Indiana Daily Student

Local musician DJ MADDØG creates safe and fun atmospheres in queer spaces

<p>Madison True, also known as &quot; DJ MADDØG,&quot; poses for a photo Feb. 14, 2022, at the Back Door. DJ MADDØG has performed internationally in London and with stars such as Kesha.</p>

Madison True, also known as " DJ MADDØG," poses for a photo Feb. 14, 2022, at the Back Door. DJ MADDØG has performed internationally in London and with stars such as Kesha.

Madison True started out curating playlists for her friends, fundraising events and DJ-ing on her front porch. Now known as DJ MADDØG, she aims to represent voices through her music. 

DJ MADDØG said she was influenced by many different music genres growing up because she moved around a lot. This is represented in the music she plays, and she said she caters to her audience based on their musical preferences. 

“If I can help facilitate or create an environment where people feel free enough to laugh and smile and dance and wear what they want and be who they want, that’s really therapeutic to me,” she said.

DJ MADDØG said she grew up in a household that constantly used music as a form of entertainment. Her earliest memory of music is dancing with her sister in their living room.

After she started creating playlists for fundraisers, artists would ask her to open for their shows, and venues started asking her if she wanted her own show. 

Related: [Local musicians perform their original work at Cosmic Songwriter’s Club]

DJ MADDØG has also produced mixes for drag performers. She performed with Kesha and multiple drag queens on Kesha’s Weird & Wonderful Rainbow Ride Cruise in 2019. She also performed internationally in London.

“A lot of bars cater to a specific crowd,” DJ MADDØG said. “I think their idea of a proper DJ is male and white and straight, but queer spaces treated me like an artist, didn’t treat me as my gender, and they always welcomed me.”

DJ MADDØG spent six months studying music production and sound engineering at Point Blank Music School in London. She said she would love to someday own a record label, working exclusively with female, transgender, and non-binary producers. 

She is known to foster safe spaces for queer people to feel free to be themselves, Janae Cummings, chair of the board of directors for Bloomington PRIDE and IU-Bloomington brand marketing leader, said. 

“There aren’t any queer safe spaces to speak of in southern Indiana apart from what we have here in Bloomington,” Cummings said. “She helps deliver that experience weekend after weekend.”. 

Cummings said DJ MADDØG’s sets are representative of voices in every genre and age and that the wide variety of music appeals to everyone in the audience. 

DJ MADDØG has performed at Pridefest every year since 2016. Cummings said her main role is to DJ Pridefest’s large drag shows. 

Related: [SomaVibe dance meditation event to be led by Touchstone Wellness Center Feb. 26]

In 2020, Pridefest moved virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Cummings said it was hard for the audience to get excited for a virtual event, but having DJ MADDØG anchor both nights was the highlight of the event. 

“She is always our DJ of choice,” Cummings said. “We go to her first, and if she’s out of town, it's a bummer for us.” 

WFHB Music Director Christine Brackenhoff has seen DJ MADDØG perform sets on the radio at WFHB, at drag shows and at multiple music venues in Bloomington. She said her musical style is unlike other DJs: it’s unique and eclectic. 

Brackenhoff said DJ MADDØG has an open-minded and experimental approach to music as she takes her audience on a musical journey.

“That focus on musical discovery and challenging an audience is something I think is really cool about what she does,” Brackenhoff said.

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