One of our favorite artists this winter is Madi Diaz. This indie pop singer has had quite the fall. She released her new album, Phantom, in late September (it also premiered on KCRW the week of release), toured the country with X Ambassadors, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. and Echosmith.
“One of my favorite feelings is the sense I get from pouring over parts of my past before lighting them up and leaving it all behind me to start over again.” Madi Diaz
Madi Diaz packed up her Nashville home and drove across the country to L.A. “It took five days to drive to Los Angeles by myself. I listened to Abbey Road for six hours at a time, and watched the desert open up before me again and again. I saw the sun set and rise at the Grand Canyon, and I sang out over the cliffs, picked up tumble weeds along the way and threw them in the back of my car. When I got the Pacific, I just ran straight into ocean.”
After much time on the endless road, three tiny apartments, and one big heartbreak, she buckled down in LA, pushing for something true to herself and who she wanted to be. The result is Phantom, an open-faced and undeniably honest chronicle of falling down, getting back up, and heading to the horizon.
While headlining a show at the iconic and historic, Troubadour, we were able to catch up with this awesome gal and chat more about her life in LA.
How did you end up in California?
I was born in Connecticut. I lived in Pennsylvania. I went to school in Boston. I lived in Nashville and then I moved to California. Never New York though. New York is a "one day" -- far in the distance.
How long have you been here now?
I've been here for a couple years now. It'll be my 3 year anniversary is coming up. Not sure how we'll celebrate though! Maybe go on a nice long walk.
What's your version of a "Golden State of Mind"?
The thing i love about living here most is the open air.. which I know is kind of funny because for the pollution and such. I feel really fortunate coming back from a lot of travel and a lot of road and wear-and-tear and being able to outside and in the elements. LA is the most amazing city to be in because it allows you such a great quick escape option. I mean it's 30-45 minutes to the mountains or the ocean or the desert. That keeps me in my state of mind.
Do you have a favorite place to write?
Not really. I like going up on my roof a lot. I bring a blanket and my guitar up there. I write a lot in my apartment. My apartment gets a lot of really great light and it faces west, so I can see the sunset from there which is amazing thing - those LA sunsets. There's also something so amazing about the sunset evening light out there than other cities.
What keeps you inspired?
A little bit of everything! It changes. It's never the same and it never stops surprising me.
Favorite Brunch spot?
If you could have a perfect Saturday, what would it include?
Well, I can't usually sleep past 8-9 o'clock. I love going for nice long runs so that would probably be the first thing I would do. I like to try and get lost a bit, which is getting harder since I've been here for a little bit, but it still happens. I would want to surrender expectations and ideas and plans and be whisked away. Maybe camping? That'd be a pretty perfect Saturday. I still haven't done a bonfire on the beach - that's definitely on the checklist.
I don't have a TV (haha) ! I found out in kind of a round-about way. My friend Sarah Siskin, who I wrote the song with, told me that it was on the show and I kind-of had to YouTube it to watch it. The thing I loved the most was that the characters do a "Writers in the Round" type thing - and Connie Britton, who is my famous TV Mom crush, and Charles Esten, sang the song - I loved seeing them on the stage and introducing the song.
You have a new album out - and you just got back from touring for it - do you have a favorite song on it?
No. haha. You have to love the whole thing.
Do you have a preference playing festival type shows or smaller, more intimate settings?
I really love playing old theaters the most. They are just beautiful and haunted and all just sound super different. Those are my favorites.
Did you have a venue while you were on this last tour that stood out to you most?
Actually, the Tower Theatre downtown is a beautiful and old LA venue. I think we were sound-checking and a piece of the theatre fell down. Hahah - aside from that, there were a lot of beautiful rooms. I loved the Fillmore in San Francisco. And I love Schubas Tavern in Chicago and Mercy Lounge in Nashville is just like a family room.
Are you excited to play here at the Troubadour??
If there was someone you could collaborate with, dead or alive? Who would it be?
That's so hard because I'm so afraid of meeting my heros haha! I wish I could be a fly on the wall when Bjork is writing something and doesn't know anyone else is there. I'd love to sing with Maynard of Tool. And I would love to drink a bottle of wine with Paula Abdul. We would giggle, I can tell.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lindsay Vacek has a passion for style, details and design. As a Fashion Editorial Photographer, she's worked in the Entertainment Industry for over 10 years and has a love for adventure and travel. She spends her spare time globe-trotting her way through foreign countries and loves new cultures, food, music and the arts.
Being a California Native, Lindsay loves meeting new people and sharing her version of life with others. With an infinite list of things-to-do, places-to-go and sights-to-see - she believe everyone can have a little more California in their own lives.