Maddie Razook is an Oklahoma City-based singer/songwriter who creates lo-fi synth and vocal-oriented pop music. She keeps busy with writing, playing, and recording, teaching music lessons, and collaborating with other musicians on various projects and bands. She is happy to be able to share her newest collection of solo music, “Archive,” with the world, and looks forward to continuing to produce more music in 2020.
When and how (which instruments and what not) did you begin making music?
I’ve been singing ever since I can remember. Singing has always been my favorite thing in the world to do, ever since I was really little. I took piano lessons on and off all throughout my childhood, played a little bit of clarinet in middle school, took some guitar lessons at one point, etc. Playing the piano stuck of course, and I still play a little bit of guitar here and there, but my favorite way to express myself musically has always been and will always be with my voice. I’m so passionate about words, and I like to think it’s cool that there’s an instrument that lives in my body that I can do so much with.
Who and what are you biggest influences, in life and in music?
My biggest musical influence is probably Joni Mitchell, if I had to pick just one. I’m such a fan of her music and her ethos. I love how honest her lyrics are, how she doesn’t seem to hold anything back. Her album “Blue” is one of my all time favorites for that reason. In life in general, my biggest influences are probably my friends, and my community. I’m always really inspired by the cool people I know who are constantly creating beautiful things and making the world a more livable place.
What is you favorite thing about performing live for people?
I love the opportunity to connect with new people. Maybe even not even connecting personally face to face, but just that my lyrics or my music might resonate with someone in a way that sticks with them. I write music that feels good for me to play, I do it for me, but I really love it when it happens to mean something to someone else, too.
What was your best takeaway from being the lead singer of Pigments? What is one of your favorite memories?
Being a part of that band felt like an opportunity to just sing my poetry. It was a natural process, incorporating my thoughts and tunes in with the guitar, bass, and drums. It brought me a lot of joy, writing and playing those songs - those lyrics are some of my favorite I’ve ever written. Pigments isn’t active anymore, and that was a sad thing for all of us, in some ways it felt like it was over before it really began. That band was a snippet of time, brief yet meaningful. Moving forward I’m grateful to be able to keep creating, to keep writing constantly. My band Lust is in the process of recording a new full-length album, and now that my solo album is out I’m hoping I’ll begin recording a new one soon. I hope to never stop making things. I’ll keep doing it in whatever capacity I can for as long as I’m able.
Tell us about the first show or performance that you remember being a part of, elementary school musicals count.
I was a part of a lot of choir performances and musicals when I was younger! I wish I could remember the very first performance, it all sort of blurs together, but I remember being a part of a music group when I was maybe 7 or 8 called Star Troopers where we would perform and community events and nursing homes. I was a part of a pretty serious children’s choir as well - I think my time in that choir was when I became more familiar with the complexities of music, singing pieces that were pretty challenging technically and mentally. But I was just happy to be able to sing and perform any time I could.
I once saw you playing the piano and singing at the Paseo Farmers Market, do you prefer to perform this way or on stage at a show? How do the performances differ?
I really love that I’m able to do it all! The wonderful thing about being a solo artist is that I’m able to be sort of malleable in a way - the same songs sound completely different in different contexts. I remember that morning I played at the farmers market, I decided I would sit down while playing instead standing up at my synth like a usually do, and I decided to forgo the drum machine for a more serene sound (it was 9:00 in the morning after all!), and it’s refreshing to get to do that every once in a while. My favorite thing about playing solo is being able to make last minute tweaks to my set like that. The only person I have to consult is me - that makes things pretty easy!
If you had to describe your new album, Archive, in three words how would you describe it?
An open journal.