RM47 On Making Irresistible "Joyful Noise" With a Vibe

By Gabrielle Pharms | November 19, 2021

Powered by an inherent creative bond, Los Angeles-based duo RM47, comprised of multi-talented artists MAAD and Raleigh, creates a sound that takes a nod at the present while tapping into the future. Before formally writing music under the RM47 moniker, MAAD, who balances her career as a singer-songwriter, DJ, and model, previously worked with musician and vocalist Raleigh. His expertise taps into production and songwriting, including MAAD’s solo releases, such as Eventually Pt. 1, and artist EarlGréy’s “Overdue.”

Their collaborative process is natural in that the duo share mutual experiences while also shining in their areas of expertise, which serves as a resourceful harmonizing act. Raleigh mentions they’re similar in many ways but are also opposite with their contributions to the project. While MAAD has the creative vision for videos and photoshoots, Raleigh grinds it out on the sound production side of things. MAAD is a “great stimulus to force me out of my comfort zone in a helpful way,” Raleigh mentions. At the same time, MAAD comments on Raleigh’s contagious work ethic. She adds, “I’ve always been a hard worker, but when you see somebody that literally is just at it all day long, you’re just like, ‘Okay, cool.’ I feel like that’s the energy that you need to be able to match.”

With their artistic partnership built on a resilient foundation, the past year led them to unearth new depths of their synergy as collaborators, turning their home studio into a mental oasis that allowed them to make music. The shutdown at the beginning of the pandemic spurred the duo to think about the future. “We were just in the space of it would be cool to just make music for what’s going to happen after this,” Raleigh says. “It’s cool that we can make the downtempo R&B stuff. We could make rap stuff. We could do whatever, but I think people are really going to want to dance. So, it’s like, let’s make everything danceable. Let’s just have fun, make sounds, and joyful noise.”

Ultimately, RM47’s sound can’t be confined to a single genre. Their sound encompasses elements of Jersey club, synth-driven future house, and the hypnotic rhythms of Afrobeat, plus power-packed, soulful vocals. MAAD states, “I know, a lot of times, we like to box artists, but I think a lot of artists nowadays are just trying to make music that feels good. That’s what we’re into.” Their forthcoming project, Stuck with you..but I like it, is influenced by sounds rooted in New Jersey, Nigeria, Chicago, London, Toronto, and Tanzania. Between capturing the core of their lived experiences and paying tribute to where they come from, Stuck with you..but I like it was born. Their debut single, “Needed U,” is a sultry, vibey house music earworm that has received praise from fans and is included on multiple official Apple Music playlists. “For it to have gotten the response that it did. It’s confirmation that we’re doing something right,” MAAD says regarding the single.

Next year, RM47 is planning to drop a series of upcoming releases, including Stuck with you..but I like it, in addition to touring. MAAD states, “I have been all about manifesting. I’m just going to speak very present. I feel like a tour is happening next year, whether supporting another artist on tour or doing festivals. Personally, I love performing. I get the biggest rush, and I just love to see people’s energy and feel them, and I feed off that.” Even beyond releasing their music, they envision mentoring and assisting other artists. Raleigh adds, “I’ve always had an idea and a dream of being able to grow a company that can help other musicians that come from spaces who may not have access to resources or knowhow or just need to be plugged into something like insider information. The overall goal is just growing this to be something sustainable that can help other people.”

Photography by: Sariel Elkaim and Sachi Sato