madeline castrey

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Alt Pop
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Introduce yourself to us!

It’s just me, and as much as I wish I had a  groovy band name…I thought using  Madeline Castrey was the obvious choice!  I’ve left the middle name off though – With  two left feet, I’m the least ‘Grace’ful person  in the world!

I write and perform all my own songs and  work with some wonderful producers to get  the tracks sounding how you hear them  now!


Where are you based?

I’m based in Surrey which is just south of  London. The village I live in is very small,  and the music scene is basically just me  making lots of noise! The beauty of this  location though is that it’s close to London,  so I can still be a part of that vibrant city life!


What genre would you describe yourself  as?

My genre is a new little take on smooth  jazz. Speaking a bit more specifically, I’d  say nu-jazz/soft pop. As a classical and jazz musician, I’ve found  that a lot of people have preconceptions  about these two genres, given that they’ve  been quite exclusive in the past. I’m aiming  to innovate an area of the wonderful jazz  genre so it’s more accessible to the modern  listener by infusing jazz and classical  elements with modern beats and relatable  lyrics – so I hope there’ll be something for  everyone!


Who is your main inspiration?

Artist-wise: Nina Simone and Ella Fitzgerald, vocals wise, the one and only  Karen Carpenter – and I fancy myself a bit  of a Jools Holland in terms of arranging  music and improvising. I’d love to

collaborate with him one day!


What is your songwriting process (which  bits come first?)

The chords always come first for me!  Usually one lovely chord comes from  playing a wrong note, and from there I’ll  make a sequence. Then I usually improvise  a melody over the top and walk away for a  bit – then eventually the subject will come  to me and the words will flow from there. I’m a very methodical person (I love a list!)  so I find it easier if the process is very linear  – seems strange for something so creative!


What made you want to start in music?

I’ve always been a lover of music. I used to  put on shows with my little sister as a child  and I actually can’t recall a time where music  didn’t feature in at least some of my career  plan! If you’ve heard my songs, you might not  believe it, but my background is actually in  classical singing. I have a strong background  in West End Theatre and television, but then  I fell in love with opera and began to train as  an opera singer.


I was seriously ill as a teenager, and the  silver lining of this was being able to spend  lots of time on music and finding the style I  really loved. I was thrilled to become the first  ever 16-year-old admitted onto an  undergraduate degree course at The  London College of Music, and I then went on  to gain a distinction in my master’s degree  specialising in opera.


Over the past few years, I’ve been using  music as a means to fundraise for the  charities that helped me as a teen, and I was  thrilled to receive a Princess Diana Award for  my work.


What is on the horizon for you?

Well, in terms of live music – as soon as the  global situation allows, I’d love to perform  live more frequently and in some bigger  venues! I’ve had the opportunity to perform at some wonderful places in the past like  West End stages and the Twickenham  Stadium Live Room, but Ronnie Scott’s is  the ultimate ambition.


In terms of my recording plan, I’d love to  release an EP in the next year alongside a  few more singles. Then looking ahead to  2021/22, I’d love to think about getting a  label involved… the sky’s the limit really!


Who would you most like to collaborate with (alive or dead)?

Well, assuming I can keep up with him, this  has to be the one and only Freddie  Mercury…and did you know that we  actually both attended the same university!  (Obviously not at the same time though!)


What is your ultimate goal?

Signing with a jazz label like Blue Note and  releasing an album with some fantastic  originals and some dynamic collaborations!  I’ve got plenty more songs in the pipeline so  I’m looking forward to hitting the ground  running next year!


If you could cover any song, what would it  be?

This kind of ties in with my previous answer:  I would have to say Queen ‘Somebody to  Love’ I would have said Bohemian  Rhapsody, but I think I might need some  more people for that!


Tea making: milk first or last?

I’ll shock you here and say I actually don’t  drink tea! I’m a big coffee drinker and for  that I would have to say milk in first  because apparently you burn the beans  otherwise?! It’s a known fact that I’m  TERRIBLE at tea making, so it’s not often  that I’m asked to make it – when I do…milk  in first (I can see people rolling their eyes!)


Tell us your funniest joke!

Oh no!! I’m notoriously slow on the joke front!

Okay…here we go:

Two rabbits walk into a café looking to  order some food.

The first rabbit says I’ll have a ham and  cheese toasted sandwich please.

The second says, I’ll have one ham and  one tuna

The first rabbit is shocked. “You can’t do  that, you’ll get seriously ill!”

“What with?”

“Mixing – me - toasties”

*Comedy trombone*