Interview with Madeline Castrey

We had the opportunity to get a few questions in to music’s rising star Madeline Castrey. We talk a bit about her inspiration, music growing up with, and of course advice for musicians.

Here is our interview:

1.What is your inspiration to write your music? Is it your


At the risk of sounding cliché, my experiences drive much of my creative output. It’s so hard to sit down with the mindset of “I have to write a song now” and if that’s the case, the result is never as good as stumbling across a lyric or a melody from exploring how you’re feeling at that particular moment. As a classical musician first and foremost, I’ve found that I have a tendency to get carried away with instrumentation and textures so sometimes I do have to reign myself in a little bit – otherwise you’ll be listening to a symphony and not a song!


Relatability is key for me. My songs are very lyric focused, so I’m always thrilled if listeners can relate to my own experiences through my lyrics. With my style of jazz that combines modern pop beats with more classical elements, I strive to keep my music uplifting – and so I hope that my music inspires a message of joy and empowerment for all.


2.What type of music did you listen to growing up?


I always had an incredibly varied taste in music. Having performed in several West End productions growing up, I have always loved musical theatre. Training as a classical singer, I’m also a massive fan of opera, and even now I find that there is nothing better than listening to classical music; Ravel’s Bolero is the piece I have to have on repeat when writing my PhD! Then of course I listened to lots of Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, Frank Sinatra and Dinah Washington – all very varied, and I hope you can hear all of these influences in the music that I’m creating now!


3.Is there someone you looked up as a hero?


Well my Mum is always my biggest hero! In terms of my musical heroes; artist-wise it has to be Nina Simone and Ella Fitzgerald. Vocals wise, the one and only Karen Carpenter – and I fancy myself a bit of a Jools Holland in terms of arranging music and improvising. I’d love to collaborate with him one day!


4.If you weren’t a musician, would you be doing today?


If I wasn’t a musician, I would 100% be a lawyer! I’ve always fancied myself a bit of a barrister! I’ve been trying to find a way of combining music and law, but somehow I don’t think a singing judge is going to catch on in this century!


5.What advice do you have for our fans out there that want to create

Celebrate and challenge yourself, and never feel like you’re wasting time. So many musicians put their creativity last and particularly during these difficult global times, it’s not been easy to allow yourself space to create. At the same time, don’t feel pressure to fit the mold or to sound like the commercial music that’s already out there. By all means draw influence from other artists, but remember that your music is an expression of yourself, and I believe everybody has their own uniqueness.

Check out Madeline Castrey’s music on Spotify: