Fast-rising artist Madishu and her lifetime collaborator David Theni have garnered recognition in popular magazines in Austria. Their upcoming single “the devil is a girl” will release on June 25th. Mustard had the pleasure of speaking with both ahead of its release. Madishu can be found on TikTok and other social media platforms.
1. You mentioned in an interview that your goal with creating music to help people feel better, help them heal. How has music been a form of therapy for you?
I’m going to answer this question with an excerpt out of the book I am currently writing about songwriting. “Music is a very powerful tool because it harnesses empathy. Our brain has a function called the “mirror mechanism”. The “mirror neurons” are responsible for copying, imitating what someone else is doing. You can see it very clearly in young children that would copy everything very fast. It is how people learn new things and this is how it applies to music. When you listen to music that moves you, your brain mimics what is happening in the performer’s brain, so basically you put yourself in someone else’s shoes. You emphasize with somebody that is in a different situation than yours. Music makes people more empathetic.”
I once read that in order to let go off a thought, or an emotion you have to feel it all the way through and a lot of people don’t like to do that, they like to hold on to that thought, because music is like a story, it has a beginning, the climax and the ending, it helps you finish that emotion that you are keeping and that thought. It is just as therapeutic to listen to and to write it. I sometimes say “I can’t find the song that is exactly what I feel, so I’m going to write one”. Writing songs is my main way to cope with my emotions, to process them. You experience something then write about it and immediately feel a lot better.
2. “Halloween” caught the attention of Austrian show “Feng Sushi.” Describe the experience.
“Halloween” was a very new experience for us as artists, back when we released it we did not have even half of the “attention” we get right now. It was the first song that really started getting more streams and more people to find about us. When we got the email with them asking us for an interview it got us to believe again in the goals that we have set with music. Sometimes it feels like all the work you put in doesn’t really go anywhere, but now we’ve learned that success in music comes in “waves”. You work a lot nothing will happen and then there will be a big wave that is going to take you to another level, then you’re going to work a lot again and another wave is going to come.
3. You’ve written songs about Halloween and Christmas. What makes these holidays stick out to you compared to others?
I personally am not a huge fan of Christmas, my personal favorite holiday is Halloween. I get to dress weird and over the top and go on the street and everyone else is going to look weird as well. Then we all party together and it’s amazing. I’ve always been drawn to things that are creepier and weirder, I don’t know why, but they always started a creative process in my brain and I love that.
4. Mustard got to preview your upcoming single “The devil is a girl” early. Tell us the inspiration behind it.
There is so much we can say about “the Devil is a Girl”. First, It’s a woman empowering song, we all know how much women have to deal with and think about every day that men just wouldn’t think about or do, like carrying pepper spray with them, not walking home at night, calling friends when they are alone somewhere and telling them where they are just in case. In Devil is a Girl these gender roles switch for a while. “Those sweet eyes can’t save you, you think you’re so brave, huh?”. Women are powerful, and we need to get that power back. Written the song back in 2019 and afterwards “God is a Woman” by Ariana was released. This song gives off the same vibe. If God can be a woman the Devil is a girl too. The song has also a couple of anime/manga influences like “the Death note” and “Devilman Crybaby”.
5. How did you and David meet? Did you gel together right away or did it take some time?
David wrote me on Instagram after listening to my songs’ demos on Soundcloud. He thought the songs were good, but not well produced, I was only learning to produce, and I still am right now, so he thought that that’s where he comes in. We ended up having a lot of fun working together and became close friends as well.
6. Purple is Mustard’s favorite color. What does the color mean to you? What is its significance?
Purple is the color of magic, power, ambition. It is also found in the non-binary and the ace spectrum pride flags. Besides my pure obsession with purple for originally no apparent reason, now I can proudly stand for non-binary people and the least represented LGBTQ+ community group the asexuals.
7. “Bedroom Artists Talk” is yours and David’s podcast. How did the podcast come together? What moment or moments sparked the idea to start one?
After we started getting a little more “attention”, we started getting a lot of questions from people that are starting out with music. When we started out there was really nobody who frankly said what it takes, how to do it, what we need, so we want to help all the people out there who need the help with everything that we know and have learned so far.
8. What is your songwriting process?
The songwriting process is different every time. Sometimes we start with a beat, sometimes just want to let an emotion out, sometimes there is a really cool story we want to tell through the song or raise awareness about something. Sometimes we’re putting together ideas from the voice memos that we spontaneously record, or maybe with a cool name of the song.
9. Who on TikTok has caught your attention? Is there any artists on TikTok you’d like to collaborate with?
I can say that I really love the works of Mad Tsai and of course Bella Poarch did a really amazing job with “Build a Bitch”.
10. At almost 20,000 followers on TikTok how do you keep your audience engaged? What tips or tricks do you have for musicians/creators to gain a similar following?
I found that a really interesting journey, I think at this point it is very important to keep a balance between tiktoks that “raise awareness” of our existence and tiktoks with singing, stories and stuff that people that already know us would be more interested. It happened very sudden, so we are still getting used to it 🙂
11. The devil is a girl. What evidence do you have to back up this claim?
If God is a Woman, the Devil is too. Women are powerful, and we need more songs to show that.
12. You’re garnering attention from popular magazines in Austria. Is there a certain protocol involved when speaking to a popular media? Do you have any tips?
Keeping it real, having a very well put together press kit can take you far.
12. “The devil is a girl” comes out June 25th. What sets this song apart from others you’ve made previously.
Since I wrote this song 3 years ago, I performed it live a lot. The reaction of the public was always insane, they always wanted us to play it again at the end. People that have heard it before ask us regularly when are we releasing this song and I think that tells a lot about it.
13. How does America differ from Austria/Germany? Are there any similarities between the two? What was the biggest difference you noticed?
There are a lot of cultural differences, but I would say that the main thing is the language.
14. What is the biggest misconception people have about Austria and Germany? Where did these misconceptions come from?
People think we speak “Austrian” or that Austria is actually Australia. Austria is a country south from Germany and the language spoken is German.
15. Are there any plans to release a full album?
We have a pretty big EP coming out on August 6th 2021 “ideas that seemed like good ones at 3am”, but we are for sure are going to release full-length albums as well.
16. What would you like readers to know about Madishu and David Theni?
We are who we say we are, we keep it real and if people believe in us, we’d love them to join our journey, and we promise not to disappoint 🙂