount of time, patience and dedication that was put into the creation of this project. Madz is due to be a main contender in the UK Rap scene and this strong introductory project reinforces this tenfold.
We had the chance to catch up with Madz as we learn a little more about how he got started in music, the style of music he makes and the creative process behind his debut release:
The debut EP is well structured and vibrant covering an array of topics from relationships, infidelity, love and commitment bringing out an authentic R&B sounding project. How long would you say the creative process for ‘L.Y.L.A.’ was and what was your aim when creating this project?
Thank you. L.Y.L.A. took me quite a while to create. My sound since I was 18 till now has changed so much and everything came down to maturity in my sound and timing. L.Y.L.A was originally meant to be a 3 track EP that would’ve been released around 2015. However, I was itching to expand on what I had so far and decided to make it a larger project. So, in theory, it’s been 3 years in the making. My aim with this project was to make something both men and women could relate to. I wanted women to understand what can sometimes go on in a guys mind, as well as allowing men to relate as we don’t speak on how we feel often.
You stand out in the UK music scene with a noteworthy revamped style. Would you consider yourself a UK R&B artist? If not, how would you describe your musical style?
No, I would not consider myself a UK R&B artist. My musical style has a large Rap influence also. I just feel that it’s a side of me that I’m only beginning to show people a lot more recently. Songs like “What About You?” and even things like LYLA Dropping are large parts of my artistry. R&B does play a big part in my sound but it’s not all I do so I would never put myself in that category of UK R&B
When we listened to ‘L.Y.L.A.’ we thought the project itself was quite reminiscent of 90’s R&B, who is your musical influence and would you say that era of music has played a major part in the development of your sound?
Yeah, I was born in the 90’s so of course, it does play a major part in my music. I don’t have a direct musical influence. I’ve always had confidence in the sound that I’m crafting. I’m a fond listener of artists such as PARTYNEXTDOOR, Tory Lanez and those type of artists. But I mainly listen to older music on a day to day basis and they mainly come from 80’s, 90’s and early 2000’s. The melodic choices and content have always inspired my music as it genuinely meant something and I try to make sure my music does the same.
How did you get started in music and what made you want to create music that evokes a range of emotions and feelings as R&B is essentially a genre where people tend to have their hearts on their sleeve displaying a sincere, affectionate side to their artistry?
Well, I started off just rapping at first. I didn’t really play with melody when I first started out even though I could always kind of sing a little. I was a Grime artist for a while when I was 12, then I did Grime and Rap when I got to 15. When I was 17 that’s when I wrote my first song that was melodically driven called Do You Like That. Even though it had melody it had flow and showed my rapping ability too. And that’s where it all started really. Just kept improving and working on my confidence in both areas. So as my ear for melody got better so did my rapping content
‘L.Y.L.A.’ is an acronym for ‘Live Young Love Always’ what does the title represent for you and what significance does it have for the overall message of the EP?
I feel the title represents where most young people head is at, at this moment in time. Whether you’re a girl or a guy when it comes relationships or anything in and around that subject, when it really comes down to it we don’t wish to miss out on our youth but at the end of the day, the end goal is finding longevity. Even though I believe everyone thinks it, people have different methods when it comes to approaching it though. The angle I come from on the EP just happens to be one of them. The transitions on the EP literally show the conflict of knowing you want to live young and realising that you want to love always.
There are many relatable concepts on ‘L.Y.L.A.’ drawing from the perspective of both men and women alike, what inspired you to cover certain topics on the project and would you say the majority is based on personal experiences?
My male and female friends and Twitter are what mainly inspired me for this EP lool. It’s actually just funny when I think about it because Twitter is just such an open place and you see scenarios and drama that you thought only existed on stuff like Eastenders. On Twitter, specifically what people refer to as “Black Twitter”, you have the Men Are Trash brigade, you have the girls with men troubles, you have the guys with girl troubles etc. It’s an app that frequently has women expressing themselves, and how men have treated them but men don’t tend to dig as deep as women. And understandably women don’t really know what goes through our heads so I wanted to give them an insight. I’d say the personal experience on L.Y.L.A. is split 70/30 lool. Many things I expanded on with my imagination and others have either happened to me or somebody I know.
“Cheated On You (Interlude)” is a standout track on the EP for the name alone, the character presented in the interlude is deemed rather hypocritical and prejudiced on his views of cheating. Why was this track particularly important for the EP.
This track has caused me so much trouble. Really and truly this was my attempt to let certain guys see that the way in which they react to cheating doesn’t make any sense. At the end of the day, it’s wrong and there’s no excuse for it in my opinion but each to their own. This is apart of that 30% in the EP that isn’t necessarily about something I’ve done or been through but I knew listeners would think it’s personal lool
What’s your favourite track on the project and why?
My favourite track on the EP is “Indecisive” featuring Shaé. I still think it’s one of the best songs I’ve ever written and I really had to dig deep for those lyrics. It’s one of those songs where I sometimes forget that I wrote it. Shaé did an amazing job on the chorus too. Gave it that extra boost it needed.
If you had to describe the project in one word how would you describe it?
One word I’d use for now is important. I think it was important for me as it’s my first body of work I’ve released and it’s taught me a lot. I feel it’s important for the UK Rap scene to know that as a scene we are the tastemakers. We have been for a long time in many fields and I’m glad I can be a part of reminding everyone.
Make sure you check out Madz’ debut EP ‘L.Y.L.A.’ below and be sure to follow him on his socials:
Follow Madz on Twitter
Follow Madz on SoundCloud
Follow Madz on Instagram