Since making her musical debut with her song Drift early last year, fast attracting a solid fan base and over 1 million plays across Spotify and Soundcloud in just a few months, Madeline North, better known by her musical moniker So Below, has once again blessed us with a moodier, masterful electro-pop banger, titled Ruin. Packed with heavy synths, ghostly-altered vocals and a beat you just can’t help but move your feet to, we caught up with Maddie for a chat about her fast-growing musical endeavour and what is yet to come in the world of So Below..
Written with the help of producer and friend, Brad Hale who she describes as “the nicest person on the planet” and fellow kiwi, Chelsea Jade, “the best lyricist I’ve ever met,” Maddie also reveals the popular Netflix series Stranger Things had a hand in influencing the darker, edgier tones of Ruin, a self-described five minute banger that is about relying on the people that always tend to let you down. “We wrote it just after watching Stranger Things, so we were kind of on that darker kick already, we just delve even deeper and darker into it,” she explained.
“When I go into a room and write with other people it always tends to start with a beat or some chords,” Maddie speaks of her songwriting process. When it came to Hard, she revealed it was the chorus that came first. “The ‘we push so hard’ line popped into my head and we went on to craft the song around that idea, but usually the process will be chords first, followed by the melody and then the lyrics.”
Whilst just a matter of months between releases, the edgier undertones of Ruin highlight an obvious honing of crafts. From North’s creative songwriting talents to an undeniable increase in vocal maturity. “During recording my first EP last year, I would always demand more reverb in the microphone when singing so I didn’t have to hear my voice,” she explained with a laugh. “I definitely project a lot more throughout Ruin, and I think if anything, my vocal style has evolved and there’s a lot more confidence there now.”
With Ruin recently featuring on Spotify’s Emerging Playlist, a smokin,’ spooky video on the way and a New Zealand On Air Grant for follow up single Close under her belt, So Below not only kickstarted 2017 off with the support slot for kiwi favourites The Naked & Famous, but also set out on her very own headline tour throughout the UK in February and March.
“It was really fun!” she tells us of the experience. “The response to the shows was really cool. I had people coming up to me afterwards and saying really nice stuff, so it was definitely a very rewarding experience. I had two British boys from Nottingham in my band and my manager also lives over there, so I got to meet a lot of cool people and it was just a really fun trip, I can’t wait to go back!”
Admitting that the final London show of the tour was her favourite, not to it mention being sold out and on her birthday nonetheless, Maddie also confirmed that we kiwis can definitely look forward to some shows and possible festival dates throughout the summer, along with the release of another EP early in the year [EXCITE].
Speaking of travelling, we talk about her time spent in Los Angeles and the ‘fakeness’ that comes with living in such a big city. “There’s a lot of fakeness, which is a bit jarring at first but once you get past that and realise everyone here is climbing that creative ladder, or trying to climb that ladder, you can accept that fakeness and everything is a little easier. People here are still very nice and friendly, but it’s definitely very different to New Zealand.”
While we wait in anticipation for the Ruin music video, Maddie was kind enough to fill us in on her forthcoming single Close, a track we can expect to hear before the year is done. “I wrote that one with Chelsea Jade and Sam McCarthy. I’d say it’s the most upbeat song I’ve made to date, it’s very poppy and super upbeat, but the lyrics are still depressing, so don’t worry, it still retains some of my depressiveness,” she chuckled.
🌹\\ 3 FUN FACTS ABOUT EVERYONE’S NEW FAVOURITE: SO BELOW // 🌹
Auckland three-piece band Alae deliver their most anthemic song yet with the release of their brand-new track, Too Strung Up which premiered yesterday with Rolling Stone Australia and releases everywhere today.
The I Love The 90s Tour returns to Auckland next year March 23rd at Auckland’s Spark Arena, with a completely off the chain lineup featuring classic Hip Hop crew Naughty by Nature. Vin Rock from the Grammy Award winning rap group speaks fondly of this country and love of our people.
The Soundsplash Festival is returning to Raglan in January 2018. Local reggae favourites Katchafire are returning to feature on the bill. We sent a few questions over to lead vocalist Logan Bell ahead of the festival.
Following 2015’s Kitty, Daisy & Lewis'The Third', the sibling trio are back stronger than ever, harnessing their ability to create pop-infused soul, blues, rock n roll and a large mix of genres to perfection, in the shape of their fourth studio album, Superscope.
Kylie Price has just released her new album Bones. Last week she appeared on theNZ Entertainment Podcast, where she sang a new song I Dont Want To Go off the album while talking shop about her dream gig to play with Ed Sheeran and her Philipino roots.
Last week I caught up withPeter Hook ahead of returning down under for Australasian leg of the Joy Division and New Order Substance tour. We had a great chat about the spirit of punk, what it takes to write a book and why shows like the X-factor are so unhealthy…
Long established as one of New Zealand’s finest acts, South Pacific reggae-soul legends, The Black Seeds are set to tour the country in September, following the release of their long awaited 6th studio album Fabric, (out today - Friday September 8th).
Jacqueline Nalpant is a Booking Agent for the Paradigm Talent Agency, and is heading to New Zealand early next month where she'll be one of the speakers for the Going Global Music Summit (Friday 1st & Saturday 2nd September at Roundhead Studios, Auckland).
Since making her musical debut with her song Drift early last year, fast attracting a solid fan base and over 1 million plays across Spotify and Soundcloud in just a few months, Madeline North, better known by her musical moniker So Below, has once again blessed us with a moodier, masterful electro-pop banger, titled Ruin.
Since forming in 1998, the Antwerp, Belgium based trio Triggerfinger have long become a mainstay on the rock scene, building a solid reputation across Europe, the US, Canada and beyond, as one of the hardest-driving and sharpest dressing bands around.
Popular metalcore group Northlane are on their way to New Zealand. The Sydney band are touring North America taking in countries like Chile and Mexico as they head our way down-under next month to play Wellington’s San Fran then Auckland at the iconic Kings Arms.
Returning to New Zealand for the first time in three years, Australian metalcore band In Hearts Wake are on their way to our shores next month for a quick run of shows supporting their label cohorts Northlane.
Courtney Marie Andrews has landed in New Zealand, and set to play two concerts this week with Joe Pug - tonight at San Fran in Wellington (Wed July 19) and tomorrow night at The Tuning Fork in Auckland (Thu July 20).
Auckland two-piece Skinny Hobos, Alex Elvis and Texas Holdom, are heading on a 5 date New Zealand tour with headliners Decades, Bakers Eddy and Dead Favours. Kicking off tonight in Hamilton (July 14), the tour will also take them to Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and finishes up in Dunedin.
Have you ever considered sharing your most personal experiences with the entire world? Well come this Friday 14th July, that’s what Emma Cameron, the rocking front-woman of kiwi band Decades is about to do, when they release their long-awaited full length debut album, The Truth And Other People, so we sat down with the cheerful front woman to discover just what truth this album reveals..
Whilst Sonny Landreth is a well known slide-guitar master, zydeco enthusiast and phenomenal blues legend, what you may not know about him, is that he is one of the nicest gentlemen in the entire universe.
He was always the boy next door type energy, that type of person you just always wanted to be around. From day one, Shay Taylor has always been one to break the mold and live life in such a vibrant and contagious manner, that no matter who he spoke to, they walked away feeling great!
To celebrate the recent announcement of their debut album Idiot Proverbs, set for release on Friday 12 January, Tiny Little Houses have revealed both the music video for their single ‘Entitled Generation’ and their highly anticipated Australian album tour for February and March 2018.