Stockholm-based Swedish-Congolese songwriter and performer Madeleine Grace is preparing for the release of her first EP later this year. We asked her to tell more about her music.
Madeleine Grace has been singing several years with the Oslo-based Two Yearz, but premiered as a solo artist in late 2017. Her vocals have been compared to the likes of Sade and Lauryn Hill, but if you ask her, she sees contemporary artists like Seinabo Sey and Solange as her inspiration, along with legends like Janet Jackson and Destiny’s Child.
So when we asked her who she would pick, if she could choose any artist in the world to work with, she just had to pick Janet Jackson.
– I remember watching her when I was around eight. I just got stuck watching her and all I could think of was that I wanted to be able to dance and sing like she did. It just makes sense to want to work with an entertainer who has affected me the way she has.
Madeleine’s third and latest single Tombé caught our attention being a sensual R’n’B tune with club vibes – and most interestingly having lyrics in both English and French. So we asked Madeleine what being multilingual means to her both in her everyday life and in her music.
– I was born and raised in the Congo, which is a former Belgian colony and grew up being multilingual… Plus I have friends from every corner in the world. The song being in a particular language was never a choice, it just happened. I was “vibing” in the studio one day and just felt the oddness of the beat. It just made sense to also mix it up a little bit and not to make it so predictable.
– Being multilingual means that I can express myself without boundaries. I feel blessed being able to see things from different points of view because of my background. And I can bring that into my music as well.
As Madeleine is making new music for her debut EP due for release later this year, she says she is just getting comfortable in herself and the type of music she wants to make. So we of course wanted to know how she would describe the music that is coming.
– The type of music that I want to make is actually the same type of music that spoke to me when I needed it the most. When I write I never just write from my own point of view. I use my mom’s, sisters or friends stories and try somehow to connect it to my own life.
– I listen to all types of music, as long as it has a message that speaks to me. I grew up with R’n’B, soul and Congolese rumba, but when I moved to Sweden I got introduced to rock and several other genres which had a great impact on how I want to sound. I want to create music that connects with people regardless of their background.