So Below is Crazy Talented (She Also Doesn’t Discriminate When it Comes to Wine)

Meredith Schneider

So Below is the musical endeavor of New Zealander Maddie North, and her first EP dropped this year. It featured four intricately-woven songs, each with a one-word title that fits within five characters. Simple, yet engaging. The title of the tracks make a statement, much like the songs themselves. And so does the woman behind the music.

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Though her vocals are graceful–in fact, some would note them as ethereal–she is not to be messed with. She has an entrepreneurial spirit–every track originates with her–and is very keen to positive vibes in her writing process. (How many bands thrive off of angst these days?) But the best part about her? She doesn’t discriminate against wine.

Well, most of the time.

In a recent interview, you admitted to liking red wine. It was recently National Wine Day. Did you celebrate?

I must admit I had no idea. This calls for a belated celebration!

What are your go-to wines and wine pairings?

I like all wines, except Chardonnay. As far as I’m concerned Chardonnay can go crawl into a hole and die. Too harsh?

Perhaps, but we like it. You have a music video coming out for “Far” in a few weeks. What has the process been like creating that gem?

It was definitely a struggle to find a director! But I ended up doing it with my friend Sam Kristofski who’s a fellow kiwi, and just moved to LA so it was perfect timing. The filming itself was pretty low key, just me and him and one other dude. I am yet to see any of the footage but I have a feeling it’s gonna be pretty radtastic.

You mentioned astrology a few times on your Facebook page. Is that something that you’re into?

Hahah no I can’t say I am. Seems to be a big LA thing, Mercury in retrograde, star signs, all that jazz. I’ll never forget, the first week of being in LA I was hiking up Runyon Canyon and I heard this lady say to her friend “Yeah well he’s a Gemini, I’m a Pisces, it was never gonna work!” and I was like dumbfounded that someone was basing her failed relationship on star signs hahah.

“Drift” has this insane track to accompany your vocals. (We love it. So much.) What inspired that song, specifically?

Thank you!! I think at the time I was listening to the latest Caribou record a bunch?? With lyrics I usually try to draw inspiration from current events in my life. “Drift” is about friends helping friends through tough times.

What is your favorite environment to write in?

A positive one! Where no idea is dumb and there’s food and coffee as far as the eye can see. And shoulder massages.

What has been your biggest inspiration–as of late–with your music?

I was really inspired by the new School of Seven Bells record, she writes just such great melodies and you can tell she puts a lot of herself in the lyrics which is awesome.

What traits do you think are necessary to be a successful musician?

I’ll let you know when I get there! Hahah but from what I’ve learnt so far, just writing as much as you can, with whoever you can, so you can keep getting better and better. x

So Below’s music is available to stream on SoundCloud and Spotify.

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