Artist Spotlight – Madgrrl
Hard dance is not for the weak,
…and it is definitely not for the weak if you are trying to breakthrough. The niche genre has some of the most enthusiastic fans so when they show up it’s because you deserve it. This was easily shown during Madgrrl’s live set at Beyond Wonderland. Usually being on an Art Cart, you get some dedicated fans to show up, but Madgrrl had a packed house dancing and partying the night away. A testament to her killer sounds and energy.
Coming out of the pandemic fully charged and ready to go, we expect to see Madgrrl grace more lineups throughout the USA and continue to represent for women everywhere.
Thank you for taking the time to sit with me today. You recently played Beyond Wonderland, how did it feel to play a massive festival after the last 18 months? What would you say is your ultimate gig goal?
No, thank you!! Yeah Beyond Wonderland’s energy was unmatched. This year, I actually played a smaller stage from when I last played Beyond Wonderland in 2019 and I was really nervous that no one would show up to my set as I was also playing early in the day. Me and my team were blown away that we had the small Art Cart stage packed before sundown. The promoters at Space Yacht who hosted the stage were also so enthusiastic. It was such a good time and it felt so good to be back!!
My ultimate gig goal USED to be to play EDCLV but I achieved that in 2019. So I think now I would really love to play Tomorrowland or RAMPAGE in Belgium. OH and I would LOVE to play at Boothaus in Cologne! Ha-ha I just realized that those are ALL in Germany – that’s just mere coincidence! But the Germans love their dance music and they are so enthusiastic!
You were recently named on Kutski’s “Keeping the Rave Alive #495 Future Superstars”, with your track DNA. How does it feel to have the support of a superstar and legend like Kutski? What does that do for your confidence?
Really? I didn’t even realize! Ha-ha oh my God thank you. Jon Kutski is AMAZING! He is SUCH a legendary DJ, especially in the hard dance community. I wouldn’t really say it’s a confidence booster however it’s more humbling for me because I am friends with Jon and other DJs at his level and experience in the scene.
It’s crazy for me to talk to DJ/producers I used to look up to before I started DJing myself. It’s a full circle moment type thing.
For many up and coming producers, they were DJs first and producers later. Is this true for you? Do you prefer to produce or DJ? Why?
Yeah I started DJing first back in around 2012. I was a promoter for a couple years before that and have worn many different hats in the business music side of the industry. But I really enjoyed DJing so from there evolved into producing music.
To me, you can’t really compare DJing and producing as they are completely opposite aspects of being a dance music artist. I am through and through a DJ as my dad is also a DJ so I grew up around DJ culture.
I love it.
You are from Virginia, how would you compare the hardstyle scene in Virginia to California? What would you like to see more of or less of in the hardstyle scene?
So Virginia has quite a good local scene for dance music, it’s small but still good! Virginia Beach and Richmond being the main cities for dance parties and undergrounds. A lot of the big DJs roll through those cities on tours. That’s where I was promoting raves back in the day.
Honestly I wouldn’t consider my project falling under strictly hardstyle. I love hardstyle so much but I also incorporate a lot of bass music and dubstep into my hard dance tune and into my sets. I’ve gotten a lot of hate in the past from the hardstyle community for bringing other genres into my music, they’re really passionate about hardstyle. So I guess to answer your question I would really love to see more diversity in the hard dance scene. ESPECIALLY in America where we have cultivated so many genres within electronic dance music as a whole!
The career for a women in music, especially the male dominated electronic music scene, can be a bumpy and trying one. What obstacles have you faced? What advice have you been given to succeed? And what advice would you give to the next generation of women who want to pursue a career like yours?
This is always such an important topic as there just simply isn’t enough women in the electronic music scene making music and DJing! I know there have been some recent festival analytics that surfaced showing the ratio of women to men and white to colored artists. It’s really disappointing to see how underrepresented we are in the community. And I can see how the next generation of women would be intimidated to want to try and pursue a career in dance music. Honestly, you really have to put yourself out there! You’re going to come across people who will put you down just because you are a woman and/or the color of your skin, anywhere in life.
My advice to women – you have to just ignore the haters and really try to push your music and yourself as an artist. Surround yourself with other women and don’t see them as a competition!! Other women should be considered your support and be your strength! Get yourself on as many tools as possible. You’d be so surprised how many other artists will be willing to help you with DJing or production by just asking and collaborating. I’ve worked with so many artists on the internet I’ve never even met in real life just from being supportive of each other and maintaining a support system!
Finally, if you could only live by one motto, what would it be?