Madison McFerrin is a singer, songwriter, and producer from New York. She’s sung with legends like Aretha Franklin, George Clinton, and De La Soul & The Roots. Madison’s first EP came out in 2016, and last week, she released her debut album, I Hope You Can Forgive Me. In the years between the EP and the album, Madison started producing her own music. It wasn’t really her plan, but something that developed over the course of the pandemic. For this episode, I talked to Madison about a song from her album called “Run." It was inspired by the discovery that she’s the descendant of a woman who escaped slavery, and features guest vocals from Madison’s father, Grammy-winner Bobby McFerrin.
For more, visit songexploder.net/madison-mcferrin.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Dear listening to song explorer where musicians take up their songs and piece by piece tell the story of how they were made. I'm ratification your way so,
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Medicine mcferrin is a singer songwriter and producer from new york. She son with legends like a wreath of franklin, George Clinton and dale us all in the roots madison's first
If he came out in two thousand and sixteen and last week she released her debut album hope you can forgive me. In the years between the e p and the album madison started producing her own music, it wasn't really are
and but something that developed over the course of the pandemic for
this episode. I talked him bateson about a song from her how cold run those inspired by the discovery that she's the descendants of a woman who escaped slavery and features.
Vocals for medicines, father grammy winter Bobby MC, very,
I need the
My name is madison mcferrin, I'm alive
the former. That's the thing that I had derive the moon
joy. Out of
probably in life period,.
I decided I wanna be a sailor when I was five, which I think really
came from. I liked to sing, I see my dad,
likes to sing and that's what
That seems like I could do that too,
So I started doing
Local layers and vocal harmony as alive
for firmer for the first
three years of my solo career, I was just doing acapella loops
So, with a loop pedal
with one layer and assumed it stops. You have to start the next lair.
and then you have to start the next layer and then the next layer, and then you kind of locked into that structure that you ve made. I didn't want to just do archipelago
I could hear other things in my head. I didn't know how to get them out, but
I didn't start producing until twenty twenty
I was forced to be at home and not have shows to express my
you know when you're learning how to do something new, and it's like your text
bring up against a wall for a while, but then this beat
was one of the first speech that I made browser open. This is actually good
I was intentionally trying to make something that has a lot of forward momentum, a lot of forward energy. A lot of people tell me that they listened to my music when they're, trying to meditate or just
relax their mind and I think I just wanted to challenge myself to not do the same thing.
So I was listening to the beat over and over and I wanted to add some vocal layers. Hmm, I think it's like five layers or something like that very much dislike of this is what's flowing. Let me just do it and it was fun and it was original
called cramps, I wrote
On a day when I had some like insane period cramps and had eaten like twenty,
Ella grams of edible or some just like cure the pain and ended up gis hanging out at my
you're getting into this crew, and, unlike listening to it for the next week, just on moved in
between twenty, I was,
distant cousin on em,
Just read out come. I had been looking
stuff in my history just cause. I was interested and neither
my parents have had
closer relationships with their immediate family. From me to know
much as I would like to so. I went to the internet
to try and find some stuff out, but unfortunately, as a.
Black american. There is an all that much information and then this cousin, Malcolm,
he reached out to me on the
website and said: hey I
of some stories about our family that you might not know and I'd love to her
on the phone sometime in chat with you, so we
on the phone. He told me that our great great great grandmother
whose name apparently was maria escaped slavery.
Her husband had been sold to another plantation and she went to find him.
I was really taken aback
by this information
Just learning the fact that this war
but I'm descended from took her own freedom into her hands and took that courageous act was something that really opened. My heart
and that was incredibly inspiring
all of a sudden. I got this jolt of energy
so I free visited the song because of the momentum because of the movement I felt like this particular be lent itself to the idea of
women running away the thing
kept coming to mine was what, if I wrote this from the perspective of the creator, trying to give further strength to run away,
You can stay tonight.
oh from lyrical standpoint, the story starts with a message:
from above tell
heard a run, wait until the right moment, but
I leave this beef,
it really lent itself to be this archipelago.
the com before the storm give
the song that meditative moment of ok, let
you get my strength and
my mind and my heart,
all aligned so that I can escape.
I wanted to start at with this, like very mellow.
I asked my dad to be on it because of the.
that he is also descended from the sort by doing something
together as hard to say
events that were
a way to honour I great great great grandmothers legacy. We are
more than likely here, because the fact that she made this decision to run away
because he is so incredible at just.
Improvising. If there was any part of
maria that could come out just through
syllables. I wanted him to embody that
my dad, and I have a very close relationship
To be in his band, I've taught
wrote him. I've been in many a concert with him, but we had
our collaboration in this fashion, for we
we're in his room and I just play
the section he's on on loop for about ten minutes and pressed report.
And just listened
couple were, like of ham still figuring out, the song, but thou completely defeated, came
in in one of the go round where he had done a lot more comfortable. He also had
Done that super loathing another time, that's
spot and parents range the ladys in Japan. I was like
of both of these there. Both gonna have to conclude that, if the
Iraq's are the create or give
Dad is like the jew, jus, keeping
for going in that moment,
favorite line and the whole song is take me.
And let sing the stars. There's a plan
I wrote it I'll just for you
It's saying that's a direct reference.
To the idea of follow the drinking gourd, what we were
or two as the big dipper for many
referred to as the drinking gourd black people
created music to help people.
Understand how to run away music that was created so that peace
or could sing
giving a message of if you
want to get out of here. When you look at the,
that symbol, because
the drinking lord was
a visual rubber
indication of which direction you need to run him to go north.
I can only imagine the amount of trust
but you have to have an yourselves and in a higher power to escape such
are choosing to potential
it die in the process,
leaving because that prospect is
That and staying where you are so, I thought the
dear of trust, was very important.
From last place. You have to wait, but the you won't have to wish they have to
and my dad comes in here like here. We go. Let's go
We just learned so much about ourselves when we learn about our history and I feel like black people in america partake.
wearily been denied that we don't have the prey
blige, honestly of knowing where we came from an understanding where we came from because has been
taken from us, not because we have tried
grandfather is the first african american. This sign contracts with much parts in opera,
My dad is an eleven time grammy winner, but I
looking at the census of my dad's grandpa
they're on his father's side,
And it was saying, could they read put their right? Miss said no, for both of them,
I immediately start crying.
You know this as somebody who they're not
That far away from me and it really broke my heart.
Just the lack of humanity that these people were given.
if I don't know the full story of how maria
left where she went to or any of these things. I could at least honour the fact that sheep,
aid that choice to leave period- and I think that this
an attempt for me to try and connect, at least from a spiritual level, with my aunt.
We hear how all these ideas and pieces came together in the full song deception
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Now here's run by madison mcferrin, featuring Bobby mcferrin in its entirety,
Run you can stay tonight.
but the beef.
Maybe you don't trust me? You just have to stay here.
you have my name
song exploder dot net to learn more you'll, find links to buy or stream run,
this episode of song explorer was made by me, Craig ilie, Kathleen smith and mary Dolan.
the episode our work is by carlos Lemme in
it shows the music and look up so
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Transcript generated on 2023-06-15.