Names: Maude Vôs, Marie Nyx

Nationality: American

Occupation: Producers, composers, DJs, label founders at Delusional
Current Release:  Delusional's 1 Year Anniversary VA Compilation is out now.

If you enjoyed this interview with Maude Vôs and Marie Nyx of Delusional and would like to keep up to date with their work, visit Delusional's Soundcloud account and their respective Instagram pages: Maude Vôs; Marie Nyx

Delusional Records · DEL010- 1 Year Anniversary VA Compilation

Your platform is called “Delusional” and is aimed at "all delusional  individuals". Why did you choose precisely this name?

Maude: The name Delusional came from a conversation I had with my best friend in the middle of the street in the DTLA Arts District.

The gist of the conversation was about continuously giving our time and energy to things or people— being unfulfilled— and expecting change instead of seeing the reality, doing the hard thing and sitting in the uncomfortable. We talked about how growth comes from doing the fearful, and maybe even “delusional” thing and jumping into the unknown. Many people throughout my life have told me I’m crazy and that my dreams are ridiculous, but I continue to jump without a parachute and somehow keep landing.

So, shout out to my best friend Heather Gray for always keeping it real with me and supporting my delusional dreams. I pitched the name to Marie Nyx, and she was super onboard with it.

Music (and music scenes) can be a place to eliminate borders, but surprisingly, it can also serve to reinforce them. From your point of view, what's the state of the electronic music scene in the year 2022 when it comes to the elements that matter most to you: experimentation, visibility and inclusivity?

Maude & Marie: Though borders still remain, especially in regard to accessibility and privilege, the pandemic shifted the industry. It was very special to connect and collaborate with like-minded folks through the internet during that time. We were able to witness the cross-pollination of different communities that would have otherwise not been fostered. We also noticed that even bigger artists and labels took the time to educate and reflect on their impact in the industry, especially during the Black Lives Matter protests.

There will always be work to do, but after 20 years in the scene, it was very encouraging to see a shift.

Can you please tell us a bit about your own sense of identity – and how it motivated you to take an artistic path? In which way do you feel your identity concretely influences your creativity?

Maude: Creative expression has always driven me. I have always desired to connect with others in creative mediums. My parents always fostered my creative drive, and I am grateful I was able to study art, fashion, music and movement throughout my life.

My art is a direct reflection of self. It is how I connect to the world, found healing, and how I process the heavy moments I have experienced.

Marie: A couple of the most influential people in my family were musicians, so from a very early age I always turned to music to express myself. It was a way for me to truly find my voice, as I grew up very shy and introverted.

I started with playing piano to singing in choir to trying to learn guitar. I became a bit out of practice with my instruments and dove deep into music and festival culture, where I was able to express myself through dance and the love of sound. Through this community, I found my creative musical voice again, and have the deepest connection to the performance aspect of being an artist.

Tell me a bit about the artists making up the Delusional community and the compilation, as well as your goals, please.

Maude & Marie: The artists on our 1-Year Anniversary compilation are women, LGBTQIA+ and BIPOC producers. Our entire catalog reflects that it is possible to curate an inclusive roster. Our goals are to continue this path with our label and even begin to bring these artists onto lineups and showcases.

With all the diversity, what binds you together?

Maude & Marie: The shared desire for inclusivity and love of analog electronica brings all these artists to Delusional. We want to continue to bring production and synthesis to the community.

We just participated in “Make Music Day” where we worked with SoCal Synth Society to bring electronic machines to the youth. Community organizing is very important to us!

What, would you say, are the key ideas behind your approach to music and art?

Maude: For me, I’m always trying to take my listeners on a journey and tell a story with my work. I think I almost take the approach of “scoring” a track when I’m producing, even though I’m not always making cinematic music. I also utilize creation, especially music production and composition, to externalize my life experience. Every song has a meaning, depth or connection.

I look at my creation process as a sacred ritual where I get to deeply show up for myself in my fullest, unapologetic form.

Marie: I think what’s so beautiful about music and art is that it is subjective and can be interpreted universally. My approach when curating a set or producing a track is to listen to it deeply and ask myself how each frequency makes me feel. If any sort of excitement or emotions are felt, I feel it will have the same influence on anyone else that is listening.

Art can be an expression or celebration of identity, but it can also be an effort to establish new ones or break free from them. How would you describe your own approach for Delusional in this regard?

Maude & Marie: Delusional is truly a safe space to be your authentic self, and sometimes that can be “fluid.” It’s a place for growth, change and understanding. We celebrate the identity of ourselves and artists with every release.

What makes precisely music so great for keeping this community together?

Maude & Marie: Electronica came from marginalized communities who forged bonds and healing through early mornings on the dance floor. Music continues to carry weight towards connection. In this space, we can embrace each other and our communal art.

How do your work and your creativity relate to the world and what is the role of music in society?

Maude & Marie: Music is diverse and spans genres, sexual orientation, sexual identity, race and geography. Music has the ability to create a sonic bond between individuals, the ability to heal through lyrics and sound, and the ability to pull you into an alternate reality, escaping your thoughts and fears for a moment in time. Music is relatable, especially coming from like-minded communities.

We strive to bring people together, create visibility as underrepresented queer artists, and to release music with a meaningful story behind it.

Many would like the arts to be unpolitical. But Personality and identity express themselves in music, literature, film etc. Do you think that female, LGBTQIA+, nonbinary and BIPOC individuals approach music differently from what's been in the mainstream or even experimental underground for so many decades? If so, in which way?

Maude & Marie: The only people that say art isn’t political are the ones upholding power. Art made by people upholding power is still just as political and just as influential in the political sphere, whether they want to admit it or not.

Art is always going to reflect one’s lived experience, especially for marginalized folks, as a lot of us have deep healing to do around our identities.

I think a lot of us truly want to build anew and create infrastructure where we are seen, recognized and supported, even if it is only by one another.

The music on the label was created mainly on analog and modular synthesizers. What is the relevance of technology for the Delusional artists and why are these tools in particular so appealing to you?

Maude & Marie: It’s exhausting hearing the same Splice pack or serum pre-set in a multitude of songs. It’s also exhausting knowing a lot of artists are revered for their ghost-written work.

That being said, you can’t fake hardware. Many of our artists have videos of them performing their productions live. Their sound design is unparalleled and unique to each of their crafts.

Music is vibration in the air, captured by our ear drums. From your perspective as a creators and listeners, do you have an explanation how it able to transmit such diverse and potentially deep messages?

Maude: I think it can be anything from songwriting, knowing your intervals, modes, time signatures or even BPM. It can be knowing that a certain reverb has a specific timbre or knowing the frequencies you want your bassline to live in and how much distortion to wash it with. It’s really learning your tools and then finding your personal expression.

Marie: Like I said before, music is universal and subjective. Different chords, progressions and frequencies can strike different emotions in listeners and can be interpreted in so many ways.