With the ever-evolving landscape of electronic music, innovation and creativity are two of the most important skills an artist can possess. For Madeaux, born as Andrew Berman, sound is a marble block waiting to be carved into bass-heavy, house inspired compositions. From his start as a shy athlete growing up in Miami to his eventual creative awakening at a school-wide pageant, Madeaux is a beacon of hope for those who feel lost in their life’s purpose. As he has proven through the years, a strong force of will and desire to be great are the necessary core values of any burgeoning artist or creative.
Currently based in LA, the self-taught guitarist and producer holds a grip of accolades, including features on BBC Radio 1Xtra, Ministry of Sound, Billboard’s “Top Artists To Watch,” and a slew of others like P&P, Complex, and DJ Mag. His records almost always see significant support, including Wave Racer, Ryan Hemsworth, and A-track for his 2014 Love the Machine EP. His love of genre-hopping is evident across all of his work, as well. His 2015 Fool’s Gold-signed New Wav EP fused Miami bass with trap and R&B. “It’s so much more than EDM,” Madeaux said of the record, “It’s an anthology of style with an ultramodern paint job rendered in 1080p.”
Check out Madeaux’s NEST HQ Guest Mix below, as well as our interview with him where we discuss everything from his sound and goals to his forthcoming work in 2017 and some advice for burgeoning producers.
Hey man! So, tell me a little bit about how the Madeaux project began.
Before I made music I was really into sports, namely swimming. Training was my whole life, which suited me as I was always very shy. My senior year of high school I decided, “Fuck it! I wanna walk in this school-wide pageant,” break up out my shell in one fell swoop. I needed a “talent” to participate so I taught myself guitar. It was through guitar that I got into electronic music.
How would you describe your sound to a parent whose kid is in love with your music?
I would tell the parents I’m trying to carve out a zone between traditional pop music & club music. Less vocals/convention than pop, more song-writing maneuvers & vocals than pure club records. Something you can dance to that has a more developed narrative than average club fare.
We hear you have a new project slated for 2017. Can you talk a bit about that?
I won’t say much but it’s very exciting. I survived some critical things in LA and that had a big effect on my sound. The record is dark & sexy, bold & timeless.
How has working on an album been different from working on singles and EPs?
I love the idea of albums because it’s a full statement. I learned so much in the process via A&R’ing, writing, producing, really doing everything for the record & I find it much more rewarding than churning out a single or a handful of tracks on an EP. This is my opportunity to flex on my vision, and I worked hard to make every moment a flex.
What has been your most exciting moment as a musician?
There have been so many moments this year alone. From scoring and performing a live exhibition with Viktoria Modesta in a symphony hall for Art Basel, playing my first show abroad in Barcelona, leaving on my first North American tour with the Fool’s Gold squad, the list goes on. I’m thankful for everything, but hungry for increasingly more ambitious projects.
How is the LA music scene different from those in other cities? Have you noticed any drastic differences or surprising similarities?
LA is great because there is a unique communal energy to it. Everyone wants to pool resources and build up together. In my experience on the East Coast, from Miami to Boston to New York, it’s completely different. People are very competitive, cutthroat, totally different paradigm.
Do you have any goals you’d like to achieve in 2017? Any collaborations, features, shows, etc?
I add to my list of goals in a journal daily and their execution in 2017 is going to be a special joy. 2016 was a building year; felt like I was working on tracks all day every day in addition to doing whatever I had to do to survive. Now I have folders full of records on deck and more than a handful of dope labels who wanna release them. It’s a trip to submerge, going deep down rabbit holes of your own devices, regardless where the “scene” may be. In that regard, I feel that I’ve wandered quite far off the SoundCloud reservation, it’s been a lot of fun to discover music on my own terms.
Any recommendations for producers trying to stand out in the vast sea of SoundCloud?
How to stand out on SoundCloud? Get away from it. There’s so much more to music than imitating the same four flavors that get hits on that platform. We need more people out here pioneering dope novel shit, not just a new Serum preset over the same format records as 2012. Put yourself in compromising positions. Go as far as humanly possible to challenge yourself. It’s my belief that living sincerely in the pursuit of your craft will inevitably lead to the creation of momentous art.
Madeaux NEST HQ Guest Mix Tracklist:
DANCES 2017 FOREWORD
Madeaux – ID
Madeaux – ID
Gesaffelstein – Trans
Amerie – Why Don’t We Fall In Love? (Kaytranada Edition)
NERD – She Wants To Move
Gesaffelstein – Glass
Born Dirty & Jakwob – Blind When I Dance (feat. Jaw)
Dombresky – Utopia (Madeaux Remix)
Strange Club – Operator (Feat. Ninth Child)
Kali Uchis vs. Madeaux – Sycamore Tree vs. ID
Arme – Espionage
Cakes Da Killa – Keep it Going Ft. Calore
Born Dirty – Don’t Stop Get it Ft. Kid Sister
Black Atlass – Island Love (Madeaux VIP) vs. Cuz Lightyear – ID
Giraffage – Bring Me Your Love (Madeaux Remix)
Madeaux – Lost in Translation Ft. A-Trak
Maceo Plex vs. Kanye West – sexALLDAY (Madeaux Edit)
Bjarki – I Wanna Go Bang (Descender Bootleg)
Autoerotique – Freak
Depeche Mode – Personal Jesus (Madeaux Cover)
Gabe & Rockstead – Dirty People
Aglory – ID
Born Dirty – Mum’s Money (Jakwob Rmx)
Strange Club – ID
Twice – In the Zone (Prod. By Myth Syzer)
Madeaux & Manman Savage – Pull Up
Josh x Zain – Bitch (Madeaux Remix)
TALLISKER – Easter (Madeaux Remix)
Tommy Trash & Madeaux – KDA Ft. Tommy Lee Sparta
Madeaux – New Wave (Wuki Remix)
Madeaux x X&G – High Caliber
Madeaux x Valy Mo – Hearts For Eyes (MDX VIP)
Madeaux – Empathy
Madeaux x DZZ – All I See
Cakes Da Killa – Gon Blow Ft. Rye Rye
Lil Uzi Vert – Money Longer
L4HL – ID
Madeaux – ID
X&G – ID
Gaika – 3D
Madeaux – ID