SPOTLIGHT // MADI DIAZ

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It's hard to put your finger on what makes Madi Diaz's music so captivating: is it her ability to get you to dance, to feel - really feel - to evoke nostalgia, heartache and the pulsating vibes of youth? We like to think that the exact reason is hard to pinpoint because truly, it's all of the above. Whatever "it" is, Madi's evocative music has piqued the ears of everyone from her tourmates Fitz and the Tantrums to TV shows like "Pretty Little Liars" and "Sons of Anarchy". On the heels of the release of her new album, PHANTOM, we turned the SPOTLIGHT on Madi.

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When did you decide to pursue music?

Music was not really a decision I made it was more of a thing that continued to happen in my life more and more until it ultimately just sort of took over. I'm really very lucky!

How does the city you live in influence your creativity?

Los Angeles is a super inspiring city. It's strange and huge and fast. so fast. The moments here are the most intensely huge and fleeting that I've felt in any place I've ever lived. Which ya know...can be good and bad depending.

In your words, what does it mean to be a “creative”?

Being creative is not sticking to guidelines and instructions that come with any field. To me being creative is taking skills and using them only in the way YOU can use them - with your heart. The only way that YOU know how to do it. My music might not be the best out there but no one does it the way I do it.

What is the biggest misconception about what you do?

That it's ALWAYS fun. Music is not always fun. It's really, really hard work.

What do you do to get through your day?

Remind myself to look around and really be aware of it all. Life I mean, it's really amazing. The light, the air, the colors. We're all so lucky.

What has been the pit and peak of your week so far? (a low and a high moment)

I guess I'll start with the pit so that I can end on a high note...I have an injury that's been making me f-ing nuts cause I usually run and haven't been able to for 3 weeks. That's been my daily annoyance. But, I was just in a rehearsal for a new project I started with Emily Greene called RiotHorse Royale. It was the best! So hard, so raw, so challenging. Really fulfilling music that I'm really excited to share with the whole world.

Who is someone famous that you think is killing it at the moment? In other words, is there someone whose career you admire?

I think Lena Dunham is NAILING IT. So smart, so eloquent, so real. It's so exciting to have such a powerful female voice of our generation. I don't feel the urge to say that often because it's such a huge statement but I really feel that coming from her.

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Finish this sentence

Happiness is: within.

My biggest frustration is: not going to stop me.

I couldn’t live without my: guitar. i know. it sounds lame but it's just the truth.

For more on Madi Diaz, visit her here.

Photography byShanna Fisher