Interview: Diving Deeper Into Maddy O’Neal’s Musical Journey

Not slowing down anytime soon, the funk-forward bass artist, Maddy O’Neal has proven she understands the ever-evolving electronic genre by adding just enough low frequencies over her jazz-infused sound.

Recently dropping her 10-track self-reflective LP, Ricochet, O’Neal takes us through a journey of soulful emotions that taps into her own personal shedding of layers and coming into new lights.

During Hulaween’s stacked pre-party lineup, O’Neal came in hot as she took to the Hallows Stage at 4pm. Then in an instant, the whole crowd was wrapped up in the funk O’Neal brings to the point that they didn’t even notice the beaming sun. Her power to stay in touch with the crowd made her a perfect fit to kick off the festival strong.

We were able to catch up with O’Neal after her set at Suwannee Hulaween to chat a little bit about her album inspiration and her journey as an electronic artist. Read Below here:

EDM Maniac: A lot of people that come to Hulaween have been here many years in a row and feel that there is something special here. Have you been able to tap into the energy Hulaween has to offer?

Maddy O’Neal: Oh yeah, it has a nice sense of home. Very welcoming and you can tell everyone attending is just happy to be back here. A true family reunion vibe.

EDM Maniac: We feel the same way, everyone is just one big family here. The energy radiates home. So you are a Denver-based artist, is that where you are originally from?

Maddy O’Neal: I grew up in St. Louis, and moved to Colorado back in 2008 to go to school. That’s where I started making music.

EDM Maniac: Did you go to school for music?

Maddy O’Neal: No I actually went to school for journalism and marketing. I wanted to be a writer. But I grew up in a music family, it was kind of always in my peripheral. But I never really knew how to get into music. In my Sophomore year, I just saw the explosion of electronic music.

EDM Maniac: 2008 was the golden time for electronic music.

Maddy O’Neal: Exactly! It was right when Big Gigantic, Griz, STS9, and Pretty Lights, were all getting their shine. I’ve been around since then, but I didn’t start my solo project until 2016.

EDM Maniac: Do you think that being from Colorado and starting in such a prime era has influenced the way you view music or make music?

Maddy O’Neal: 1000%, I was just finding myself when I moved to Colorado. I had never seen or heard anyone merge genres the way the Colorado electronic scene was doing. I was mind blown by how artists were incorporating so many different influences into one sound.

EDM Maniac: Which is a huge part of being an artist, expressing what you have been through with your sound. Now if you could describe your sound or influence in a few words how would you?

Maddy O’Neal: I totally agree. It’s a reflection. Mmm, that is a hard one. I would for sure say Soul is the root of it. I just want to make feel-good soulful bass music. I little bit of future bass, but definitely centered around funk.

EDM Maniac: Well you are successfully bringing the grooves. Everyone was so happy and dancing to their own energy while at your set today. It was so much fun. 

Maddy O’Neal: Wow thank you so much! I agree everyone showed out and was grooving even though the sun was beaming on us.

EDM Maniac: The sun was out but it didn’t stop us. So you just recently released your LP Ricochet, congratulations on the release. Can you tell us a little bit about what inspired this LP and the process of making it?

Maddy O’Neal: Thank you, it feels so good to have it out there for everyone to hear. In 2020 when the world came to a stop, it really shook everyone to the core. Especially if you were an artist at the time and relying on touring.

I didn’t realize I needed a break from touring as much as I did. I really needed that time to take a step back and reflect on where I was at and what I wanted to do. I started writing it when we were coming out of the pandemic. I just started throwing my thoughts, emotions, and experiences at the wall and seeing what stuck.

EDM Maniac: Now that it’s out how do you feel?

Maddy O’Neal: To be honest, I feel like a completely different person. It feels like I gave birth or something. It feels like the most genuine thing I’ve ever done and I have never worked so hard in my life. I have a feeling of confidence I’ve never had before. I feel like I’ve leveled up for sure. I’m going to take everything I’ve learned from that album and run with it.

EDM Maniac: What an amazing breakthrough. Something to be proud of and it sounds like you have harnessed the energy the album brought to you and are ready and focused for your next steps. Maddy it has been a pleasure talking to you today, and diving deeper into the sounds you bring to our world. Thank you so much for the chat and we hope you enjoy the rest of your Halloween weekend.

Maddy O’Neal: No thank you so much for diving deeper with me and for coming to my set today. I enjoyed this conversation so much, Happy Hulaween!

Stream Ricochet below:

All Photos Courtesy of Artist Instagram


Written by
Emily Harvey

Aspiring Florida Journalist/Photographer enjoying the world and all the music it has to offer.

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