Genes is Maddy Rowe — Australia’s latest pop prodigy poised for total domination.
Rowe has cut her teeth writing for artists by Maribelle and Sam Bluer and more, but this year has seen her step into the spotlight as a solo artist. As well as offering her honeyed vocals to tracks with Donatachi and Deer, the musicians has released three sterling singles.
Her debut single ‘Give It Away’, was an assured, brooding pop track, that delicately dissected the throws of being in love. It’s the kind of saccharine, love-lorn bop we crave to listen to in the lonely hours of the evening when we’re reflecting on all our romantic cock-ups.
Genes is back with a third, stellar single, a total earworm in the form of ‘Better’. The track channels the unapologetic romance of Carly Rae Jepsen, and boasts one of the strongest pop choruses to come out of the country this year. It’s an ode to self-discovery in the aftermath of a relationship.
“I tend to write songs that lyrically manifest later on,” explains Genes. “When I wrote ‘Better’ I was in the thick of a breakup and thought the bad feels would never end.
“I wrote this to snap myself out of it – I knew I would get better, I just had to keep singing it over and over again to remind myself. And now I AM BETTER, and I am really Living this song in the present. Happiness looks and sounds good on me.”
To celebrate the release of ‘Better’, we sent GENES through a bunch of burning ‘Get To Know’ questions, so pop on the bob and check out what she had to say.
How did your artist name come about?
I wish the story was cooler, but when I was trying to think of an artist name and I said to myself “I shouldn’t have to think of a name… music is just in my GENES” and the rest is history.
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Tell us a bit about your single, what it’s about and how it came about?
I was in the midst of a pretty shitty breakup and hadn’t been able to write any songs about it. I jumped in a session with Hamley back in Melbourne mid last year, who also happened to be going through a breakup too. After hours of pre-songwriting chats, we bonded over our heartbreak, and instead of writing something soppy and sad, we decided to manifest feeling Better. After that, I sent the song to Zoe Adore who sent me ideas for the bridge via facebook voice memos. Then Ninajirachi added some sparkly things to the overall production and took it to that next level. And that’s how it happened. It’s a song you SHOULD absolutely listen to when you’re freshly heartbroken. SHAKE those bad feels off, you WILL get Better.
What do you love about your hometown?
My family. My family, every single day. I miss them so much. I moved to Townsville by myself about a year ago and my family is still in Melbourne. Thank god for Facetime calls otherwise I wouldn’t cope. I also really miss the big city energy. Townsville is a lot smaller than Melbourne, so we don’t have things like a Krispy Kreme store…. I would do bad, bad things for a Krispy Kreme right now.
Favourite non-music hobby?
I am a poor musician (typical), so leading up to pay day, I enjoy trying to make random meals with ingredients I have left in the fridge. Toasted wraps with tuna and melted cheese and random canned vegetables are my speciality. Thrifty cooking is my hobby. I’ve eaten some strangely delicious combinations over the last year.
What’s on your dream rider?
Good food that’s not a poor man’s meal. Those little finger sandwiches with the fancy mustard and perfectly sliced swiss cheese, and also those mini pickles and those bell peppers with the cream cheese in them. Can you tell I’ve thought a lot about this? Obviously a nice bottle of vodka, some limes and soda water. A pink sweat towel. Green tea. I’m a simple girl.
Dream music collaboration?
I feel like Charli XCX and I would write a really f*cking cool song together. I would honestly just be happy to sit in the studio with her and soak up her energy. Lauv would also be a dream.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I see myself living overseas somewhere writing pop songs for a living, a couple of number one hit records under my belt for Genes/other artists. I’ve released a few albums, done some big headline tours and maybe I’ve found a nice human to smooch. And we have a cute dog. Most definitely a cute dog.
What’s your go-to karaoke song?
‘7 Things I Hate About You’ – Miley Cyrus. I’m not even ashamed. The ‘sha’s’ at the start are karaoke perfection. It GOES OFF.
Also ‘Candy Shop’ by 50 Cent because I know the entire rap verses back to front (sorry mum).
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
“It’s okay not to know everything. It means you can make space to learn”
What’s one obsession you have that no one would guess after listening to your music?
Do I get weird right now? Okay here goes… I religiously watch those Dr.Pimple Popper videos whenever I need a pick me up. Some people listen to a hype up playlist, I thoroughly enjoy watching cysts ooze. It’s gross but oddly satisfying. Anyway, please still stream my new song.