Madele’ Vermaak, From Hanoi with Love!

Madele’ is a singer-songwriter, originally from South Africa but long time resident of Hanoi. Sometimes you can see her performing with ...

Madele’ is a singer-songwriter, originally from South Africa but long time resident of Hanoi. Sometimes you can see her performing with the rock band Monoheart.  Monoheart gigs are energized live performance with colossal rock riffs, drums that add an extra punch to the stomach, driving bass lines and evocative 3 part vocal lines.

She also performs solo sets with a guitar in hand. This is a much more stripped down performance of original music, with styles influenced by artists like Ani di Franco, PJ Harvey and Jeff Buckley.

Godfrey Johnson (GJ) had a brief but insightful chat with Madele’ Vermaak (MV). Below are excerpts from that interview...

GJ: How have you been spending this time?

MV: This time has been spent looking for creative ways to stay busy and earn money. Gigs were cancelled early on, as bars and clubs were shut before the lockdown, along with schools. I have tried my best to make music, write as much as I can and to plan projects for the future (hopeful).  Fortunately the lockdown is Hanoi hasn’t been as strict as in some other places. Of course social distancing has been encouraged, but I have been able to spend some time in studio recording some music with my band, which leads to me thinking up grand ideas for future music videos.

GJ: What advice do you have for those who are feeling totally helpless now?

MV: I understand the anxiety. There is no clear indication from leadership as to when/where/how we will be able to return to some form of normality.  I also get that the opportunities that can now come our way are also dependent on the access that we have to computers/internet/sound equipment etc.  So, for many people it could be a lot more difficult. During this time I have been blown away by the acts of kindness and helping hands that people have offered. For example in Hanoi some people have been offering free meals on Facebook. Some platforms have made it really easy to live stream your music and hopefully raise money that way. A friend of mine in Berlin has recently started doing free weekly online music lessons for songwriters. There is a lot of opportunity to engage with such platforms now, build connections and I have even heard from some musicians that they are now experiencing more engagement and sales of their music online.  So I guess my advice would be to find these platforms, ask for help and engage with other artists for creative ways of collaborating during these times.

GJ: What are you plans for after lockdown?

MV: My future plans have changed drastically over the last few months regarding travel and how much longer I want to stay in Viet Nam. However, I know I will keep making music. My band is recording an album with Ech Ech studio in Hanoi. If we find that restrictions get lifted we will certainly play gigs and make some beautiful music videos. Continue the hustle.




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Urban Craft Magazine: Madele’ Vermaak, From Hanoi with Love!
Madele’ Vermaak, From Hanoi with Love!
Urban Craft Magazine
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