Soulful rock n’ roll singer-songwriter MAWD shows off all kinds of 60s flare in the video for her latest track “Wandering Eye” premiering exclusively with LADYGUNN. With vocals reminiscent of Janis Joplin meets Brittany Howard, MAWD’s sultry sound features gritty guitars and infectious melodies. MAWD manages to stay current while still sporting retro, vintage vibes.
We talked with MAWD about her creative process and the meaning behind her new single “Wandering Eye”.
How did the song “Wandering Eye” evolve and what is the meaning behind the lyrics?
“Wandering Eye” was conceived over a year ago after having a conversation with my boyfriend in a parking lot about how he thought I was checking out a man walking by. He jokingly said I have a wandering eye and that he was going to write a song about it. And I swiftly replied, “No, I’m going to write a song about how I don’t have a wandering eye!”. We laughed it off…. but the next day I did! I wrote the bare bones of it in my room, not thinking much of it and took it into my co-writing friend and producer of my upcoming EP, Josiah Mezzaschi. I thought it was just okay (as I do of all my songs, I’m very indecisive), but he loved it and we finished writing the rest of it that day in the studio!
At the beginning of my relationship, my boyfriend thought I did sometimes have a wandering eye, but this song is a way of saying “No way, I love you and only you!”.
What was your inspiration behind the video’s concept and what made you decide to go with a 60s theme?
I have always been a huge fan of everything 60’s (in fact, MAWD derives from the word “mod”). At first, we were trying to go for a fun Austin Powers themed video, but it kind of turned into its own thing. I wanted to keep it upbeat, light, and fun! I’m a pretty goofy person in general (and so is my backing band and boyfriend who are all featured in the video), so I wanted to do something that represented us and the song. There are hints of that retro sound in “Wandering Eye” so I wanted to bring those to the forefront with this video and pay a homage to my favorite era with a modern twist.
The color scheme all blossomed from the dress I’m wearing in it which I found at a vintage store in Highland Park in LA. One of my nearest and dearest friends Sara Bass styled everyone based around that dress and I crafted the decorations from that color scheme. It was so much fun and truly a group effort. From my boyfriend helping make our “MAWD mobile” which can be seen in the second verse to him and my band being such great sports in the video, I think the energy in the video reflects how much we were truly enjoying ourselves. We were also incredibly lucky to have the help of Brandon Villalovos who directed and filmed/edited the whole thing. He really understood my vision and I’d highly recommend him to anyone who needs a music video done right!
Who are some of your favorite 60s fashion icons and musicians and how do they influence you?
A huge 60’s fashion icon and musician would definitely be Nancy Sinatra. In fact, I watched many of her music videos in order to prepare for this one. Her album “Boots” can be heard rocking on my record player at least a few times a week. She is just such a badass and sings about being an independent women. In my eyes, she was truly a feminist for her time. This song was certainly influenced by her and the video was influenced by her fashion in the 60’s.
Of course, I also am a huge Janis Joplin fan, which brings in the rock aspect of this song. Although this song borders pop, I don’t consider myself a pop artist at all. Her ability to let go and just sing her guts out is so inspiring. She was a revolutionary for female singers.
For fashion, I also absolutely adore the classics like Bridgitte Bardot, Edie Sedwick, Anita Pallenberg, and Twiggy.
Speaking of 60s musicians, the musical landscape has changed so much in the past five or so decades. What have you found to be the biggest challenge in being a working musician today?
I think the first thing that comes to mind, other than the obvious shift in how music sounds now, is oversaturation and how hard it is to get any notable royalties or earn a decent living off of music. With things like Spotify, it’s such a bittersweet thing. You are able to get your music out easier, however, it’s incredibly difficult to sustain yourself on it. There are so many songs coming out all the time, it’s so easy to for yours to get lost in the sea. I really miss when full albums came out and you were so excited about it. Now, in a world where singles are most important, I feel as though the magic is lost. And, you spend a lot of time and energy into one specific song for it to be forgotten about quickly due to this oversaturation. I’m hoping we can figure out a way to bring the magic back. That’s why I think people hold on to things like vinyl or CD collections, there’s just something so special about that. It’s sad to think of a generation that’s growing up now without knowing what it feels like to be excited about things like that.
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