Kelly Bradway, Dan Wilson, and Parker Bradway make up the country music trio MAMADEAR. I recently got the chance to talk to them about where the name MAMADEAR comes from, what inspired their most recent single “Steal Away”, what they’re currently nerding out about and more! Keep reading to see what they had to say!
For those who might not have ever heard of y’all, can you give us a brief history of the band and how it culminated into what it is now?
Sure thing! Parker, Kelly and Dan here! We actually got started on a front porch in Nashville in 2013. Us three were just getting together to write some songs, and after staring at each other and not being able to come up with anything, we started singing “Fishing in the Dark” and loved the way our voices blended. Six years later, and we are still at it.
Where did the name MAMADEAR come from?
When we moved to town, we met the sweetest lady. She was born in Nashville, has lived in town for over 80 years and embodies hospitality and the grit and welcoming spirit that we want our music to reflect. Everyone in her family and everyone who knows her calls her MAMADEAR, so we wanted to name our band after her because she embodies what we want our music to be about.
I’m always genuinely curious about what artists want to convey to listeners with their music. Your sound would generally be described as country, but if you had to describe it without using genre names, how would you describe it?
It is the crack of a bottle top with good friends around at sunset laughing about a favorite memory. It’s every nostalgic feeling of ‘remember when’ as the radio dial goes up to eleven. It’s around your table with good wine and a home cooked meal, or a morning coffee cup. It’s the good kind of tears and the bad kind of tears, and hopefully it’s a feeling of being a little less alone.
Kind of going off of that, who are some of your musical influences?
We are a harmony group at our core and our sound revolves around that. A lot of our band’s influences are those classic vocal groups like The Eagles, Alabama, Dixie Chicks, Little Big Town and others.
Let’s talk about your most recent single, “Steal Away.” What inspired that song?
The feeling of needing to get away, and trying to remember who you are. I know us three have been there and that feeling inspired this song for sure. Sometimes you just need to drown out the noise.
What was the songwriting process like for this song specifically?
Fun! We wrote this with our good buddy Stephanie Chapman. She has so much energy and she livened up the room. We really didn’t think about it too much. We wanted the lyric to be great, but we wanted the vibe to carry the song. One of the most fun parts of writing this song was when the vocal round kind of happened out of nowhere just messing around, and we feel like that is the moment that makes the song so unique.
Something I’ve always been curious with songwriting is how topics come to mind. Did you guys know what you wanted to write about going into the song session that birthed “Steal Away” or did it just come about organically once you were in the session?
Songwriting is funny in that way. Sometimes you walk in and have nothing and come out with something incredible that feels like it came out of nowhere. With this song, it was similar. I do think we had the title, but the title felt like it wanted to be fun and carefree, and once we had the vibe of that verse melody, things started to fall into place. Stealing away evokes a feeling, and so we all wanted to capture what that was.
Was there any major changes made to “Steal Away” that happened once you guys got into the recording studio, whether it be in the lyrics or something sonically?
We ended up changing the melody on the end of the vocal round going into the acapella chorus, to make it more of a moment. Our producer, Sean Neff, actually heard the part while he was doing dishes that morning before we got into the studio, and we loved it and laid it down. It became a really cool vocal moment for us.
I know this single just came out, but are there any plans for a new EP or full length project to come out anytime this year?
Our plan right now is to release a new single every 4-6 weeks. So we have our next single, “Lost Cause” locked and loaded and ready to drop on August 8th.
As a band, what are some music industry-related goals or benchmarks that you’re aiming to reach in the next couple of years?
Our ultimate goal is to be headliners and have hits on the radio. So we would love to find the right partners to help us get there. But if we can keep building our audience and keep making music for people, its a win.
Last question — we’re called Talk Nerdy With Us because we all have an inner nerd so what is something that you’re currently nerding out about?
We are currently nerding out about cappuccino because we are on tour in France. There are so many different cafes that make it, but it tastes different in every one, and it is always great. Is it more bitter? Do they give you a bag of sugar or sugar cubes? The espresso in Europe is fantastic!