EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Maddy O'Neal talks Suwannee Hulaween, Dream State, and Upcoming Tour

Colorado DJ Maddy O’Neal - Photo from artist’s bandcamp

Colorado DJ Maddy O’Neal - Photo from artist’s bandcamp

Maddy O’Neal is an up and coming DJ from Denver, Colorado who’s rock-n-roll and hip-hop roots give her a fresh perspective in the world of EDM. She has recently embarked on a solo-career as she seperated from Krooked Drivers in early 2016. O’Neal is a self-taught producer and composer who draws inspiration from a wide variety of genres and she is taking the music scene by storm with her boundary breaking beats. She utilizes deep and funky basslines paired with melodic overtones and jazzy hip-hop beats to get the crowd up and dancing the night away. Maddy O’Neal has been most recently touring with the electro-indie band Cherub on their Free Form tour as she promotes her latest EP Dream State. In between crushing her opening appearances on the Free Form Tour, O’Neal is still finding some time to bounce back and forth on the festival circuit. Maddy O’Neal will be performing at Suwannee Hulaween 2018 and in preparation for this year’s festival we had an opportunity to talk with her about the festival as well as some of her upcoming plans for 2019.

Kade: First off thank you for taking the time to speak with Concert Hopper - I can only imagine how busy you are on tour. How has the tour been over the past few months? You've been absolutely killing it opening for Cherub on the Freeform tour!

Maddy O’Neal: Tour has been really amazing! Being on the road with Cherub has been so much fun, the shows have all been crushing - and people coming out early for my set which is amazing. I think its a really, cool combo because our fan bases are a little bit different demographically so I’ve gained a lot of new fans too by reaching an audience that is not as familiar with my music.

Kade: What are you anticipating for Suwannee Hulaween? Would there be any chance we may hear new or unreleased material during your set?

Maddy O’Neal: I have heard such amazing things about Hulaween - definitely one that I’ve been looking forward to all year! I will definitely be playing a ton of new music from my new EP "Dream State" and I will also have my drummer Colby Buckler from Emancipator playing with me for this set!

Kade: As a self taught producer who once thought they had missed their chance at being a musician, what does it feel like to be absolutely crushing the music scene?

Maddy O’Neal: It's pretty crazy. I have to slow down and try to catch up with my brain sometimes - (I do lots of yoga) to try to keep me present. But this lifestyle definitely moves very fast so its important to check in with yourself and realize how far I've come even though I still have so much I would like to accomplish. It has been a wild journey and I am so grateful for all of it and everyone I have met along the way that has encouraged me and lifted me up.

Kade: What would you say have been the biggest challenges you've have faced as an up and coming DJ? Also, what did you anticipate to be a huge challenge that ended up being a breeze?

Maddy O’Neal: I think one of the biggest challenges was the learning curve in regards to time - Referencing my previous response this life moves very fast and when I began my solo project things really started to move faster than I could even work (haha!) - I was booking shows before I had finished my album because I had such great friends that wanted to put me on as support and keep me going. But honestly that is probably the same answer to the next question - I anticipated starting completely over with a new project to be such a grueling task - but I was surrounded by so much inspiration and great musicians and friends alike that I just kept my head down and kept on grinding.

Kade: It is no secret that the EDM scene is pretty male dominated - can you tell us a little bit about what it is like to be a wicked smart female artist in a male dominant music scene? And if you could give one piece of advice to young, aspiring female artists what would it be?

Maddy O’Neal: I always tackle this issue in a relatively similar fashion - Although it definitely is male dominated I don't see myself as being a "Female DJ". I just look at myself as an artist / producer on the same playing field as everyone else. I've found if you act that way the majority of the time people will recognize that and treat you with respect. Confidence is key and goes a long way. Some advice I would give to aspiring female DJ's is "Whatever you do, whatever you say, own it !! "

Kade: What does 2019 have in store for all the Maddy O'Neal fans around the world?

Maddy O’Neal: I've got a mountain tour scheduled for this coming January - not sure if it is announced yet, but will be very soon! I am also trying to make my way back to Thailand this January - hope to play a few different clubs in Bangkok. I also plan to take a little time between then and spring to get back into studio mode - its tough to fully get into the zone when you are on the road so I look forward to a bit of down time this winter to keep the wheels turning in the studio - winter is my favorite time for that!

One thing is for sure, if you are not currently a Maddy O’Neal fan, you will be after you leave her set at Suwannee Hulaween craving more of her funky beats. Maddy will be taking the Spirit Lake Stage by storm at 1:15pm on Friday, October 26 at Suwannee Hulaween and she is sure set off the day with some groovy vibes. Check out Maddy’s music on her website and prepare yourselves for one of the funkiest sets of the whole weekend. Be sure to follow her on social media as she is preparing to dive into a wicked 2019 filled with new tunes and a tour to follow!