This is the first time I'm releasing a song that I did everything on myself! Dreamin' Tonight was written, performed, produced, and mixed by Vicki Maldonado. This summer vibe song has 80's throwback drums and is about fantasizing about that certain someone you can't have. This song makes me wanna rollerblade in Central Park.
My musical journey runs parallel to my personal one. My childhood was traumatic, to say the least. Before I was 5 years old, I was homeless and sexually abused. Poetry and music quickly became my sanctuary. Since the home I grew up in made me feel invisible, music became the only way I expressed myself; it became my therapy.
As I got older, I would listen to the radio on a boombox with a blank cassette, ready to hit record when my favorite songs came on. I wrote my first song, “Cloud 9,” when I was 9 years old.
I spent my teenage years writing and recording original music. I had gotten my first computer when I was 14 and spent every evening figuring out how to multi-track record using Windows Sound Recorder. I created music for my sanity, but I desperately hoped that my songs could help someone else.
Before I turned 15, I had recorded 13 original tracks of music, burned it to CD-R, and sent it out to a music manager in Florida. That manager went on to pay all expenses for a 4-track demo and photoshoot.
In 2004, I began studying Audio Recording Technology at Five Towns College and was one of 3 other women in my class. I noticed how disadvantaged I was during my time in college. Many of my classmates had been working in real DAWs with actual audio equipment. I became withdrawn from my original music and doubted myself every day. I separated from my family during this time as well, which caused a lot of anxiety and stress but was also the beginning of my independence.
After graduating in 2008, I landed a job at Solid State Logic (SSL) and began an internship at Wyclef Jean’s studio, Platinum Sound. This was an opportunity I wish I were able to hold longer, but I quickly needed a well-paying job to afford my apartment.
Life hit hard after college, and dreams of pursuing my music would ebb and flow. I found consistent work doing educational and administrative tasks. I would occasionally answer the siren call that was my music, but I never dove in 100%. I couldn’t afford to. Living in New York City, the majority of my life was spent surviving, not thriving. I’d save up money specifically meant for my music, end up spending thousands, and often get taken advantage of.
I thought I’d settle into domestic life after marriage (2014) and motherhood (2015), but I suffered from terrifying post-partum depression. It took 30 years and a baby girl, but I finally started going to therapy to unravel some of my traumatic childhood experiences.
Becoming a mom made me realize I didn’t just want to be a mom. I want to pursue something I am genuinely passionate about. I am done doubting and questioning myself. I am a songwriter. I am a producer. I am a singer. I am Vicki Maldonado.