Logan native Naeemah Maddox has spent her life writing and listening music. At age 7 she began playing the violin, and by high school, she was learning the guitar. Naeemah is a Temple grad, and a well known singer songwriter within the Philly local scene. She's shared bills with the likes of Corrinne Bailey Ray, Seal and The Roots. Naeemah is also involved with the Music Mentorship Program, and offers insight on music and songwriting to aspiring young musicians.
In 2006 she released her debut album "Hard Time." Now she's playing with a new band, and taking her music as far away as the Key Club in LA. A new album is in the works, possibly due out sometime early next year. You can catch her rocking audiences at downtown watering holes like Fergie's and Doc Watson's, but she's poised to take her musical career to a higher level.
What was it like growing up in Logan?
I had fun living there. It's not the best of neighborhood's, butI have really fond memories. I used to play basketball hopscotch double dutch.
Were there any musical influences from your neighborhood?
I had a couple friends who used to sing and rap. I actually had this group called MC Flippa and the three Dimensions. I was MC Flippa because originally I was a rapper. I had three back up dancers, and I made t-shirts. My dad is actually a musician so he's like the greater influence. Why don't you tell me about your parents influence?
My mom loves to sing. She just does it for joy. My dad plays guitar, and he was constantly in bands. There was music around the house all the time. I started playing the violin in the third grade. My dad would always play guitar, and we would gather around in the living room and sing songs like Diana Ross and Michael Jackson.
What are some of your most memorable performances?
One memorable performances was at the World Cafe live. My "Hard Time" CD was produced by Eric Vincent. We were working together and we decided we wanted to put on a show called Phi-Town. We put this show together downstairs, and we had Anam Owili-Eger play this other band City Limits and my band. It was really ambitious for us to try to fill the bottom floor of World Cafe Live which we did not do, but we had a couple hundred people come out.
In February I went out to LA. I was invited to play the roots pre-Grammy Party. It was the night before the Grammy's and it was an MTV Rock The Vote event. I actually got to play on the same stage as Seal, MC Lyte, Dougie Fresh. It was the Key Club.
How did you get together with your current band?
Freshman year of college, I met Josh Orlando and Mike Taylor at Temple. When I first put a band together in 2001, they were the first members in my band. Over the years they did stuffI did stuff, and a couple years ago, Josh called me up and he was like, yo I really want to play for you. I guess he heard the CD, and really wanted to be part of the project, and I was just honored that he wanted to play with me.
When do you expect to release your second album?
I've been really frustrated with not having the resources to record, so I've taken it upon myself to record my new songs in garage band. I've put all these instruments on it. I have everything except for drums. I'm planning on recording early next year or late this year. I think I might move to LA at the end of the year. Once I do that it's straight to the studio.
When your performing on stage, what do you think about?
In the past couple years I've been trying to be more in the moment. As I'm singing, I try to remember why I'm singing this song. What do the words actually mean? I try to let my emotions be at the forefront of how I perform.
Do you have any plans for your music in the future?
I have so many plans that I'm about ten years behind. I've just been constantly writing. I feel like it kind of stretches beyond one genre. I also know that if I put out a CD, I can't mix all of those different types of songs, so I would really want to write for people. Of course I'm going to write for myself, and perform and I really want to travel. I just love so many things, but I think songwriting is my niche.