MADELINE & KEIONA — Newark and Long Valley, NJ
Keiona T. Josey, Artist
Madeline C. Pugh, Artist and Caregiver
Madeline and Keiona met at an open mic in New Jersey in November 2016. After Keiona rapped, Maddy asked for her Instagram handle. A few months later, Maddy commented ‘zaddy’ on one of Keiona’s photos. Ah, modern love. Keiona was seeing someone else and after seeing Maddy at one of her shows again, she made the decision to be with her. “I’m glad I did,” Keiona says.
To keep their relationship thriving, the musical pair challenges and motivates each other. “If one of us is falling, we know we have the other to keep us going. We’re secure with ourselves, and we have trust. We practice self-love, and we’re very open. We grow together,” says Keiona. They faced a challenging time when Keiona wasn’t working, and Maddy was financially supporting them both. Maddy pushed Keiona to keep going with her music. “As artists, we push each other in so many ways. We spark each other’s creativity. We also give each other space. We have a clear understanding that personal space is very important in a relationship and as artists.”
Maddy loves Keiona’s cheekbones, her smile, her skin, how she communicates so beautifully with people, her talent, her creativity and her lyricism. “She never discourages my ideas. I just love her. She’s the one.” Keiona loves Maddy’s beautiful mind and the way she cares for others. In five years, she sees them on tour, and being able to “ball out at Whole Foods.”