Maddie North is a New Zealander who has found her gorgeous self in Los Angeles, doing what she does best–making music. She released her first EP last year under the moniker of “So Below,” and we can’t get enough. Her music is ethereal, her voice tranquil, and her sound extremely unique. And then there’s her personality.
Maddie is a doll. We got to know her a little bit, and we’d like for you to know her too. Because she’s about to be a really big deal, and you don’t want to miss out. (Do you?) So check out this fun interview, and tell us what you think of miss Maddie (so) below!
If you could introduce yourself to our readers in any way, with money not being a factor, how would you do so?
Hahaha! I’m not one for being the centre of attention, OR parachuting, so I guess just a quick blurb.
Hi! My name is Maddie and I have a musical project called So Below. I just put my debut EP out about 2 weeks ago, it’s a sort of dark style of electronic pop! I like red wine and watching terrible tv. I put way too much sriracha on all my food and if I’m not working, I’m usually walking around the house in my pajamas, I know, I’m crazy.
You’re from Auckland, New Zealand. How do you think that has aided in shaping who you are and how you live your life?
Well NZ is such a great place to grow up I think. I feel like it’s quite a relaxed place, the people are amazing and nature and beaches are such a part of it too. Moving to Los Angeles I definitely had to live in a place that had some sort of backyard garden area. I knew if I was cooped up in an apartment I would go crazy hahaha.
We feel you on that one! How old were you when you started getting into music?
I started taking music more seriously about two years ago. Before that I just made crappy little demos on Garage Band, drowned in reverb and delay. I was always pretty embarrassed to play them to anyone hahaha.
Other than that I played piano since I was 5ish and was in a choir in high school!
We have all of that in common. (Seriously. All of it.) When did you head out to the west coast, and how has that experience been for you?
I moved to LA about 3 years ago! It’s been great, definitely took a while for me to find my footing though. My tracks “Luna” and “Sleep” are both about LA, in fact. Different aspects of it but definitely inspired by my time here.
Where did the stage name “So Below” come from?
I just wrote a ton of potential names down on a list and that was the one I liked the most! The funny thing is I’m also in another band called Space Above, and didn’t even see the correlation until a few weeks later when someone asked, “You did that on purpose right? Space Above, So Below?” Hahaha maybe I did it subconsciously.
That’s awesome! What do you find is absolutely necessary in the writing/recording process for you?
I really enjoy writing by myself, but it can sometimes be challenging. Its definitely easier when you have someone else in the room to bounce ideas off of. My friend Leroy Clampitt and I work really well together, we wrote “Drift” and “Luna” together and a bunch of stuff that I haven’t released yet. He’s just fun to be around and has a really positive energy which is molto importante. Coffee yes, always a must, and a good night’s sleep hahaha.
You describe your sound as “goth pop.” Who would you cite as influences for your music?
I wrote “gothpop” on Soundcloud for a laugh, and it sort of stuck. I’ve been a massive Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails fan for a long time, huge influence.
Great influences! If you could tour with any act in the industry, who would you choose and why?
Well, Radiohead or Nine Inch Nails?? Hahaha actually Grimes seems like a super cool chick, I bet she would be heaps of fun to tour with. Or Lorde, she’s such a lovely person.
And touring with those two would make sense with your sound. OK. We stalked your Instagram, and we see you have a sweet tooth. What is the best donut you’ve ever eaten?
I honestly don’t really have a sweet tooth, I don’t crave it. But hey if it’s in front of me, I’m not NOT gonna eat it I mean that’s just crazy talk. But there’s a pretty cool place called Donut Friend in Highland Park. You build your own dream donut. <3 <3
Bookin’ the next flight out! What are you currently listening to?
The new Moderat album is really great! It just came out, definitely check it out.
What are your favorite things to do/places to go/people to see in New Zealand?
I honestly haven’t really travelled around New Zealand! So I can’t give a good answer to this hahaha my bad. Its definitely on my to do list, but every time I go home I just want to hang with my family and friends in Auckland.
Fair enough! What do you do when a baby just stares at you in public? (Yup. Bizarre question. Owning it.)
Ummmm I’m not super great with kids, and I feel like they can sense my fear sorta like how dogs can hahaha. I guess my immediate reaction would be look away??
We’re cut from the same cloth. What’s the best video/movie/TV show you’ve seen lately? Why?
I saw a film last week called The Lobster it was really great! Its got Collin Farrell in it who is one of my fav celeb hotties. Although in this movie he’s not looking tooooooo great hahah.
We have been wanting to see that! YES. Your voice is absolutely gorgeous. Ethereal, really. This makes us wonder: if your music were to be featured in a movie or television show, which one could you imagine it as a background to?
The one that offered me the most money obviously!! Haha JOKES umm I’m a big sci fi fan, so maybe something like Ex Machina, or Under The Skin. TV shows maybe Girls? Or True Detective? Not sure if it’s a good fit though.
We kind of want to hear your stuff everywhere, though! What’s up next for SO BELOW, darling?
Maddie: Live Show!! I’m super excited but also hella nervous. I’ll probably invite people to like my 3rd show, by then I would have fallen on my face and forgotten all the lyrics a few times, so it will be out of my system by then hahaha.
**Originally published on Moshery, April 2016