R&B music is a shape-shifting art that has taken on various forms throughout the decades. Numerous singers have contributed to the rhythm and blues genre, setting the tone and providing an outline for those wanting to one day add their voice to the category.
For the last 20 years R&B has been remodeled, transforming into something non-traditional and quite alt. Alternative R&B has been on the rise since the 2010’s, giving birth to prominent artists like Jhené Aiko, SZA, Bryson Tiller and Ari Lennox. Among those who sing soulful R&B songs with a modernized twist is none other than Ms. Madi Rindge.
At an initial glance, Madi Rindge looks like your typical LA woman from a beach city who would probably be singing indie rock opposed to R&B. But as the old adage goes, “looks can be deceiving,” especially in Rindge’s case. Rindge is a downright alt R&B singer, and that’s the type of music she produces.
“My music is alt R&B — I call it that because it’s not down the line R&B but it’s inspired by R&B at its core,” Rindge said. “I use elements from soul and pop as well to create a unique blend of sounds that elicit calm vibes!”
With an angelic voice and versatile production style—which is sometimes R&B, pop, disco-ish psychedelic soul-ish—Rindge manages to seamlessly intertwine multiple genres effortlessly. The Nervous singer’s adoration for R&B is palpable in her music, and her appreciation for the genre is very apparent. Infusing elements of Lo-Fi in her records, like in her 2021 single Can We Slow, Rindge positively adds to the alt R&B category.
Ringde’s personal love for R&B culture is why so much of her music is constructed with rhythmic elements.
“I love the feeling that I get when I listen to R&B, like I’m transported to a safe, dream-like place that’s not even on earth,” Rindge said. “The rhythmic elements I feel when listening hit me on a soul level… it’s crazy. It runs so much deeper than I can probably even explain. It’s everything from the timing of the vocals, bass lines, rhythm of the drums, and emotion that’s performed.”
Her love for R&B and music overall began early. When Rindge was 14-years-old she decided to pursue music as a career, actively chasing her dream fearlessly and determinedly.
“I knew I wanted to make music professionally when I was 14. That’s when I said oh… I love this… I wanna do this the rest of my life,” Rindge said. “I’m still on the road and will be forever! It’s a constant flowing and evolving path, which is what keeps me on it. There are right turns, left turns, hills and dips; some of the obstacles come out of nowhere and it’s important to remember to enjoy the process because there really is no end to it all — at least I hope I never come to a full stop [because] if you’re ever ‘done’ then what?”
Materializing her passion in the 2010’s, Rindge made her debut on the music scene as an independent artist in 2015 while she was attending New York University for music. Rindge’s 2015 single Summertime was a smash hit and received much industry recognition, premiering at the Sundance and Tribeca Film Festivals respectively that same year.
Between growing up on the west coast and going to school on the east coast, Rindge has had a range of experiences that have all formed her music style.
“I went to school at NYU [New York University], so studying music and collaborating with musicians out there was not only [a] great experience, but a lot of fun!,” Rindge said. “I learned the beauty of working with others and how collaboration can create a unique piece of art. When I moved back to LA I was doing a ton of writing for other artists which helped guide me into what I do now, which is write, produce and release projects under my artist project as well as help other artists realize their visions!”
In addition to her exploring the music world on her own, Rindge also was able to find inspiration within her immediate family. Having a Grammy-winning musician as a father has been motivational for Rindge, as well as encouraging.
“My dad is a professional violin player and he won a Grammy back in the 80’s for Best New Age music in his band,” Rindge said. “ Honestly it was so eye-opening seeing and hearing about his path. He is very humble and doesn’t base his talent or value on his accolades, which is something I really look up to. Although at times I’m like ‘sh*t, this is gonna be tough to achieve,’ it also is encouraging!”
Since Rindge has made the choice to make music her career, she has seen much productivity and headway. Rindge’s music has been featured on radio stations on both the east coast and west coast, on an episode of Ru Paul’s Drag Race and has been streamed thousands of times. Additionally, the Cruisin singer —who is also a producer and multi-instrumentalist— has collaborated with international music artists like Swiss DJ and producer Gil Glaze.
Growing and changing each year, Rindge has developed her artistry substantially since 2015. While maintaining the essence that is Madi Rindge, she has gained a better understanding of herself— enabling her to make even more incredible music.
“Just like life, we evolve in terms of our perspective, values, interests,” Rindge said. “With more time on this earth, our experience grows and expands. I know more about who I am, which has only helped further my sound and what I want to do!”
The road hasn’t been linear for Rindge, however she has managed to overcome her obstacles and design the music her heart desires. As a musician, singer and songwriter, Rindge has her hand in all aspects of her music production—making her a force to be reckoned with. Although the Fire singer enjoys the entire music-making process, some parts are her favorite.
“I think my favorite part of the process is working with others who I really vibe with,” Rindge said. “ It’s so much more about the personal connection than anything for me… I don’t really care who you’ve written for or what big name you have as long as we vibe and enjoy each others’ company! When the intention is right — to create art and say something — the rest doesn’t even matter. I have a great ear so I know what I want to hear in a project, down to the length of the reverb for example, but sometimes I come up against the challenge of technologically getting it to sound how I hear it in my head.”
Between her singles and EP’s, Rindge has an enjoyable music catalogue that will have many yearning for a full album once one song from her is heard. Her latest EP Stripped, which was released in 2021, is a three-track mellow masterpiece that showcases an unplugged version of Rindge. Rindge’s romantic lyricism and soft melodies sensualizes the EP, making it highly reminiscent of albums by other music artists like Quin, Tinashe and Jhené Aiko.
Although the Stripped EP isn’t necessarily a preview into an upcoming full album, it does serve as a form of experimentation and preparation for Rindge.
“The more music I release, the more my vision becomes realized… like I’m getting closer and closer, while also letting the time of where I’m at in my life help dictate the moment of music I’m creating.” Rindge said. “I try not to judge any of my music (it’s f***ing hard sometimes) but we’re constantly growing and evolving so it’d be ridiculous to expect any artists’ music to stay the same. That being said, I’m so excited for my album.”
Her album is in the works, however Rindge has not set a date for release yet. She does plan to have collaborations on the forthcoming album though.
“There aren’t any set dates yet because I still want to release a couple of EPs before I release an album so that the anticipation is solid, Rindge said. I absolutely plan to have collaborations on it! I want to see all my friends come up and win, so the more we can work together, the more quickly that’ll happen!”
With any luck Rindge might be able to do a song with Alina Baraz, Jhene Aiko, or Marc E. Bassy—her main music muses.
“I would die to work with any and all of them,” Rindge said.