What were you doing as a teenager? The answer to this question probably depends on your background. If you grew up in Britain, you might have been busy drinking WKD at the park, trying to make sure your fringe had no holes and that you memorized an anthology of poetry for your GCSEs (sorry, but we can all be I agree that, however, significant, "Search for My Tongue" is a horrible horrible poem.) Other parts of the world will have content different rituals, different outlets, different ways of navigating the strangeness of that bridge from youth to # Adult age – an experience that is also universal.
For the electro pop artist Madge – real name Cat Leavy (though he will not tell me his age!) – those teenage years were spent to question his entire belief system. She was born and raised in a Mormon family in Utah, America, but when she grew up, she began to wonder if that lifestyle was even meaningful to her. "When you live with just other Mormons – which I've been doing for most of my life – you think everyone is like that," he says now, talking on the phone from his apartment / improvised music studio. "I was very troubled by sexism and church homophobia and starting to question him as a teenager and then having a crisis full of faith in my early 20s … I was really traumatic. deal with those intense feelings of shame, guilt and self-loathing that have been programmed into my brain. "
He now lives in Los Angeles, having abandoned Mormon life to become a music wizard for one person, but it was not a simple journey. First of all, he did what every logical young man does when going through an existential crisis, and he moved to New York, where he studied performative art at New York University and suffered a lot of repressed by celebrating his system. When I ask her at what moment the music has come to the fore, she hesitates. He had always played classical piano and wrote songs, he tells me, but it was only when he moved to Friborg, Germany, after college, that he found his tribe. It was there that he founded the synth duo New Shack with his best friend Eric – a band that has a heavy back catalog of catchy pop songs, colorful, with a taste of 80 years, and continues today. His things, he says, came later.
"In the duo, I do not do any production, just the songwriting, and when I would have had interviews or talk with the fans, it was fun how quickly everyone was convinced that I was not doing the production side of things," he explains. "I wanted to be like," wait, no, no, I can do it too, I'm not just a face here. "One day I was full of angst in my studio and I was like," I'm going to do everything, I will write, I will record, I mix, everything. "And then I did. Here's how Madge happened. "
Madge was the main focus for about a year – the same amount of time she lived in Los Angeles – and so far she has released two tracks with that name: the dark and heavenly "Fight of Flight Club" back in March , and "How To Play", which we are presenting in preview. This is a bizarre track, with a refrain that sounds like a nursery rhyme attached to dirty synth lines and electrocution beats. It's the kind of thing that could make sense in a compilation alongside Uffie and New Young Pony Club in the 2000s, but it also fits perfectly with pop music prodigals like Charli XCX and MØ. "This song brings me back to what I would do before I became an academician," says Madge. "I just wanted to create something so obvious, so catchy, without the lyricism and poetry of my other tracks, it's just a big trace for the middle child's finger.If I had to summarize my mission statement, it's probably this."
For now, "How to Play" is the next step in introducing Madge to the world before her debut EP arrives in a couple of weeks. Before then, however, he tells me that he will have a sugary and carbohydrate breakfast and that he will return to work in the studio. "I'll probably start thinking about this interview right away, getting tired for the next two hours," he adds, laughing. "I always replay everything I've done, I live in a cycle of attempts to relive the past, it's something I'm working on."
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This article originally appeared on Noisey UK.