Mad HaPPy

Rivka, Mike iLL

Mad haPPy is a guy/girl electronic duo with a distinctive sound, blending electro, hip-hop, folk and pop; Their lyrics, intelligent verse promoting tolerance and individuality. Mike iLL and Rivka draw on a rainbow of influences, from Hasidic folk melodies to Public Enemy to Hank Williams, Nina Simone, Madonna and Sly Stone. Mad haPPy twists it all up into electro-pop/hip-hop.

The two love birds were hatched in devout religious families. Rivka's parents, both born Jewish, joined the Hasidic movement during their college years in Boston and followed their Rabbi to New York where Rivka was raised the seventh of nine children sheltered from American culture in an enclosed Hasidic community in Brooklyn's Borough Park. Mike's parents, an ex-nun and seminarian were involved in the civil rights movement. They gave birth to Mike in Montgomery, Alabama where they were organizing an integrated county government. Looking to move to New York City, the young family settled across the Hudson River where Mike, the oldest of five children was raised amongst the working class artists of Hoboken, New Jersey.

Rivka and Mike iLL met in 1997 in a sweat lodge at Nature's Friends Farm in New Jersey. They got together for a musical project and ended up hopelessly romantically entangled in '98. It wasn't until New Years of 2002 that they formed Mad haPPy. The two have been doing over 200 live shows a year since; Releasing two full lengths; "Feel Good Music" (Bar/None Records), "Renegade Geeks" (Mutiny Zoo Records), Produced with Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth, a live DVD, "Desperate Living" (Mutiny Zoo Records) and "The Electro-Funk No Wave Hip-Hop Compilation" (Mutiny Zoo Records).

Mad haPPy's live show is tight, energetic and emotionally charged. The charismatic pair, with manic colored hair, a laptop and a free spirited approach, can start a party anywhere.

Why are they on this site? Because they were befriended by Heidi Gluck, Jeb Banner and Vess Ruhtenberg after seeing their show at The Melody Inn and subsequent visits to Indy.


Selections from Renegade Geeks album

3 songs

Renegade Geeks
File 2 the Metal
Shoulda Dissed You