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Love Letter to a Record: m8riarchy on Brandy’s ‘Never Say Never’

Music Feeds’ Love Letter To A Record series asks artists to reflect on their relationship with music and share stories about how the music they love has influenced their lives. Here, m8riarchy confesses her love for Brandy’s second album, ‘Never Say Never’, from 1998.

M8riarchy is a name well-known to fans of new wave/new rave pioneer Simona Castricum. M8riarchy appears prominently on ‘Supertouch’ from Castricum’s 2020 release, Panic/Desire. The artist has recently switched focus back to her solo project. M8riarchy released the sex-positive single, ‘Body’, in June 2022, a spirited pop song that explores “pleasure and connection.”

m8riarchy on the influence of Brandy’s ‘Never Say Never’

Brandy’s second studio album, Never Say Never, has come full circle for me in recent years. At nine years old I fell in love with Brandy’s voice. ‘Have You Ever’ was my early emo anthem as I strived to hit every note and blasted it every time my heart hurt. Never Say Never soundtracked my tween-teen years as an aspiring singer-songwriter – I’m sure I’ve clocked 10,000 hours singing Brandy alone.

When I started learning music production, I found myself coming back to the sounds of producer, Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins, that define this record. Tracing my steps from singing to synthesis over the last 20 years, I’m convinced that my love of electronic music production and machine magic stems from this era of pioneering R&B/pop.

Brandy’s iconic vocals coexist in harmony with Darkchild’s distinctive soundscapes; two halves of a holistic masterpiece that have inspired and motivated me as a listener and a creator of music throughout my journey.

After years of singing lessons and live performance, I can hit the notes. What I’m striving for now is that perfect union of a powerful vocal sitting comfortably on a bed of experimental electronic production that exudes groove. To Brandy and Darkchild – thank you for incepting my creative mind in those early years. I’ll be rinsing this record forever.

  • Yours,
  • m8riarchy

m8riarchy – ‘Body’

Further Reading

Simona Castricum Labels Morrison Gov’s Religious Discrimination Bill “Transphobic”

Love Letter to a Record: Emma Volard on Wayne Snow’s ‘Figurine’

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