Madchild performs at the Queen’s on Aug. 30. (Photo courtesy Battle Axe Records)

Swollen Members rapper Madchild explores his Demons

Rapper’s new album reflects on his struggles with drug addiction as he preps for Nanaimo, Victoria

West Coast rapper Madchild said he is overwhelmed by the number of people who tell him that his music helped them persevere at their hour of need.

On his new record, Demons, Madchild, a member of the Juno-winning group Swollen Members currently living in Victoria, reflects on his past misbehaviour and history of drug addiction and how he managed to come out “on the other side.”

He said he’s at a happier place in his life and that the album reflects that positive outlook.

“I’m sort of just letting myself evolve and it’s very different energy what I’m making right now. Very upbeat, sort of different style of beats, very current beats and learning how to sort of do what is more happening now while staying true to myself,” Madchild said.

RELATED: Swollen Members perform two Island dates on brief B.C. tour

Madchild kicks off his coast-to-coast Canadian tour in Victoria on Aug. 29, followed by a date at the Queen’s in Nanaimo on Aug. 30.

Parts of Demons were recorded at fellow Swollen Member Rob the Viking’s Chamber Studio, located below the Queen’s, and with his father and brother living in Nanaimo, Madchild said the Harbour City is like “a second home.”

As someone who doesn’t attend counselling, Madchild said his music is his therapy. And as he’s learned from fan feedback, speaking about his experience with drugs and addiction has a therapeutic effect on others as well.

“There are still tons of people that have addictive personalities and substance abuse problems, gambling problems, all kinds of demons, all kinds of issues,” he said. “So I know that my music helps people. That’s something that I feel good about. If my message and my music can help any of my listeners and supporters from maybe going down the wrong path, it’s worth it right there.”

Madchild, a hip-hop veteran and recording artists since the mid-’90s, said he’s been giving advice to younger artists and hopes they can learn “from my wins and my losses.” He said helping others is a rewarding feeling.

“It’s nice to have that experience and be able to sort of mentor people a little bit and when the mistakes that I’ve gone through in life can help somebody else from making those same mistakes, it sort of helps it all make more sense,” he said.

RELATED: Nanaimo rapper Sirreal debuts new CD ‘In the Nick of Time’

Madchild said he’s been in a particularly prolific musical zone lately and he already has enough material for his next album, which he is aiming to release in late autumn.

“When you have an addictive personality you can put it to a really positive place and you can excel at positive things or you can go to a real dark place and completely spiral,” he said. “So I guess my work ethic comes from having to put my addictive personality somewhere. So I have tons of new music already but it’s just about shaping it and making it the best record it can be. But, yeah, I mean I could put a record out right now for sure.”

WHAT’S ON … Madchild performs at the Upstairs Cabaret in Victoria on Aug. 29 and at the Queen’s in Nanaimo on Aug. 30. Tickets available at the venue or online.



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