When Madison Rose found dance producer Kandy on Diplo’s Instagram story, she wasn’t expecting much. She followed him and commented on one of his posts about his song “Feelin’ KNT” that she loved it. “Within five minutes, he followed me back and DM’d me saying ‘We need to work together,’” she tells Billboard.
Out of that serendipitous exchange came the duo’s new song “Keeping Secrets,” a jolting dance-pop anthem for those wishing to stop getting in their own way. “Can we erase every rhyme or reason,” Rose sings on the track’s hook. “You gotta know, you gotta know I need it/ Tired of losing by keeping secrets.”
While Rose says she originally wrote the track about a relationship that never materialized since she never admitted her feelings, Kandy tells Billboard that the song immediately spoke to him as an anthem about living in the closet. “I just came out not too long ago, and listening back to the song, it resonated with me because I would always lose out on relationships and everything that I wanted because I was closeted for such a long time,” he says. “I think that’s why music is amazing.”
The process of actually getting the song together took a much shorter amount of time than you would expect — living on separate coasts, Rose and Kandy both found themselves in New York one week, and decided to book some studio time together. While Kandy was expecting the singer to come in with a few ideas, Rose entered with a song that she wrote over the course of two days, and that would only take two more days to record, produce and finalize.
“That’s the thing about Madison — I can send her four beats, and she will have an entire song written to that in a matter of hours,” Kandy says with a laugh. Rose jumps in, though, adding that the producer’s contribution was much more significant than he lets on. “It’s easy when you’re working with someone that’s really inspiring,” she says. “We’re on the same wavelength, and the more we work together, the more we realize we have the same inspirations.”
In rolling out “Keeping Secrets,” the pair reached out to their fans, asking them to send in their most personal secrets anonymously to be added to the track’s teasers. While the duo were expecting a few interesting blurbs they could use to promote the track, what they received instead was an inundation of stark, honest confessions from fans, ranging from individuals struggling to come out of the closet, to those living with HIV and afraid of society’s perceptions of them.
“I felt another sense of gratitude that we were able to present this space,” Rose says. “So many times throughout life, we never feel safe to be ourselves. Even if it had been three people, that three people responded and felt safe in that moment … it felt amazing that people felt like we could receive them in that way.”
Check out Kandy and Madison Rose’s new single “Keeping Secrets” and its lyric video below: