The Universe is a Little Funny: An Interview with Maddisun

by - August 30, 2022

Photo courtesy of Jessica Paige Photography

Maddison Keiver had a really strong idea for the concept of her latest album, Home Is Where The Music Is, that started at the overall message and trickled down to color schemes and merchandise designs.

It started with a few songs that she thought might make it onto an upcoming album. Those songs gave her the idea to travel back to the place where she wrote her first album, Ireland. She booked a songwriting retreat, reached out to her friends still living there and was ready to reconnect with the place she lived for nearly three years.

A week before she was set to leave, she received a call from Chloe Chaidez of PSY Sound. They had heard her cover of “Magic Man”, shared online by Nancy Wilson of Heart, and were interested in having her record her next album at their Los Angeles studio.

As she began rearranging her schedule to make it to Los Angeles, she wrote the song “Running”.

“It’s a song about me running to this opportunity, and feeling like I worked really hard and I need to go for this,” Keiver said.

With the mindset of knowing she would be heading to Los Angeles when she was done, she set off for Ireland for an off-the-grid, two-month retreat in February 2022. She returned home for 10 days, wrote “Right” in the midst of preparing to leave once again and traveled to Los Angeles for a two-week stay.

For 12 of those 14 days, Keiver spent 10-15 hours a day working on her album with the PSY Sound team. During that time she also attended industry events, filmed music videos and participated in photoshoots.

“I learned a lot from the LA experience,” she said. “It's easy to get disappointed; you go out there and maybe you think that whatever production company you work with is going to make you a star, and you're going to move to Los Angeles and that's going to become your whole world. What I learned is you have to stay on the outside.”

That learning experience inspired the track “On The Outside”. Keeping a distance from all of those expectations and focusing on the music instead of feeling out of place was a challenge for her, but she had a support system that made her feel more at ease.

Her main support system was her father, who accompanied her on her trip to Los Angeles. Her father, also a musician, spent time with her in the studio and continued to be her biggest influence. He is even featured on the first track, “Home”, which Keiver calls the theme song of the album.

“My dad is actually talking on the song,” she said. “He's in the studio and we were just chatting about my life; me growing up, music and coming into my new phase of my music career. Nick [Noto, producer at PSY Sound] put his phone on voice record and captured my dad and I having this conversation, so that was really special. He's so proud of me with this album; it's really nice to have him be a part of it and have that stamp on there.”

For Keiver, music is her therapy. It helps her stay true to her roots while experimenting with all the musical soundscape has to offer. It will always be there to lean on, no matter where in the world she is. Home is where the music is, and she hopes listeners feel like that is where home is for them as well.

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