Describing herself as a “Rock ’n’ Roll glitter princess,” Maddy Wood combines her love for the classic rock sounds of Led Zeppelin and Stevie Nicks with modern pop sensibilities, soulful vocals and thought-provoking lyrics.
However, this self-made artist should not be confused with any old rockstar — Wood’s most appealing aspect is how she grows beyond the boundaries of her idols. Maddy effortlessly dances through a myriad of genres to create a sound that is emotional, energetic, and all her own. Crafted in the pages of a songwriting notebook and perfected on the strings of her custom purple cheetah print Telecaster, every Maddy Wood piece is original as it is beautiful. Her process is a raw, sometimes painful, but ultimately deeply relatable. Poetic and dressed in purple, the 21-year-old singer-songwriter is well on her way to joining the ranks of fearless, no-nonsense icons like Phoebe Bridgers and Maggie Rogers. Bending to no one, she channels her emotions unapologetically as she forges her own path.
Getting to know Maddy
Can you introduce yourself? who are you? what matters to you?
My name is Maddy Wood, I am a 21-year-old singer/songwriter from Providence, Rhode Island. I play guitar, piano, and banjo. I am currently going into my senior year at Bennington College where I am mainly studying music performance and composition. Friendship, honesty, music, self-expression, and compassion matter to me.
Who or what inspired you to make music?
There are a few ways that I could answer this question. My first answer would be that when I was 8 years old I saw the Taylor Swift “Love Story” music video on the Disney channel and was immediately obsessed. Whatever she was doing I knew I wanted to do that. I asked my parents for a guitar I’m pretty sure that same day and then ran to my mom’s computer to burn the Fearless album onto a CD. When I got the guitar I learned the entire album. When I am writing my own music, I am inspired by my romantic and platonic relationships of many varieties as well as things like books and movies and photographs that come into my life. My biggest songwriting inspirations at present are Phoebe Bridgers, Joni Mitchell, Stevie Nicks, and Taylor Swift.
If you could open a show for any one artist, who would it be?
I think my dream tour would be to open up for Phoebe Bridgers. That would be so fucking epic. I have learned so much from her about songwriting and the ability to sprinkle your pain with a little humor and write about it honestly. I love her so much, and I feel like our music would compliment each other nicely in a live setting. Phoebe if you ever read this…..
What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?
When I was applying to colleges, I applied to mostly hardcore music schools, and this one school was super harsh to me during my audition, I was crying a lot after and felt very defeated. My dad talked to me for a really long time about the history of music theory in different parts of the world and how while it is not necessary to know everything about music theory, it is really helpful to learn the parts of the language that you need to communicate with other musicians. He didn’t necessarily give me one piece of advice that stands out, but he was able to frame my strengths in the context of the music world and music creation in general that really helped me understand my unique voice and also helped me to see how opening my brain up to learning about music theory and things of that nature could enhance what I already do well and expand my abilities instead of just being this scary thing that I could never understand. That was really important for me to hear and understand at that time, and as I have moved forward with my education it is definitely a conversation that I have carried with me.
What sets your music apart? what is unique, or at least uncommon?
I feel like something that sets me apart is that I make genre-bending singer/songwriter rock music. I am able to keep the elements that I love about rock music in what I am making while pulling in folk and pop elements and really putting the main focus on my lyrics, which are more singer/songwriter style and are the most unique part of my songs I think. Something that someone said about my music is that it’s for crying to in a cool way I thought was funny and really loved. I like to think of myself as a rockstar who knows no bounds of genre.
What are your top two favorite albums of all time? why?
This is so hard… I think if I absolutely had to pick only two I would pick Grace by Jeff Buckley and Punisher by Phoebe Bridgers. I always come back to these when I am needing to feel them, and I never get sick of them. Both of these records capture feelings of longing, heartbreak, love, angst, apathy, and disparity amongst many others in such a profound and genius way.. in my opinion, they are two of the greatest songwriters of all time. I am so inspired and absolutely wrecked by both of these albums every single time.
What’s the last show you watched on tv?
My friends and I just watched the new Bo Burnam special “Inside”, which was absolutely amazing. So so clever.
If you could learn any language fluently, which would it be?
I’ve always really wished I knew how to speak Spanish and/or Italian.
Do you have any lucky items? superstitions?
I don’t think I have any lucky physical items, but I do have a lucky number, which is 25. I have always felt a connection to the number 25 since I was a kid and I always see it everywhere. I have some superstitions as well but I have a weird thing where I feel like if I say them out loud then I’m going to jinx them or something so, for now, I will keep them to myself haha.
If you were to write an autobiography, what would the title be?
For years I have had the title “Living in Lavender” written down as something I want to use in the future. I feel like that would be a good autobiography title for me.
If you could ask your future self one question, what would it be?
To be honest, I don’t think there is anything I should ask my future self. I would think about whatever the answer is way too much and analyze it too deeply; I’m afraid I might mess something up for future me by reading into it too hard. Plus there is something that makes this all more exciting knowing that I don’t know, you know?