We don’t cover too many solo acts, and even fewer solo female ones – in fact this may well be a first! What a place to start, though, with the wonderful Madame So…
I am from Paris, France. Been living in London for a few years now.
How long have you been playing as a solo act?
I started performing as Madame So in 2013.
Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?
Haha, I don’t actually mind sharing this story. I got this nickname as a toddler when doing role play with my cousins, and one of them called me ‘Madame So’ (my name is Solange), my parents clocked it and kept this nickname that all my family and close friends have been calling me ever since. So it didn’t take me too long to find a stage name!
What are your influences?
Wow, that’s a hard one… Ok, Nina Simone, Bob Dylan, I also love Peter Perret’s (of The Only Ones) lyricism, The Vaccines, Saul Williams, David Bowie, plus too many others to mention.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
It’s obviously guitar music. I don’t really think it is for me to answer such question, so I’ll leave it up to you. But I guess I can write a punchy lyric or two and know a bit about melody-making. The rest is for people to find out, hoping they won’t go for the obvious if you get me…
Do you have any particular lyrical themes?
Not really, I write about life as I experience it . “Sell-by Date” was about not being taken for granted. “Black is Beautiful” is my perspective as a black rocker. “Generation Y” is about intergenerational conflict and my next single “You Say” is about looking at the bright side of things despite what naysayers, killjoys, narcissists and pessimists may say.
What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?
Live, my band and I perform as a four piece with two guitars, a bass and drums. In terms of shows, no exact number as I have been at it for a while but I do have several dozens of live shows under my belts as Madame So.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?
I don’t think a show necessarily needs to be “wild” per se to be good, so can’t comment on that in terms of my own live shows. I just think the most important thing is for the audience to get some type of emotion be it positive (ideally) or negative, as long as they feel something. So no, I haven’t done or seen anyone defecate on stage or whatever – that’s so 70s!
Otherwise, Basement Jaxx at Somerset House (2013) is possibly the best live show I have ever seen.
What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?
For writing, I use an electro-acoustic Crafter, for live and recording I play a Danelectro 56 Single Cut. A lot of my songs are capoed for singing purposes, so I use G7 Capos (Performance 3). Plus, usually a SM58 Shure microphone.
What, if anything, are you plugging/promoting at the moment?
I released the single “Generation Y” back in May and my latest single “You Say” came out at the end of July.
What are your plans for the next 6 months or so?
I’ll be releasing a couple more singles this year, each of which will come with its very own lyric video. And hopefully, get to play live again when it’s safe to do so.
If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you? A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mate’s band we’ve not heard of before!
I’d love to be supporting Liz Phair and I’d take my friend Delila Black (awesome country folk singer-songwriter) to open for us.