I had the pleasure of talking to upcoming rap artist Madz Half-Life, who I saw releasing the video to his song ‘Fuego’ on twitter. When I watched the snippet of the video I was immediately captivated by his incredible vibe and flavour and I just knew that I had to talk to him about what was going on, regarding his music, his personal life and his steps into the music industry. He has this passion and hunger for the music he creates that’s so infectious, which is shown through his whole aura. From his visuals to his lyrics, he puts you in several moods all at once (laughs). Here’s how the conversation went down:
I really want to know what made you call yourself ‘ Madz Half Life’? When I first saw it, I was like hmm how strange ( laughs). Obviously not in a bad way, but it was peculiar. What made you call yourself Madz Half Life
Well my actual stage name is Madz. Half-Life is just for the socials ,but it’s also something I live by. Half-Life means ‘an unsatisfactory way of living’. It’s a daily reminder for me no matter what I do in this life I will see it as a stepping stone towards something greater. The actual Madz part comes from my school days. I used to get in trouble a lot for “mad” antics so I had the name Madness. Then when I decided to take music seriously I cut off the end and added a Z for no reason whatsoever (laughs).
Okay, I’m so excited about your music. Like, I’m so excited. I’m glad before you get any bigger, that I get the chance to talk to you and pick your brain about your music and just you as a person. This Fuego song yeah, this Fuego song is crazy (laughs). I felt like I was in the middle of your relationship, like I was in the room just watching you guys argue and then when I leave, you guys are making up in the bedroom (laughs).What does Fuego mean? I find myself asking the dumbest questions sometimes, when I could just google it (laughs)
Fuego means fire in Spanish, you’re not the first person to ask me this question either (laughs) a lot of people didn’t know what it meant but they liked the sound of it
I will do. Moving on swiftly, so when I listened to Fuego, I clocked realized you sampled Usher’s old skool banger ‘Can you handle it. What made you sample that song specifically?
It was something I knew everybody was familiar with. And I knew the piano from a few different songs so I felt it was fitting. Quoting the Usher lyrics was just spontaneous, and it’s one of my favorite songs anyway.
I feel like if you’re a nineties baby, or just in general, and you are not familiar with that song, you need to be! It’s a classic tune for Usher. Seriously. What creative vision did you have for ‘Fuego’ and what were you trying to communicate about love, relationships and music?
Well, I was mainly trying to put whoever listened into a different zone. Something they can listen to whilst closing their eyes and forget about everything around them. The message I wanted to get across was something that aids you in a difficult situation. It put a lot of things into perspective. Also that not everything that feels good is good for you. Just like fire can help you cook and keep you warm but it can also burn you and cause some damage. I used the title Fuego just to spice everything up a bit
Thanks for that ! I feel like I get it now Madz. At first I was 60% there, but we’re progressing. I like it, I like the feeling of picking your brain apart with the WHAT, HOW and WHY (laughs). I feel like you have such a diverse sound. I felt like when I was listening to Fuego, it gave me a Jhene Aiko /A2 vibe but then when I listened to Put You On, I felt like I wanted to turn up and start dabbing
Thank you so much. I feel like I’ve begun to find my own lane. I’m able to take my fans different places and they’ll never really know what I’m going to come up with next
Put You On is your new song that was released recently , I feel like it is just that song. You know everybody just has that song for them, like that’s just that song for me. I feel like the artistry that is in that song can not be put in any category. I feel like it’s got a Yung Bane, Dave vibe but then I’m like no it doesn’t, then I feel like its intimate and heightened in some places. It literally spins me into so many musical dimensions.What inspired that song? And the title?
Thank you again. For those who listen to me it’s the first time they’ve maybe heard me use melody differently. The inspiration behind that song came out of frustration funnily enough. A lot was going on at the time, regarding the progression of my career, relationships and other stuff. So it was kind of me just documenting what was going on for me in that very moment. A bit of a jab as well (laughs)
I definitely feel you on that one. As an artist, I guess you use what you are going through personally and what is going on around you to inspire your music. How would you describe that song in one word?
Half-Life if that counts as one word (laughs)
It really doesn’t ! (laughs). But I will let you have that.I feel like your creativity in your videos is sick, like it’s just amazing. I can’t wait to see more of your music videos because I feel like visuals connect you differently to music
Yeah I don’t think the correlation between the music you make and the visuals you put to it isn’t focused on enough. I can’t count the amount of times a good song has a shit video or the other way around. I just try and focus on everything as a package
Yo, Take A Chance is deep and I wanna be nosy. I wanna know what was going on in your personal life that influenced that song? You’re talking about being given a chance by a female, her possibly taking the piss out of your life, like this stuff is deep, I’m sure it is. You say she’s brushing her acrylics through her hair and your sideburns, I wanna know some tea Madz. Whats going on?
(laughs)the acrylics line is from my brother JNR song R&B by the way. But yeah that situation was basically a girl I had met in the summer who I was attracted to. I felt like we were on the page, as far as attraction and wanting to see where things were going but as we tried to make something deeper out of what it was, we both realised we weren’t going to compromise on certain things. Regardless of this I was asking her to Take A Chance, basically.
Damn! All I need is for you to meet that special girl and give me some more love songs ( laughs). I’m such a big goof ball when it comes to all that lovey dovey stuff, seriously. So, I was scrolling through the timeline on twitter and saw that you were on the MOBOS list of ones to watch. I was so excited for you when I saw that, how did you feel about that? And how has that changed your musical journey thus far?
Thank you Ree. Errrmm, the way I’ve personally felt about it isn’t what you’d expect. There was no popping of bottles or hooray. I just converted it into the energy I use to make the best music I can and reach the goals I’ve set for this year. It wasn’t until my manager made me realise how proud I should be of myself for achieving such a thing, considering how long I’ve been putting out music. In terms of how it’s changed my journey I’m getting a lot more shows and a lot more recognition and buzz so it’s all good
That’s so good. I hope everything works out from here on out. What I really wanna know now is what is next for Madz? I know you are going to be performing at Bebe Garçon’s showcase in April ( look out for that guys!) What else? and how can we stay connected to you?
Yeah that should be good. I have one other show before that in Brixton and one on the 21st May. There should be some others that come up but everything will be on my socials which is MadzHalfLife on everything. And of course I’m working on the EP also which is 90% done
Check out Madz Half Life’s video ‘Fuego’ here: