So who is ‘Ms Mad Lemon’ anyway?
My name is Madeeha, it’s an Arabic name shortened to ‘Maddi’ for ease of pronunciation. I’m a creative and arty woman with a nerdy side who’s always had a strong and vivid long term memory. This makes me very prone to feeling intense bouts of nostalgia. This seems to be what fuels my creativity and passion.
I love art in the form of music creation, photography and painting (with oil paints mostly, however I enjoy exploring other mediums). I also love electronics, vintage technology and computers. Especially the Commodore Amiga Computer which has a special place in my heart. Whatever I do, there will always be a creative and arty element to it, even my electronics projects.
Left to my own devices in childhood, I always had a strong curiosity about things around me, which made me end up with the most unusual interests. (Well “unusual” according to those around me). Always that quiet little girl sitting in the corner watching everything and everyone. I’m still a people watcher and definitely have never been the conventional girl.
I’ve always noticed and observed the simple little things that were overlooked by most others. Even things such as LED VU meters on our tape recorder back then, or lava lamps or plasma globes, heck even ceiling fans. Being very visual, lights that dance to music naturally appealed to me and are what first pulled me into my interest in electronics. That strong visual part of me that notices the little details is probably why I later got into oil painting and photography in such a big way to the point of it being one of the things I studied at university. That very same tape recorder is responsible for my current interest in vintage audio and music.
With a childhood like that, my bedroom eventually ended up looking like this.
Well, this is just one variant, it changed a lot as my interests expanded or evolved or when I got something new. The same trend seems to exist today with all my setup videos. Below is when the main downstairs TV was passed onto me after we bought a new one, I took a photo of my cousin enjoying a game on the Playstation.
This was around 1999-ish. My goodness, I was just 16 or 17 years old and remember this like it was just a couple of years ago! Anyway this Panasonic stereo prism TV was my first experience of connecting my Amiga via RGB scart and I absolutely loved it. A huge upgrade to using RF all the time. I miss these care free times! So care free that I realise I’ve left my moisturisers and antiperspirant on top of the TV (I can be so random and scatterbrained at times) I also totally forgot that I used an indoor ariel to watch TV (Back when I actually used to watch TV).
Some of you, no doubt, will have noticed the multiple Amiga computers I had back then. The Commodore Amiga was a massive part of my childhood, teenage years and adult life. This computer has been a great influence in my life. Regretfully I was not active in taking part in the Amiga scene itself back in the day.
If I could go back and visit that shy teenage girl I was, I would at the very least encourage her to submit her Deluxe paint artwork or her music MODs to magazines. Or even to put them onto Aminet when I first had internet access at college. I loved CU Amiga and Amiga Format by the way, nothing can ever replace these Amiga magazines for me and nothing can top the feeling of going into town to buy them. Selling myself way too short and not taking part in the scene a little is pretty much the only regret I have in life.
Being left to your own devices does have it’s downsides, unfortunately. As liberating as it can be, It also brings it’s hefty dose of uncertainty about oneself and life around you. With no one encouraging you, life can lack that warmth and push that you need, especially at that tender age. This feeling is more exaggerated when your friends have totally different interests to you and you’re in a world where no one knows what to make of you.
I mean, let’s face it, my interests were unusual, I started messing about with electronics when I was around 6 or 7 years old. I got motors and small light bulbs out of broken toys. I used to work them with bits of wire and old batteries. I eventually connected tiny light bulbs to headphone sockets and trying to make them light up to the music. It works by the way, if you have an amplifier strong enough but I wouldn’t recommend it on precious equipment.
By the time I was ten years old I had a small collection of components already. All stored in this big yellow bucket. Later on in my early teens, I started building little projects. One of my first ones was an Amiga stereo separation adjuster. I’ve always loved Amiga Music, in fact at one point, I used my Amiga as my main source of music.
I remember living and breathing Amiga MODs at that time. In high school times i’d rip mods from games and demos using the action replay. The extremely wide stereo effect of the Amiga was uncomfortable to listen to in headphones. So I created a very simple little device back then that adjusted the stereo separation. I used this to record Amiga MODs onto cassette tape. This is a more recent (and much neater) revision of my stereo separation adjuster.
