Premiere: Watch Madge's "Fight or Flight Club" Video
International Women’s Day is a day of recognition and celebration of all things female—which is why we’re proud to introduce the work of two upcoming badass ladies. Today, we’re hosting the exclusive premiere of Madge’s first-ever music video for her debut hit song “Fight or Flight Club,” directed by Gen-Z filmmaker, India Sleem.
For those unfamiliar with the duo: Madge is the multi-talented musician currently exploding on the Spotify streaming charts. Operating out of Los Angeles, she was born in Utah and raised as a Mormon—two factors that she says significantly impacted her desire to make music.
“Growing up surrounded by six siblings and playing piano for the church choir has certainly shaped my worldview,” she says. “My siblings and I also started developing the same political opinions around the same time, which has been a big source of emotional strength for me.”
Director Sleem hails from Manchester, England by way of Utah and is already making waves in the film industry. Her clever use of color, in particular, has garnered a loyal following on social media. If she had to explain her aesthetic in three words she’d describe it as “blue, red, and green.”
To mark the release of their joint venture, we tapped the two female creatives to discuss everything from sexism in the workplace to dream collaborators. Read on for the Q&A—and watch the video for “Fight or Flight Club” above.
When did you decide to pursue music and film professionally?
Madge: “I can’t remember a time in my life when I wasn’t writing music. I started playing the piano pretty seriously when I was four-years old. I think I always knew deep down that I would pursue it eventually, but I didn’t make the official decision to do it full-time until a couple years ago. It was one of the scariest decisions I’ve ever made—it still scares me!
India: “I’ve always been interested in film and photography, but it didn’t really hit me that I was going to pursue it as a career until about two years ago. I’m fortunate because my hobbies and my career were able to collide.”
What about being a woman makes your creative experience unique?
Madge: “Music production is still largely a boy’s club, which is absolutely ridiculous. It’s hard feeling like you’re in a field that is not inherently welcoming to women. The confidence you must have as a cis-man in this industry is wild. I saw a funny shirt once that read ‘God Give Me the Confidence of a Mediocre Straight White Man,’ and I feel that.”
India: “I honestly feel so much pride being a woman in my industry. I am really lucky to be amongst other female creatives—especially in film and photography—that are starting to become respected and given more opportunities than ever before. It’s a really important time and I’m excited to see what all us ladies are going to do with it.”
Are there any advantages?
India: “I wouldn’t say there were benefits to being a woman in the film industry, because I think that it’s almost an equal game for everyone who has talent. I also wouldn’t want there to be any—we don’t need advantages!”
Madge: “I think that my perspective is unique and that translates into unique sounding music. I also enjoy the benefit of creating in a medium that has the potential for a mass audience—the narratives that I work with could come in contact with millions of listeners. That’s not really an advantage of being a woman, so much as the advantage of working in this field—and I’m grateful for that.”
What themes do you find yourself gravitating towards repeatedly?
India: “Social relationships, culture, and different types of people. I love having a variety of human-centric themes and capturing the beauty of differences in each of my films.”
Madge: “I use body imagery a lot—skin, blood, etcetera. The color red inspires me a lot too. I also like to throw in some mythology references here and there.”
How do you deal with sexism?
India: “I try not to dwell on it and move on. I just think to myself: ‘I’ll prove them wrong!’”
Madge: “I almost always just brush it aside or laugh because I think that’s the only way women know how to react. It’s tricky because it’s everywhere and normalized. It has been nice to see an increased national awareness about sexism in the past year though.”
Madge: “Soko, Janelle Monaé, Grimes, Sophia Coppola, and Ava DuVernay—all the badasses! Incidentally, I had also been fanboy’ing India for at least a year before we filmed “Fight or Flight Club,” so working with her was a dream. Her eye and style is unparalleled.”
India: “Dream music videos would be with M.I.A., Janet Jackson, and Solange. Working with people that share a similar vision is the best—which is why working with Madge was such a breeze. She’s amazing!”
What would you like to see change for female creatives in 2018?
Madge: “I think I’d just like to SEE more—increased visibility for marginalized creatives that are already out there kicking ass.”
India: “Amen to that! I’d also like to see more collaboration and more all-female film crews.”
Featured image courtesy of India Sleem
Stay tuned to Milk for more badass women making badass things.