Sydney-based musician MADAM3EMPRESS has just released her new single, Some Type Of Way, and it's a song that embraces being in tune with your feelings, because they're what make us human. It showcases her blend of neo-soul, jazz, R&B and hip-hop, and it's a great song to listen to when you need to remind yourse'f that it's OK to be vulnerable.
We spoke to MADAM3EMPRESS about the story behind the song, as well as how her South African roots have influenced her music. She's a star on the rise, so read on to find on all about her musical journey.
Cool Accidents: Firstly, can you tell us about the moment when you decided you wanted to start making music?
MADAM3EMPRESS: Releasing music and being an artist was always in the back of my mind as I grew up surrounded by music and singing with my family. My friends and family were always on my back to do it, but I’m a stubborn bitch (!) and it truly had to be something I decided on my own. I went to London in 2019 and was super inspired by the creative scene and just general energy ~ 8 months later I released Come On Over.
Who were some of your musical influences growing up, and how have they influenced your sound today?
I grew up in church, so lots of Gospel. Lots! My parents are also huge Michael Jackson, Boyz ll Men, Whitney Houston, Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald fans… so these artists are my bread and butter. I also took piano, singing and saxophone lessons at a jazz school, so I was really into jazz at the age of 13 and would say that jazz influences my music heaps.
You’ve just released Some Time Of Way – can you tell us the story behind that song?
I met this dude, and was really into him but didn’t want to admit it because I literally just met him. I remember denying my feelings because ‘a strong woman shouldn’t fall for someone so quickly’ which is what we have been conditioned to think. However, with much introspection, realisation and understanding of myself, I saw that being vulnerable and admitting my feelings was in fact really strong. Some Type Of Away is about that process and realisation.
Some Time Of Way balances being vulnerable and being strong – it’s a great dichotomy and one that highlights the quality of your music. How do those characteristics play out in your personal life?
This dichotomy is literally me to a tee! I amaze myself at the duality I hold! LOL. I am continually navigating what this balance looks like to me as I truly believe it’s what defines me personally as a human, but even more so as a black woman.
Can you tell us about how your South African heritage has influenced your music, as well as any Australian artists you're influenced by?
Being South African has massively influenced my music… I owe so much of my art to my lineage. Navigating my identity between these two places is something I’ve learnt and am still learning… I explore this in the music that I’m currently working on.
An Australian artist that has inspired me would be Nai Palm. She is one of my favourite vocalists in the entire world. She has overcome so many life obstacles and her strength is something I admire. Her songwriting is truly something else, her unapologetic melodic writing and her crazy storytelling in her lyricism is something I’m thankful for, not only as an inspiration to my own art, but just thankful that it exists in this world.
What’s your go-to pick-me-up song?
One Sweet Day – Boyz II Men and Mariah Carey!
How would you describe your personal style?
Honestly, how I’m feeling implements my style. I’m definitely not someone who wears a lot of colours, but I’m trying to change that as I do like colours. One day you will catch me wearing Jordan’s, jeans and a big shirt, and the next day I will in a tight bodycon midi with sneakers, so it really depends on my mood. The only consistent is sneakers. I love Leah Abbott as a stylist. She’s based in the UK and styles Jorja Smith and I think she’s crazy.
What can we find you doing in your spare time, away from music?
Literally, I like doing so many things. I work as a Dental Assistant and if I’m not doing that, I’ll be at the gym, cooking, eating, or spending quality time with my family and friends. I’ve also been getting into painting again, which is cute.
Finally, what’s your number 1 goal for the next 12 months?
To release a full body of work I’m proud of. I’m almost there!