Madmoizel, Lady Dandy – Electro-Post-Punk
Looks like: A slick, cool androgynous Lady Dandy.
Sounds like: Nina Hagen meets Bowie meets New Order meets Kate Bush.
No surprises, then, that this unique singer, songwriter, performer and music producer, MADmoizel, is known as the Lady Dandy from France, famous for her 80s feel electronic beats that transport you back to an era where gender crossing was creative and sexy and spilled over into aural sensuality. Creative Mapping caught up with the edgy and enigmatic MAdMoizel to talk more about sonic tastes and the power of music to colour our world.
“My last single 'Freaks' was influenced by Dorian Gray, written by one of the most famous Dandy's. I'm fascinated by their way of life hence the title of my EP 'Lady Dandy'. It also talks about the human duality: you look like a certain kind of person, but you hide the "freak" part of you!” MADmoizel
MADmoizel, Lady Dandy electro-pop, post-pun new-wave
CM: Where are you from originally?
I was born in Marseille in the south east of France.
CM: What and where did you study?
I was a student in Toulouse (south west of France). I wanted to be a philosophy teacher but music was so important for me that I gave it up and began to play with bands.
CM: How long have you been working in music now?
I’ve played the piano since I was six years old. When I was a teenager, I began to play in a pop-rock band (as bass player). No success. Then I had a lot of different musical experiences; electro-pop, post-punk-new-wave. We had a lot of gigs and played in London, Paris (le Baron, la Flèche d'Or), Barcelona, Toulouse. All these experiences on stage built my self-confidence and in 2005 "MadMoizel" was born! I recorded my first EP "Dame de France" in Germany, which was released in June 2010 and was offered a lot of gigs...
CREATIVE PROCESS OF MADMOIZEL
CM: What’s your main attraction to a career in music?
Sound has a physical effect on me: makes me dance, gives me 'power', that's why I wrote in one of my songs, "my heart is beating like a drum". Playing music is the only way to express all the feelings I have (melancholy, joy, anger...).
CM: MADmoizel, which are your favourite songs from your own recordings?
On my first EP, I really like "The Dreaming" and "Like a Drum" because the mixing of classical and electronic music is successful. "The Dreaming" is also the name of the best album by Kate Bush, who has influenced me a lot. From "Lady Dandy" (my EP), "Come" and "Lady Dandy" (the single) are very important for me; the first because I was very demandingin the composition of this song, the second because it’s the key to the album. Each time I'veplayed the song live, the audiance was intrigued! It is the same when people don’t know if I'm a boy or a girl...
CM: So, who is your biggest musical inspiration? Kate Bush?
I saw David Bowie for the first time in his ‘Ashes to Ashes’ video when I was six years old - and I was shocked! I'm still fascinated by him and his career. The same year, ‘Peter and the Wolf’ gave me a better understanding of music. I understood sound and vision were synchronized. There’s no need to close your eyes, you just need to open your ears and the fiction is coming to you. Kate Bush & Nina Hagen influenced me on the vocals parts because they’re able to sing like a diva and a punk. They’re kind of 'schizophrenic singers'!
CM: What music/artists/books have you been influenced by?
My last single ‘Freaks’ was influenced by ‘Dorian Gray’, written by one of the most famous Dandy’s. I'm fascinated by their way of life, hence the title of my EP ‘Lady Dandy’. It also talks about the human duality: you look like a certain kind of person, but you hide the ‘freak’ part of you.
CM: How do you deal with creative blocks in your work?
Creativity depends on what happens in your life. A few years ago, a lack of creativity made me nervous. Today it’s different. If I'm not creative, I listen to a lot of music. Most of the time this makes me creative again.
CM: What’s your song-writing process - from initial idea to the final piece?
The process is always the same. First I compose drum and bass parts with my electronic station (Electribes EM1/ Korg), I add melodies with synthesizer and vocals. Then I write the lyrics - I want them synchronized with the beat of the track.
When I write a song, I never stop to work until it’s finished. It takes me one day, two days. Sometimes it will only three hours. It depends on my concentration. I know exactly when the song is finished, I never change it. I only use computer (Mac/Logic/Protools) in the mixing and mastering of the track.
CM: Do you work with other artists? If so, how are they involved?
It's easier for me to work alone, nevertheless, I’ve had few collaborations. I made the track ‘Over is Over’ ("UFO" EP) for Näd Mika (Berlin) in 2009. I worked for a figure skater who needed a soundtrack for the France Championships and recently I also participated in a movie soundtrack. Recently I was involved in a movie soundtrack.
Because of live experiences in France, Netherlands, Belgium and Germany, I've met interesting people whosuggested collaborations to me – so I’ve collaboratewith people from Paris, Berlin and Chile. I've also collaboratedwith a talented young photographer ; Aï Estelle Barreyre, who has worked with andrgynous people. Her work was exhibited at Arles photo festival and another town in France. A young French performer ‘Fraise Vinyl’ based in Korea since 2011, directed the video clip for my single ‘Come’ and I was very proud of that.
CREATIVE LIFE OF MADMOIZEL
CM: How do you market your music?
Web marketing is the easiest, cheapest and most efficient way. I mainly use social networks like Facebook, Bandcamp, YouTube. It’s important to subscribe and update all these sites. When we were working on my last video clip, I put photos and added a teaser on Facebook for few weeks to draw our follower's attentions to this event... and when the clip was posted, everybody had a look!
CM: Making music must take real dedication?
When I was younger, people around me told me music isn’t a job, you have to study. Today I'm proud I’ve never given it up! I don't know if one day my music will be very successful, but the most important thing is to keep doing what I like to do!
CM: Where are you based now?
I live in the south of France and I'm bored with that life, so decided to quit my job and travel to Europe. My sister lives in Paris and I often go there, but I want to spend more time in Berlin and London and NYC will be great.
CM: MADmizel, your favourite places to hang out in Paris?
I think Paris has been a little bit down since the end of the 90's. A lot of artists have left Paris for London, Berlin, and Brussels. There are some cool venues like Batofar, La Machine du Moulin Rouge, le Pin Up Bar, L'International. You can find interesting galleries in the Marais (famous gay district of Paris). I think the Yvon Lambert Gallery is the most beautiful gallery in Paris. Beaubourg and Jeu de Paume are interesting too.
CM: Favourite events or festivals?
The Macbeth (London), Batofar (Paris), Les Eurockéennes, Les Inrockuptibles, Reading Festival, Benicassim...
CM: Favourite blogs or magazines?
I always have a look on the NME site, it's important to be informed about music news from England. One of my friends works at an independent radio station and he often sends me links and helps me discover talented artists.
CM: Who would you love to collaborate with in the future?
Because ‘Peter & the wolf’ marked me for life, I’d like to collaborate with a film director as a composer. I’m fascinated by Kubrick’s soundtracks, especially ‘Clockwork Orange’ and also by the soundtracks of silent movies.
MADmoizel - *Photography credits:
Aï Estelle Barreyre