Megan Gnad

Meet MAMADEAR – the rising Nashville band with Kiwi connections

Megan Gnad
Meet MAMADEAR – the rising Nashville band with Kiwi connections

Named one of Rolling Stone's 'Best Up-and-Comers', country music trio MAMADEAR is already building up an impressive list of appearances.

Kelly, Parker and Dan formed the group, known for their impressive harmonies, in 2014 and have gone on to play shows across America and open for the likes of Martina McBride, Seal, Santana, Charlie Daniels, Brett Eldredge, CAM, Michael Ray, and more.

They’re now releasing their first batch of new music since 2017, and are also touring Europe throughout August. Script & Sound Magazine caught up with the trio to discuss their upcoming projects, and discovered a surprising link to New Zealand along the way.

Nashville-based band, MAMADEAR                                                                                                            photo supplied

Nashville-based band, MAMADEAR photo supplied

Congratulations on the release of the new single, Steal Away! What did you set out to achieve on this project and how did it come together? What’s been the fan reaction?

Thank you! As a band, we got started on a front porch, so, with this release, we really wanted this song to point back to those roots on the porch. It was really important to us to have the sound feel authentic, nostalgic, refreshing and filled with real country instruments. People have been super encouraging about it!

What was your writing process for this track, and were there any major themes or messages you wanted to get across to your audience?

We wrote this song with our good friend, Stephanie Chapman. She really helps bring out the “rootsiness” in our writing. Most days when you write a song, you end up with the song’s foundation— just the melody and chords. But this particular day, it felt way deeper than that.

We were arranging the whole thing as we went— adding harmonies, and new instrumentation, and the vocal round in the bridge. We don’t usually do those things as we write the song, but we did that day and I think it helped bring the song to life immediately.

We see you’re currently in the middle of 15 shows in Monaco (July 26-August 10th)! How did this come about, and will it be your first time visiting Europe?

We are so excited! A couple of French talent buyers come over to Nashville every year to audition Nashville bands to come play for their festival. We’re really grateful they picked us to perform!

This year we get to open for Sting, John Legend, Enrique Iglesias, The Jacksons and more. We couldn’t be more pumped to be a part of it all.

What are you expecting for these dates, and what can the fans expect to see?

If fans get tickets, they can expect an intimate, unforgettable night of food and music. The festival takes place in a beautiful open-air venue right on the Mediterranean Sea and we simply cannot wait! We’re really excited to watch John Legend and Sting and the other stars, and learn from their performances.

What was the story behind the formation of MAMADEAR in 2014? Can you briefly let us know how you met and came to perform together?

All three of us moved here separately to Nashville to do our own solo careers. We had all been mentored separately by a big-time songwriter, Tom Douglas (The House that Built Me, I Run to You) so we got together at Kelly’s house on her front porch to write one day. It’s funny, but for some reason we weren’t able to come up with anything that day. So instead of writing, we started playing Fishing in the Dark. When we started harmonising together, we all looked around and we were just like, “wow. We need to keep doing this together!” From that day on, we’ve been a band. It happened super organically. One fun fact about us is that Kelly Bradway’s (the gal in the band) dad is from New Zealand, originally. He was born in New Zealand and grew up in outside of Sydney.

You’ve been opening for artists like Martina McBride, Brett Eldredge, CAM, and Kristian Bush! What have been some of the highlights, and how does working with them behind the scenes help you further develop your own sound and style?

It’s super inspiring to watch some of the big stars do their thing. The way they can command a stage, belt their songs, tell stories... It’s a great motivator to keep working at our craft and learn from those who have come before us.

How would you describe your sound to new fans?

We call our music “porch music.” The porch is a place where you tell stories, laugh with friends, have a beer together on a Friday night. We want our music to embody the same things—honest, real-life stories. Hopefully, our music sounds refreshing, authentic, and nostalgic and is wrapped up in tight three-part harmony.

What can fans look forward to next and what are your ultimate goals in your music?

We will be putting out new music every month or so throughout the summer and fall. So please keep in touch with us and be looking for all of our upcoming releases!

Will you be adding more touring dates to your schedule?

Definitely. We are hoping to tour a lot this fall and winter off of our new releases. So, check out www.mamadear.com for all the newest tour dates.