Have you ever had those moments where you feel like no matter what you do, it’s never enough? You continue to push yourself, work odd jobs, and develop your craft in hopes that you’ll make a name for yourself (and maybe even make mom proud, too). But sometimes, the hardships you experience become overwhelming and debilitating and may even have you second-guessing yourself. However, these hardships also make you strong and allow you to create the story you know you’re destined to live. Today’s Boss Babe didn’t wait for others to make her career come to fruition. She took matters into her own hands by surrounding herself with creatives, and becoming a DJ to make ends meet to establish her musical career.
Ever since MAAD was little, she knew she needed to be involved in the arts. While dance classes and piano lessons were her go-to childhood outlets, her journey eventually led her to the music and modeling industry where she’s now a badass DJ, musical artist, and model. Through dedication and perseverance, she crafted her dream career — all while looking fiercely stylish. And because MAAD can do no wrong, she recently released an EP called LE FUNK, which, of course, was matched with raving reviews. Meet this extraordinary musically talented Boss Babe, MAAD.
Best way to manage the summer heat:
Hydrate! I can’t give advice on what to wear as I’ve recently worn leather shorts in this heatwave.
Song you can’t get out of your head:
Calvin Harris “Heatstroke”
Next travel destination:
Who’s your #WCW:
I have so many! I look up to and appreciate women that are fighting for what they want and make changes to open doors for other generations.
Proudest moment in your career so far:
Honestly, I get to do what I love [every day]. I remember the day I quit my job to become fully self-employed and I haven’t turned back.
Tell us a little about yourself and how you knew you wanted to be a musical artist and model:
I’ve always been drawn to the arts. My earliest memories are of me taking dance [classes] at Dance Theatre of Harlem and attending Harlem School of the Arts where I’d do piano and voice lessons along with horseback riding and art classes. I have my parents to thank for allowing me to dive right into the things I was into.
You recently released your LÉ FUNK EP with raving reviews. Describe your creative journey while producing this EP and were there any instances where you felt pressure to create a good product and how did you manage that stress?
Lé Funk was a fun journey. I took a while to work on that project because I wanted the sound to be super cohesive and very me. I always start to feel [a] bit of pressure closer to release dates as you have a body of work you took the time to create and either people will love it or hate it. I was happy that the response for ‘Lé Funk’ was a positive one.
The music industry has a stigma of being a male-dominated industry. However, even though things are changing, how do you manage those challenges and rise above those not-so-great situations?
I think a lot of it comes down to knowing what you’re capable of and blocking out the hearsay. I’ve actually done DJ gigs where a male DJ would stand behind me to try and make sure I know what I’m doing before I’m given approval.
We love your style. Did you always know your aesthetic or did you eventually grow into it through trial and error?
Thank you! I would say I’ve had eras of different styles. There [are] times I look back at old images and cringe, but like anything else, you live and you learn.
As a growing artist, what were some ways you hustled to make your dreams a reality?
I made sure I didn’t wait for anyone else to make things happen. It’s all about networking too and making sure you surround yourself with other fearless creatives so that [everyone] can all help each other strive towards [their] goals and dreams.
Can you describe a few moments where you pushed yourself or didn’t let something defeat you?
Prior to me being [an] artist full time, I had many different jobs — [sometimes] I’d go [to] the bathroom and break down in tears because I knew I was meant for more. Those experiences made me a stronger individual and I was able to grow from those times.
If you could model for any designer, anywhere, where and who would it be for?
Would love to model for Balmain! Every collection gives me the feels.
Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
Definitely touring, having my own label and would love to do a jewelry line at some point.
Any advice for future Boss Babe who are looking to enter into the music industry?
Stay focused! You can’t pay attention to everything that’s happening around you. Take the time to build yourself and know that “no” doesn’t mean you’re not good, just means someone else hasn’t discovered you yet.
Written by Raven Ishak
Photography via Alyssa Greenberg