When Oliviaa Maduro was younger, she saw music as a magical force, “The magic is the innocence of music, no matter how explicit lyrics may be, the only job of the instrumental is to connect and to make you feel heard, recognized, and happy which is why production is absolutely essential for me as an artist in creating music from my heart and soul.”
As time went on, Oliviaa found herself making her own magic, “I love playing instruments and exploring new and exciting sounds as well as hearing and falling in love with them in other people’s work,” adding, “I have no shame in saying I have flat out burst into tears when hearing a baseline, harmony or just pretty much anything that sends butterflies through me. I often get overwhelmed when I hear beautiful music and have done for as long as I can possibly remember, which 100% led me to pursue it.”
And pursue it she has, which is where our story picks up as we talk about her growth, fur babies, and more in this back and forth exchange.
Kendra: For me, one of the most mesmerizing things is to watch an artist’s trajectory and growth from project to project. For you, how would you say you’ve grown in just a year or so when comparing 2020’s ‘Midnight Madness’ to this year’s ‘Act of Love?’
Oliviaa Maduro: When I think back to ‘Midnight Madness,’ it’s sad to say but I definitely think of a darker time. A lot of loneliness, frustration, and hurt. When writing it I had a lot of emotions and it was my own kind of therapy, but then I believe my reality at the time followed suit with how I was feeling within. It was my biggest project yet and so I naturally put a lot into it for myself more than anything and so I’m incredibly proud of it and the distance I have come since.
Although a lot may not have changed on the outside a lot has on the inside and I am a firm believer that it all starts within. “Angry Heart” was originally supposed to be on ‘Midnight Madness’ but at the very end, I decided to pull it because I wasn’t happy with it! I had spent most of my time in the studio on it but with music sometimes you have to follow your gut. I was able to recreate it and make it what it is today.
With ‘Act Of Love’ I have nothing but good and happy feelings especially when it comes to “Easier” and “Act Of Love.” Those two songs fill me with the magic I always searched for as an artist and with every project, I take a step closer to becoming the artist I dream of being.
Kendra: We’re going to talk more about ‘Act of Love,’ but I wanted to touch on an homage to Whitney on your last record with “Fearless Soul.” Can you recall the moment her music made you a fan?
Oliviaa Maduro: Oh Whitney. She feels like home. When I was writing “Fearless Soul” that’s exactly how that came about, so naturally. It fit perfectly and felt right, and also helped convey my story in a way that would be familiar to any music lover who hears it. One of my favourite all-time songs is “Dance With Somebody,” she was an incredible, beautiful Goddess, and watching her as a child made me feel warm.
Kendra: Now, ‘Act of Love’ has three very wonderful tracks that explore self-love, letting go of the worries, and so much more. I also know you have a few pets at home; Heidi, Dieter, and a kitty cat. If each of them had to represent a track on ‘Act of Love,’ which song would each pet rep?
Oliviaa Maduro: This is an amazing question haha! Now I know any pet owner will probably say this but I genuinely think my animals have such amazing and huge characters! I only wish the world could see them in action.
Now Dieter is a bit of a grumpy old man but he’s really a sweetheart and means well (sometimes) so he definitely would be “Easier.” Heidi is so full of energy and love it can be a tad overwhelming but no matter how frustrated you get at her she always gives you this look of unconditional love and excitement! So yep she would be “Act of Love.” Now my cat Teddy is a bit of an evil genius and psychopath. LOVE him but he’s totally insane so “Angry Heart” best fits him because I’m sure in a past life he did a lot of damage.
Kendra: Again, ‘Act of Love,’ really holds self-care and self-love up high and that falls in line with the importance of mental health. Which is something that is slowly starting to become unstigmatized in the Black community, at least here in the states. Is that the case in Black communities overseas as well?
Oliviaa Maduro: Mental health thankfully is also being unstigmatized over in the UK as a whole, but unfortunately not so much in the Black community. I believe we are maybe too hard on ourselves and one another which is one of the reasons we are so strong, but we have got a long way to go. One of the causes close to my heart is mental health and so as I grow as an artist and establish a loyal following and platform, there are a few exciting ideas I have for tackling mental health in the black community especially.
Kendra: Speaking of London, how has the music scene been impacted by the pandemic over the past year, and do you see it recovering?
Oliviaa Maduro: It’s been quite sad because all venues etc have been shut, however, the creativity never stops and so I know for me I was still very active with composing and writing. I was able to get into the studio and for that, I was very grateful because I was able to work and still feel some kind of usefulness.
Kendra: The new EP is out at the end of July, but what else do you have lined up as we head into the fall?
Oliviaa Maduro: I am trying to stay active on social media, especially as I am not the biggest fan of social media, but I know it’s absolutely essential in my line of work. I plan on working towards another EP for around October for my birthday time and perhaps a nice summer single for the end of August. I’m trying to stay consistent and keep the creativity flowing!