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Saturday, January 16, 2021

Mike Dowdall, a.k.a. Mad Definition, Rapper / Lyricist

Bournemouth-based rapper Mad Definition talks us through why mental health inspired him to tell his own story through music. The music he writes has been inspired by many modern greats and this is just the beginning for Mike Dowdall…

In this digital age we have gained access to so much new music through streaming services. Nothing really comes close to the live experience we’ve all been deprived of over the last eight months, however. Mike Dowdall, a.k.a. Mad Definition, has been writing music since the age of 16, and talks to us about why he believes digital platforms aren’t the be-all-and-end-all, and why nothing will ever compare to the live experience of being at a gig.

Indeed, coronavirus has taken its toll on the live music scene. Mike explains how being at home more has given him and other aspiring artists the freedom and time to produce more music in time for 2021, where hopefully the live music scene will thrive once more.

WHERE DID THE INSPIRATION FOR THE NAME “MAD DEFINITION” COME FROM?

For years I have suffered with mental health issues, and I wanted something sentimental and catchy whilst using my initials. I also used to get called mad a lot, so one day it came to me. I am the definition of mad, so I like to write about mental health and how people can overcome issues and problems they may also face.

WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO START WRITING AND RAPPING?

I have written music and rapped since I was 16. I first developed a keen interest in rap at the age of 13 whilst growing up listening to Plan B rap and sing, so I had to get on my guitar and show the world my own version of events.

CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PROCESS? FOR ISNTANCE, DO YOU WRITE FIRST AND RAP AFTER? OR DO YOU FREESTYLE?

Sometimes I have lyrics that I then have to produce a beat to, or sometimes I create an amazing beat and the lyrics just flow from there. I don’t really have a set process, I just let the music flow from the heart naturally.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR MUSICAL STYLE?

I would describe my music as UK Rap. I like to take my beat influences from all over the musical spectrum i.e. American Rap, UK Hip Hop, Grime, Trap, Singer-Songwriter, Indie and even Rock.

WHO WOULD YOU LIKE TO COLLABORATE WITH, IF GIVEN THE CHANCE?

I would love to collaborate with a few artists including Ocean Wisdom, Dax, Ed Sheeran, Artan, Eminem, Hopsin, High Focus Crew and many more.

HOW MUCH OF AN IMPACT HAS CORONAVIRUS HAD ON YOU AND THE MUSIC INDUSTRY AS A WHOLE?

I believe coronavirus has had a huge impact on the whole music industry. It has stopped artists going out and sharing music with the public. I feel as though social media isn’t the best way to share music — I much prefer live gigging.
Being at home, I have had plenty of time to produce and that’s great if you have the means to do so. However, I feel a lot of artists don’t have those luxury avenues and probably feel that it has put their music on hold. I just found another way to express myself and put all my time into producing.

DO YOU THINK THE DIGITAL WORLD HAS HELPED ARTISTS LIKE YOURSELF THRIVE AND GROW?

I do believe the digital world helps artists thrive and grow in some ways. But it also holds us back from live opportunities, and it can sometimes limit how much we can share our experiences with everyone in the public eye.
On social media people can choose to watch only what they want to. With regard to Spotify, iTunes and YouTube, I think it’s a great way to get yourself heard, but there isn’t a lot of monetary gain unless you have a large following and fanbase already.

IF YOU COULD OPEN A SHOW FOR ANY ARTIST, WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHY?

Ed Sheeran. I admire how he managed to build his way up through the music industry and build his own career off the back of doing what he loves. I think he has a lot to teach and offer the world, especially in terms of inspiring up and coming artists.

OTHER THAN RAP, WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE MUSIC GENRE?

I love all music – I don’t really have any favourite genres. I grew up on rock, indie, singer-songwriter and rap and I take influences from all areas of music. People can learn a lot from classical music, even though it’s not everyone’s favourite genre. It has a lot to offer to producers and musicians.

DO YOU HAVE ANY EPS OUT YET?

I did have an old EP called Profound Insanity, which is now only available on CD as I removed it from streaming sites. I do have an EP on Spotify called Higher Limits from 2018 and I’ve also just released a new single called FIX UP. This can be found on Spotify, YouTube and other streaming platforms.

WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU AND WHAT CAN WE EXPECT IN 2021?

I am currently building a full album (LP), on which my single FIX UP will feature. This has merely been released as a taster of what’s to come in 2021.

I am also releasing some more music videos on YouTube at the end of this year in build-up to the LP. Plus maybe a couple singles just to keep people hooked onto what’s coming.

To keep up with Mad Definition, check them out on Facebook and Instagram. For more local music stories, click here. And don’t forget to follow us on our social channels – FacebookTwitterInstagramLinkedIn and YouTube!

Dan Rushton
Dan Rushton
Dan is a Birmingham-born lad who moved down to Brighton in the summer of 2019 to pursue a career in PR within the entertainment technology industry. The events industry was hit hard by the Coronavirus pandemic. In March 2020 he made the move to Bournemouth and intends to stay here to try take his career further. He has always been a keen writer and talker, describing himself as confident, funny and outgoing. His interests include politics, football, art, music and live entertainment. He has been with HQB since June 2020.

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