Spotlight: Interview with Madhouse

Spotlight: Interview with Madhouse
Born in Scarborough, Canada and now residing in Toronto, singer & producer Madhouse provides flavors of minimalistic R&B with a punk rock attitude.
Spotlight: Interview with Madhouse
Born in Scarborough, Canada and now residing in Toronto, singer & producer Madhouse provides flavors of minimalistic R&B with a punk rock attitude.
Where did you get the name Madhouse come from?

“Madhouse was a word that my girl wanted to get tattooed on her. I loved it so much that I asked for her blessing to use it, which she gave me.”

What was your girl’s urge to get the word tattooed? Does having her blessing add something special or different to your creative energy?

“Her reasoning is personal. But, of course it’s special. She’s the most creative person I know. She’s my art director and we work together on everything.”

So what does being a “madhouse” mean to you?

“It’s a flurry of creative energy that takes over my body and allows me to tap into my most aware state. I make my best shit when that happens. It’s uncontrollable. It’s seeing your target right in front of you. No bullshit and no distractions can stop me from reaching what I want. But I’m peaceful. It makes me a madhouse. Anybody can be a madhouse. [Basically] using my senses to make decisions. Acting with purpose. Allowing myself to evolve on my own time. Striving to always improve. Being fucking insane.”

How’d you get into making music? Do you have any specific inspirations that you look to for guidance?

“I knew there was an extreme lack of Asian representation in the media. Nobody really talks about it that much. I wanted to use music as a way to help my culture out, eventually bringing it to the forefront. Confidence and belief in what I do keeps me going.”

When did you feel inspired to start trying to bring Asian representation to the forefront and making that a theme behind everything you do?

“It’s not a theme in everything I do. When I create, I think feelings first. My motives aren’t to benefit a certain group. The playing field needs to change. We’re all equals. But race gets dragged in all the time. I’m representing my culture. I don’t want to get into it too much right now, I’m focusing on the quality of my work.”

Where are you from/where have you lived?

“I was born in Scarborough, Canada, raised in St. Catharines ‘till I was 16, then left for London in Ontario, currently residing in Toronto.”

Have any of those places inspired your music?

“Montreal is one of my favourite cities. Last year I took my girl for her birthday, we drove from Toronto through the worst snowstorm in like 60 years or some shit. I remember driving on the highway & seeing abandoned cars in the ditch, it looked like a Walking Dead episode. When we left Montreal for Toronto, I was driving like close to 180 km/h. I don’t know what I was thinking, but it was empowering as fuck. This whole thing served as a backbone to Scorpion Prince.”

Who are your role models and people that inspire your music?

“Sometimes it’s myself. Sometimes it’s other people. Right now its Elon Musk, he’s a genius.”

What does Elon Musk motivate you to do specifically?

“He inspires me to do the unthinkable.”

Gotcha. Anyone else?

“People that affect me on a day-to-day basis. Whether it’s good or bad energy, I’ll find a way to express it somehow.”

How do you describe your sound?

“Right now it's raw, yet refined. Sharp-as-fuck alternative R&B minimalism with punk rock attitude at the core.”

How are your working to develop your sound more as time goes on?

“Experiences help development. I can’t tell you what the sound is gonna be like in a years time. I don’t have it mapped out. Events in my life will end up influencing the sound. But also practice. The music won’t get better unless I get better as a writer and producer, and in order to move into the next era of Madhouse, I have to work on those things.”

What is the new era of Madhouse?

“It’s a little weird, a little introverted but bouncy, dark and it’s got more balls. The messages are more optimistic, the lyrics I wrote are the most honest I’ve done.”

What are you currently listening to?

“Brent Faiyaz, Green Day’s Dookie, the new Madhouse work. Coming of age shit.”

Migos or The Beatles?

“Hard to pick when they’re exactly the same.”

Photos by A.Y.C.