Who Is?/Official Hype

Published on December 23rd, 2021 | by Dr. Jerry Doby


Introducing RM47 and Their ‘Needed U’ Single

Fueled by an intrinsic creative connection, RM47 is a Los Angeles-based duo comprised of multi-hyphenate artists MAAD and Raleigh. Together, their shared experiences and respective areas of expertise both complement and challenge the other, allowing their collaborative process to be as organic as possible. Prior to formally writing music utilizing the RM47 moniker, MAAD, who balances creating as a recording artist, songwriter, DJ & model, has previously worked with Raleigh, a musician and vocalist whose expertise spans production and songwriting alike, on a number of projects together, including MAAD’s solo releases such as “Eventually Pt. 1” and EarlGréy’s “Overdue.” With their artistic partnership built on a strong foundation, the past year led them to discover new depths of their chemistry as collaborators, turning their home studio into a place for mental escapes that allowed them to create music that felt like a well-needed trip around the world.

Representative of a newly-paved conduit to nostalgia and the Alt-Electro-RnB space, RM47’s sound features soulful vocals over a sonic fusion of sultry guitars, hypnotic synths, the stuttering of jersey club beats, and the funky rhythms of Afrobeat. Their upcoming project, ‘Stuck with you.. But I like it,’ is a musical melting-pot that draws inspiration from New Jersey, Nigeria, Chicago, London, Toronto and Tanzania, capturing the essence of their own lived experiences and paying homage to where they come from. The dynamic duo is prepping to break new and exciting ground with a series of upcoming releases and live show experiences in 2022.

At the very beginning of “Needed U”, MAAD and Raleigh aren’t together. She’s in bed, in stockings and knee-high leather boots, in a red-tinted room that feels defiantly feminine; he’s straddling a motorbike in a chilly, blue-lit garage. They inhabit separate worlds with distinct aesthetics, and have distinct responsibilities and desires. But when they get together, the chemistry is immediately apparent.  “Needed U” is a romantic song, but not an unvexed one: it’s a grown-up lover’s lament, a mutual protest, a pained conversation between partners who care deeply about each other but who’ve been letting each other down.  The leather sofa in the living room is their common ground — a place of intimacy and communication, but also conflict. Sometimes they’re head to head, sometimes they’re arguing, sometimes they’re flirting, and sometimes, they’re just furious. But one thing is clear: they’re far too tangled up to say goodbye for good.  The final shot of the clip for “Needed U,” the debut single from Alt-Electro-RnB duo RM47, consists of a single side-eyed look, cast by singer MAAD at her collaborator Raleigh, as they sit together in near-darkness on a sofa. They’re close, but they’re not touching. The glance she shoots his way is full of menace, accusation, longing, betrayal, distrust, and affection, all at once. It’s searing, and it’s the perfect punctuation for a video that announces RM47 as a coming force.

How did this artistic partnership between MAAD and Raleigh begin? What do each of you bring to RM47?

Raleigh: Many moons ago MAAD and I were introduced to work with each other. My production team and I were looking for artists to work and develop a sound with and she became someone we ended up growing with not only musically but in a friendship. Fast forward to 2020 during quarantine, we needed to create an escape. We decided to collaborate on a body of work that would make us both feel like we were traveling around the world to different dance parties. We found a cool balance in our duality.. kinda like the concept of yin and yang. MAAD is the eyes and I’m the ears.. We both contribute to everything you hear & see, but MAAD usually takes the lead on visuals while I do the same with sonics. You’ll feel us both equally through our expression as RM47.

MAAD: Absolutely, it’s a natural flow when it comes to the collaborative process especially being that we’ve worked together for some time. Raleigh is the mastermind behind a majority of my solo releases as well and he’s always been present on my records. It’s been nice being able to bounce creative ideas off of him and see what sticks.

How would you describe your music style and genre?

MAAD: Our sound can’t be confined into a specific genre or box, while recording we just made it our mission to create music that felt good, music people could dance to. Music that makes you feel loved but to also be able to release your inhibitions.

Raleigh: We’re legit music junkies, and self proclaimed music & culture historians so we do our best to lace our experiences, cultural makeups, and imagination into our overall style. This is what it sounds like when you take NYC (Brooklyn, Wash. Heights, LES, Soho), throw it in a blender with the suburbs / rural small town life around the world, California (Bay Area & LA), avant garde musical taste, and couture level fashion.  A lot of uptempo, body pumping, booty grooving vibes for all human beings.

What cultures and cities do you pull your music inspiration from to create your unique sound?

Raleigh:  Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Tanzania, Jamaica, Brooklyn, NYC as a whole, Upstate NY, NJ, Philly, DMV, Chicago, Detroit, Oakland, LA, ATL, OKC.

What was it like filming this music video? Any interesting stories or incidents that occurred on set?

MAAD: We had so much fun! I love being able to see ideas come to fruition. For me, I’d say I was really comfortable being on set as I’ve shot so many music videos and always modeling. For Raleigh, it was nice to see him come from behind the boards and shine! He’s a star! I know it was probably an interesting transition for him but he really did his thing.

Raleigh: (Sigh) It was a process [for me].. honestly a bit nerve racking because I’m a bit camera shy, especially when I’m fully aware that someone is recording me with a camera. Overall it was a good time though MAAD, our director Kseniia, cinematographer Nicola and everyone else on set helped me break out of my comfort zone & loosen up. My boy Kofi was shooting BTS so that gave me a sense of comfort too. Also shout out to Origines, he helped with our movement and gave me tips on how not to feel like an awkward dork (I never know what to do with my hands haha). Good times… MAAD’s already talking about the next visual, help! Lol

What was the creative process behind writing and filming “NEEDED U”?

Raleigh: I remember waking up really frustrated about a situation one day… one of the best ways I know of to get rid of weird vibes is to let it out. Write it down, record it, draw a picture, make a beat or something and put the expression in that. This song is like a voice note gone rogue. A weird vibe turned positive. MAAD heard the idea, liked it, and we kept building it.

MAAD: What’s crazy to me is “Needed U” didn’t make our initial project playlist. We kind of just put it to the side and went onto create other records. There was always something special about this song though, it had a lot of relatability and an honest message. As time went on and we started thinking about the project as a whole we thought it would be a great introduction to our sound. So happy people have been feeling it and excited for them to hear what we release next.

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About the Author

Editor-in-Chief of The Hype Magazine, Media and SEO Consultant, Journalist, Ph.D. and retired combat vet. 2023 recipient of The President's Lifetime Achievement Award. Partner at THM Media Group. Member of the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture, the United States Press Agency and ForbesBLK.

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