An “understated, compelling testament to the power and dexterity of the human voice.” -Pitchfork, May 2018
Madison McFerrin is a singer-songwriter based in Brooklyn, NY. In December 2016, her solo debut EP, Finding Foundations: Vol. I, introduced her soulful take on a cappella to the world. Critics and crowds quickly took note. Leading up to her sold out show at Joe’s Pub, the New York Times remarked how her sound “shows wonderful vocal dexterity, deftly swerving from sharp, clearly enunciated staccato bursts to fluttery, free-form melismata.” After one listen, tastemaking DJ, Gilles Peterson, snatched up her standout track, “No Time to Lose,” for his Brownswood Bubblers compilation. She followed that up with this February’s release of Finding Foundations: Vol. II, which gave her listeners more of what they love and earned her more critical praise. Most noteworthy is a recent Rising profile, where Pitchfork highlighted how Madison’s style offers an “understated, compelling testament to the power and dexterity of the human voice.” As she continues her artistic journey, she’s eager to use her gift to spread love and positivity.
Madison bears the torch of three generations of vocal pioneers. As the LA Weekly noted, she employs her jazz virtuoso father, Bobby McFerrin’s vocal techniques “to more soulful ends.” Her use of electronic music stylings reflects the influence of her brother, Brainfeeder producer, Taylor McFerrin. However, her collage of artistic inspiration that includes the Beatles, Radiohead, Hiatus Kaiyote, Stevie Wonder and Jill Scott emerge in her multilayered lyrics that rest in a bed of harmonies uniquely her own. She honed her performance chops on world tours with her father’s band, SpiritYouAll, that includes dynamic, multi-instrumentalist Louis Cato. Prior to launching her solo career, Madison co-founded the funk band, Cosmodrome, while completing her studies at Berklee College of Music.
Madison delves into the core of these influences on Finding Foundations Vol. II. The EP features a live recording of “Can You See,” a track that was 1 of 4 selected finalists among thousands of entries in the NPR Tiny Desk Contest in spring of 2017. Drawing inspiration from Erykah Badu to Nina Simone, Madison offers a soulful meditation on the painful legacy of police brutality in the United States. She balances out the mood of FF: Vol. II with reminders to tap into your inner light and make time for romance.
With her latest release, Madison intends to explore more ways to create experiences that engage and empower her community. As a female, independent artist of color, she sees this as vitally important to her practice.