The life of Madison Louch, better known by her stage name MADDS, is anything but boring. Born abroad in South Africa, but raised stateside in sunny Los Angeles, California, MADDS got her first taste of EDM at the ripe age of 13. She hasn’t looked back since. “My parents took me to Salt Lake City for a work trip and we ended up at a rave on my 13th birthday,” the DJ, electronic music producer, and songwriter laughs. “Benny Benassi was playing. It was the first time I heard EDM and I immediately became obsessed.”
While MADDS’s parents were understandably embarrassed they had unwittingly exposed their 13-year-old daughter to the rave scene, that night planted a seed of inspiration that has grown with MADDS into the present. “I’ve always had a super creative side to me,” admits MADDS, who subsequently taught herself how to write songs, DJ and produce during high school. While MADDS has always been a people person and making friends came easy, incessant bullying made high school a rocky chapter. “I restored to music, and I’ve used it to explore my feelings ever since.”
MADDS’s writing process has more or less stayed the same since her high school days. The 26-year-old keeps a journal of her feelings, which lays the foundation for her songwriting. Of her process, she explains, “When I’m happy or sad, I write my feelings down, and then I write them into a poem, and then I make a beat. Usually people make the beat first and find the lyrics later, but I do it in the reverse. I always have.” Her greatest breadth of inspiration stems from her living, breathing experience. She shares, “When I’m on the road, I write out all the emotions I experience and that becomes my foundation. When I’m happy, the result is a dance track. When I’m sad, the result is more deep house or tech house.”
As a female DJ, producer and songwriter in a male-dominated industry, the road to booking major festival slots and Las Vegas residencies has not been without its obstacles. “It was definitely a battle with everyone telling me ‘no, you’re not good enough’ when I started out,” reflects MADDS, who embodies fearlessness and tenacity in every move she makes. “It was a battle to get where I am today.” When MADDS would show up for her gigs, people would question whether or not she was actually on the bill. “Bookers and promoters would ask me who I was sleeping with when they saw me backstage and I’d have to tell them I was here to perform!”
But this only fueled her creative fire. “I wanted to be better than who they were representing. I started saying less and just noticing what was around me, secretly watching them and plotting my next step forward.” This is how MADDS caught the attention of producing heavyweights such as David Guetta, NERVO and Skrillex, who imparted words of wisdom that stick with her to this day. “He told me you always have to continue to focus on yourself, or else you can lose yourself in this world.”
Motivated to become a career producer, and not the pageant girl her mother had hoped for, MADDS went on her first international tour at age 20 and, after 22 dates throughout Spain alone, she found herself taking a lengthy sabbatical in Ibiza to focus on honing her craft. “While I was there, I finally went to music production school. It was all work, work, work, school and writing.”
A slew of single releases later, MADDS is gearing up to release her debut EP later this year. In anticipation of her debut collection, due out later this year, MADDS will continuously share singles all summer long. “I wrote this EP during the most incredible experience with my girlfriends,” beams MADDS. “Every night was drinking wine and dancing to Calvin Harris until sunrise. There was no drama on this trip. It was incredible. Not a single tear was shed over boy drama,” she laughs. The resulting EP is a collection of buoyant and blissful dance tracks. “It’s very sexy, very fun. These are some of my favorite songs I have ever written.”
Lead single “Never Forget” is accompanied by MADDS first official music video release. Chronicling her experience writing the EP, the video features MADDS and her friends Cindy Prado, Alexa Collins, Brianna Gonva, and Sabrina Calvo, sporting the swimsuit line MADDS recently launched with AKOSHA this past spring.
When MADDS isn’t jet setting for gigs, laying low with her lady friends, or writing music, she keeps busy. In collaboration with AKOSHA, MADDS designed and launched a line of posh bikinis in March 2021, finding inspiration from her grandmother’s antique plate collection in South Africa. LA and it doesn’t stop there. In the pipeline there’s an app, a couple of Netflix series, and a pair of residencies, one in Las Vegas as a headliner at Resort World, and another that is soon to be announced. Additionally, MADDS is scheduled to appear at Firefly Festival and Blended Austin in 2021.
During her tenure, MADDS has shared stages with the likes of Steve Aoki, Bad Bunny, Deorro, Hardwell, David Guetta, Martin Garrix, and more. She’s been a featured artist at major American music festivals such as Coachella and EDC, and has toured internationally throughout Europe, Australia, and Mexico.
Stay up to date with all things MADDS via her official Instagram and Twitter pages.