YOUR ANGEL discusses the early 2000's, touring, and the influences behind new song "Complicated"
photo provided by YOUR ANGEL
The LA-based ethereal pop artist YOUR ANGEL is the project of songwriter and producer Maddy Boyd. Raised in Santa Fe, Maddy got her start in the indie-rock scene. After touring as a keyboardist in bands like Current Joys and Surf Curse, it was time for Maddy to make her mark bringing hard-hitting ethereal pop as YOUR ANGEL. In this interview we asked Maddy about her new song "Complicated," now available on all streaming services.
Cassie Plunkett: Congrats on the release! “Complicated” is so fun. What were some of the inspirations behind the track?
Maddy Boyd: Thank you! For this track I was really inspired by songs like Can’t Get You Out Of My Head by Kylie Minogue, Overprotected by Britney Spears, I’m Too Sexy by Right Said Fred and …It Feels So Good by Sonique. The week I made this song I had gone to Coachella to see some friends of mine play and made a point to go see all the big pop acts. It left me feeling really inspired to make something that would be fun to play live in that setting. Also me and my boyfriend (ex at the time) were getting back together lol.
C: It’s pretty clear you’re influenced by many genres and eras of pop music. If you had to pick one musical decade to live in, which would you pick?
M: I think the pop music being made in the early 2000’s (specifically 2005-2010) is some of the most interesting pop music that’s ever been made. From the songwriting to the production, the range of sounds and styles being explored in the mainstream was so much broader than top 40 radio right now. The music being made by people like Timbaland, Pharrell, Justin Timberlake, Nelly Furtado, The Black Eyed Peas, Lady Gaga, Gwen Stefani- the list goes on and on- is sonically so interesting yet so palatable. It’s timeless in the sense that it will objectively always go so hard. I would happily live in that era of music forever.
C: You’re listed as a producer or co-producer on pretty much all of your songs. Tell us a bit about your journey with production and music technology.
M: My journey with production started somewhat recently, other than messing around in Garageband as a kid. I started teaching myself production in 2018 while making my first album “Pipe Dream”. That album was born out of me messing around in Logic and building out full songs for the first time. I’ve honestly just learned by doing. For a long time I didn’t consider myself a “real producer” and that mindset really held me back from my full potential. In the past year, I’ve allowed myself to identify as a real producer and have made songs I never thought I would have been capable of making. I write and produce simultaneously, so I’m never bringing a producer a voice memo and producing it out together from there. I will bring in a fully produced song and let them leave their mark on it. I really value collaboration and have extremely talented friends, so it’s fun to let people I love touch my music. Although, these days my production has gotten to a point where there’s not really a ton of room for a producer to come in and do that much. But my next album (that I made over quarantine) was an extremely collaborative process with my two friends Stephanie D’Arcy and Nick Noneman.
C: Your songs and the imagery around them all have such a clear vision and unique style. Can you speak a bit about your creative process?
M: Thank you so much! My answer to this kind of ties into the question above. I think the fact that I write and produce all of my music alone in my apartment before anyone else touches it is probably why the vision seems so clear. Although I pull from a lot of different genres, the throughline is that it’s coming from one brain. Since I was a kid I have used music to navigate my emotions. It has always been my survival mechanism. I used to lock myself in my bedroom for hours writing, and I still do that to this day. My music serves me first as a way of healing, and so my only goal with it is to lend that sense of catharsis to other people if I can. I’m also just an extremely visual person and building a world for my music to live in is so fun and important to me. I associate every song with a color palette and texture while I’m making it. As far as music videos and cover art goes, I feel like I’m just living out my childhood popstar dreams, so I’m leaning into that feeling. Letting myself be over the top and dramatic and colorful and pretend I’m famous haha.
C: After years of touring in indie rock bands, you decided to go solo in 2019. What prompted that decision? Would you ever go back?
M: My intention was always to be a solo artist. I ended up playing in Current Joys and Surf Curse pretty randomly. I grew up in a small town in New Mexico, and we didn’t have shows to go to, let alone play. The closest I ever got to playing a show was busking outside of Starbucks. So when I came to LA to pursue music, I didn’t know which direction to even look in to begin doing that. Nick asked me to play keys and sing for one CJ show and I said yes. It went well, and after that he asked if I wanted to go on tour and it went from there. I played the first shows I had ever played in those bands. I genuinely learned everything I know about playing shows and pursuing music as a career from playing with them. Plus, we were all best friends and it was so fun. They are still like family to me. But once I finished making my first record I knew that I wouldn’t be able to give my project the time and energy it deserved if I continued to tour with them, so I had to quit. It was a truly formative experience but there would never be a reason for me to play in an indie rock band again.
Photo provided by YOUR ANGEL
C: You’ve dropped three incredible singles this year so far. Any chance we’re going to get an album soon?
M: Omg I haven’t announced this anywhere but yes! I’ve been sitting on an album for over a year and I am so excited to finally put it out. The 3 singles I’ve put out recently aren’t even on it lol. The first single from my album is coming out in the very near future. The album is definitely moodier than the music I’ve been releasing recently, so I hope people will like it. I’ve already started making the record that will follow it, so it’s definitely time for her to be released into the world.
- interview by Cassie Plunkett