Madi Diaz is one ineffable whirl of a woman. Having lived all over, she’s collected stories and that easy-going kind of cool only hours on the road can bring. With freedom written all over her Americana roots and California dreams, her latest album, Phantom, sounds like dancing through a broken heart…and we’re happy to sway along.

Q-Where are you from, where have you lived? How’ve those places impacted what you’re all about?

I’m Connecticut born, Pennsylvania backwoods homeschooled, and Philadelphia teen-aged. I ran around shows at First Unitarian Church, escaped to my friend Megan’s dorm room at Tyler Art School; was a Boston college girl at Berklee, and a bike rider bartender at the Pour House in Back Bay. I was a Nashville musician/artist/songwriter before I became a Los Angeles resident plus (frequent) city/mountain/desert/ocean wanderer. Everywhere has poured through my songs and me throughout the years.

Q-What’s your music like?

Lush indie-pop with an Americana foundation. It’s close your eyes and dance music. I get influenced by the moments that stick with me, the ones that I just can’t shake. People and places and things that keep coming back to my memory, that keep happening over and over, those inspire me.

Q-How do you describe your style?

13-year-old meets Aspiring-28-year-old. I think it’s important to go with what you’re drawn to. I’ve tried a lot of things, but I always end up in painfully bright colors and patterns. I used to try to avoid them cause my closet was starting to look like a pile of splatter paint vomit, but….you can’t avoid who you are.

Q-What’s circling around your world right now?

Right now — right NOW — I’m listening to this record called Threads by a band called Now Now. I’m readingThe Fountainhead for the second time cause it’s been awhile since I picked it up.

Q-If you went on a weeklong road trip across the US, what’d you pack?

A small, beater road guitar, some really serious wool socks and long johns, a bathing suit. Orange lipstick…my cheetah print short-shorts and a t-shirt. My tent…a big bright beach blanket, sunglasses…flat bill hat…firewood…six-pack. Oh, and a toothbrush.

Q-Just…Horses.

I mean. I could go on forever. They’re my soul mates. They are my beginning of really connecting with another, and myself, in the present moment. I grew up around them and really hope I get to go back someday.

Q-Any unspoken rules while on the road?

I try to travel with the kind of people who are down to pull the van over for collecting things like tumbleweeds and pawn shop gemstones. And actual gemstones.

Q-Mountains, river, ocean, plains, forest…Where’s your spot?

Gimme all of it. Each bit of nurture’s got a different corner of my heart.

Q-You can own five places around the world, where would they be and what would they be?

Oh my god, I’ve been dream scheming my 5 spots. Not even kidding, that’s my NUMBER. Hah! But I can’t tell you cause it’s a secret. Just know that I’m working on it. They’re all made from reusable materials, are the most structurally sound, and sonically badass spaces you’ll ever find.

Q-What’s your favorite kind of day?

Sometimes I want a rainy day to wander around my apartment, drinking tea, reading and staying in bed. Sometimes I want clear skies and brisk air. I’d go for a run up a mountain and, when I come back, I’d sit outside and drink margaritas with buds. Sometimes I want a hot, steamy, star-studded evening. We’d have a fire somewhere and just play songs. …don’t make me choose.

Q-Best life advice?

Trust yourself. (I try every day)

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