Ah memories of collecting music MODs. My first year in college where I first had internet access the first thing I thought about was finding more Amiga stuff. I’d download MODs from Aminet, bring them home on 720k floppy disks. I’d then copy them across using Crossdos and explore, I’d do this every day I was in. By this time I was even creating my own music. People I’ve noticed always look back to high school with fond memories. For me however, early college years would have to be the best point of my life.
I studied electronics and technology, some of the tutors were brilliant. They noticed me building projects in my lunch breaks and one in particular would sometimes spend a little time and encourage me. The only time in my life someone actually did that. I find myself reminiscing about my time there. I did my work experience there also and enjoyed that, the atmosphere was great and often wished I could work there. I can’t go back to visit either because the whole building is gone. Remember those strong nostalgia pangs I’m prone to? I just got one now along with a few flash backs, thinking about this place.
My music creation. Now rewinding back to 1996 a little bit. Thanks to a certain issue of CU Amiga Magazine, which featured Soundtracker Pro II and this Amiga Music and FX book that came with it. I got into music creation, this was when I created my first track, in 1996.
I remember spending hours and hours in front of the Amiga while sat on the carpet, writing music on Soundtracker Pro II. I can safely say the majority of my teenage years were spent with Amiga computers doing something or other on them. I not only wrote my own music but I did MOD covers of songs by Madonna, Sash or other artists I listened to at the time. I only did these for a bit of fun and only a handful of them. I mostly wrote my own, I felt more freedom in doing that.
This is what happens when you try to take a self portrait with a 35mm film point and shoot camera. I was way off though I caught the setup properly which is good. I’m sure you wouldn’t want to see me wearing what looks like a very 80s looking white jumper anyway. Here’s me (or my hand) in 1996-ish. I must have been around 13 years old here. Now you can see where my use of these shelving units comes from, I still use them to this day.
And yes that is an Amstrad double decker VCR (with the front flaps broken off, just like in good ol Amstrad fashion!).
This image pretty much sums up my teen life in a nutshell. Each time in sat on the floor in front of the Amiga creating MODs on Soundtracker pro 2 and recording stuff onto tapes. That mouse mat and tapes I remember buying from Stationary Box. I wish I had bought more of those tapes, they were cheap back then, a three pack for £2. Which is why I got them, that and they were quirky looking and I love collecting tapes. ‘Memorex – Out Of This World’ tapes are stupidly expensive now.
In more recent years, I’m talking 2012, when I was 29 years old. I started expressing my nerdy/geeky interests a bit more outwardly. I had always felt the need to conceal them a bit throughout life to “fit in” I felt people didn’t approve. I got the odd comment here and there, but eventually. I just stopped caring. It took me long enough!
This is another thing I regret, I wish I had done this earlier and not listened to people’s b*ll$h!t and taken it to heart. Better late than never I suppose. I started documenting what I did more by this time, doing offline blogs and vlogs here and there. I wish I had started publishing them online earlier. I still had that residual shyness about my work.
A harsh lesson I learned too late in life, If you have passions and interests and receive no encouragement, persue it anyway. If you receive negativity and people discouraging you or mocking you, then persue it stronger with full force. It’s only the weak, those who can’t handle life. They try to “put you in your place” by mocking you being passive aggressive and invalidating you. Back then, I feared their judgement. These days I just pity them.
Only the weak suppress people into submitting to their false narrative.
This was again in 2012, the first time I had a proper work surface. Prior to this i’ve always been working on carpets, floors and dining tables temporarily. That’s the thing with me, once I get into something, I end up living and breathing it regardless of where I’m doing it.
I eventually started creating content on youtube and other places online. As I wanted to share creativity with people and that’s how I have ended up here with experiences to share.
Thank you for reading through this, it was meant to be a simple “About me” but I never know how to introduce myself. so I just let it flow, opened up and started talking about my experiences, a little summary of my background 🙂