Here at Ford, we know our models are way more than just models, and we like to showcase that whenever possible. In anticipation of his debut LP, Oblivion (which drops today) we sat down with Madison of Ford Men to talk about the inspiration behind his music, who he looks up to and shooting his first music video in the middle of a blizzard.
Read the interview below, and check out the album now on Earmilk.
How did you initially become interested in music?
I grew up listening to only Michael Jackson and Bob Marley from a young age. Michael’s performances mesmerized me, and Bob’s conviction shook me. There was nothing like their music, so growing up with friends that rapped and freestyled was exciting. I always envied their charisma and confidence, but most of them were from the hood in Long Beach and Inglewood, and something about not having that background made me feel unable to reach that level of expression. But one night we were at a 24 hour taco spot at three in the morning. Everyone was slapping and beating on the tables, yelling out anything that sounded good as part of the beat. And they were all watching me. I was nervous as hell but I spit like 7 lines off the top and everyone exploded. After that I couldn’t stop myself from writing music.
Who do you look up to in the music world?
I really respect Kanye, Kendrick, J.Cole, Drake, Chance, Childish Gambino, there’s a lot of people I look up to. So many rappers have moments of greatness in my eyes. Moments where their self-expression is just undeniable. But I’d have to say my first huge inspirations were Eminem, Ludacris, Fabolous, Missy Elliott, Timberland and Clipse.
Is there any song/genre of music that you can’t stand?
It’s really hard for me to listen to all these Electro/Pop/Dance/EDM radio smashes that are nearly impossible to escape from. They’re just too formulaic. The majority of them have the same generic chord progressions, build-ups and drops, and even singing styles. I mean, I get it, but half of them are remixes of songs that were already incredibly successful. They just shove them through the 2014-Pop-Smashifier and voila! But people still recognize originality. We find it on YouTube, haha.
How would you describe your music?
I’d describe it as Hip-Hop. It’s introspective, and a lot of the songs are concept based. I’m a storyteller at heart. I’ve always been that way – longwinded. I had a lot to say on this project and I think the majority of it is the struggle to capture what’s most painful, personal or real to me with my words, and then essentially share my soul with anyone who’s willing to listen.
You shot the music video for Even When It Hurts in a blizzard. What was that like?
Literally I felt like the Jamaican bobsled team in Cool Runnings when they first got to Canada. It was just like that. We only got 3 takes. There were 3 of us, over 100 ft of extension cord, a rolling dolly with lighting strapped to it and a Red camera covered in plastic. The first 2 takes were unusable because of lighting issues and just after the 3rd take the light blew out. The rest is history, captured in music video form for all to see. Shout out to Martin Landgreve and Magnus Johnsson who shot and edited all the LST videos you’ve seen!
What was the inspiration for the album and how did it come together?
The majority of the album came together without me even knowing that I was making it. People always say that your first album is the culmination of your whole life, and its true. I’ve been writing music for a long time and when I finally decided to put out an album, I looked back at all the music I’d created and found that most of it felt the same way. The struggle for self-discovery. You know, coming to know myself, myself as an artist. The tracks are really my best attempt to shine some light on the conversation that goes on behind my eyes: all of it.