New York City based singer-songwriter MAAD possesses the rare amalgamation of raw talent, effortless style and approachable beauty that are key ingredients in the recipe of pop stardom. Unlike starlets of the millennial heyday - like Britney Spears or Christina Aguilera - who defined the early 2000s listening experience, the former model and part-time DJ is not beholden to bubblegum tropes, or the good girl gone bad narrative that carried adolescent pop princesses through to sexually suggestive adult crooners.
If anything, MAAD is a soul in the wrong era; she was meant for the past but somehow became entangled in the future. LÉ FUNK, her seven-song EP is a loving dedication to the infectiousness of retro funk and soul. The project was produced by her longtime collaborators theVAMP, and though it is fairly simmering with nostalgia for the days of 1950s and '60s, MAAD's sultry voice and versatile vocal range feel unfailingly in the now. The EP includes a few of the singer's breakthrough tracks like "Black Ice," which premiered through Saint Heron last year, as well as "90s Love" a wistful retrospective on the type of love (and music) that used to be. "Touch Me," the Ro James-featured ode to amorous body contact also made the cut, which is little wonder considering just how titillating the sound while trading steamy promises back and forth.
MAAD rounds out the offering with three new tracks: "Satisfied," "Lost Together" and "Stingy Lover." Ahead of the EP release we caught up with the burgeoning talent to find out what inspired the hypnotically funk-inflected new project.
What is LÉ FUNK?
I was in the studio with a close friend of mine and we were brainstorming ideas for creating merch with the words ‘LÉ FUNK’ on it. At the time I was working on my EP, so I told him that it had to be the title. It felt so fitting with the music and vibe of the project, and once it was in my head I couldn’t turn back.
What's the inspiration behind the project?
I wanted to create a project that felt like the music I love and grew up listening to. I have to thank my parents for surrounding me with a dope array of music. I remember coming back from dance class on the weekends; we'd listen to artists like Sister Sledge, Chic, Donna Summers & Luther Vandross. It was important to me when creating this EP to give people a feeling of happiness and good vibes. I think of my music as an escape. I can only hope it does the same for others.
What do you love about soul and funk?
It’s a feeling. I love how soul and funk just really never goes out of fashion, it just feels so timeless.
How do you bring that sound into the present?
I think getting into DJ’ing and working with producers who love the same type of music I do plays a huge part. I feel like with LÉ FUNK we've discovered a fresh approach to a retro vibe.
For more of our premieres, check out the title-track from Sarah P.'s upcoming solo debut album right here.