Independent artist Madison is beginning to make a name for herself, and with punchy synth beats, a powerful message and catchy melodies, it’s clear to see why. Describing herself as indie ‘Left of Centre’, Madison decided that sticking to one genre was just not for her and created her own record label, after becoming increasingly tired of the word NO. Her latest single ‘Hustle’ talks more about her experience and safe to say it’s a bit of an empowerment anthem. We caught up with Madison to talk about her inspirations, future projects and the importance of using her artistic platform.
WTYB: How do you go about creating a new song and what inspired your new song Hustle?
Madison: Every song is different. Some come really fully formed and happen very quickly. While others can take months to get right. My producer, Frederik Thaae, and I booked 5 days in a cozy studio in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. We were going 12- 14 hours days writing and recording. On our last day in the studio we felt loose and exhausted. We were just kind of looping a beat, wanting to start something new but not sure where to begin. Frederik took my vocal i was just humming and made it sounds like a horn sample. We were just jamming and vibing, in a daze.Every night (early morning!) after the studio I’d go home and catch up on the Democratic National Convention, trying to come down (not the typical post studio routine).While looping this beat I just kept thinking about Hillary, about Michelle Obama, where we are in history at this very moment. I thought about what a bad ass Serena Williams is. I felt alive and WOKE. Often I feel against the clock, not trying to be better than anyone, just trying to be the best version of myself. I thought about my own experiences as a woman and being ambitious. And how as women we hear the word ‘NO’ A LOT. I don’t like the word ‘NO.’ When I was coming up, every label turned me down, so I started my own label. I feel fortunate to be part of something so monumental as the first female nominee of a major party. That is some serious, beautiful, blood, sweat and tears history. It did not turn out the way I wanted and worse I think than we could have imagined but I am still inspired, I am still hopeful. I AM THE RESISTANCE. This song is for Hillary. I am inspired by her passion, her experience, her wisdom and her awesome courage in the face of so much negativity. We can be tough and sensitive at the same time.This song is for every girl who has been told NO. Let me be your light, there is always a way forward. We are equal and have fought long and hard to be considered so, and still have a ways to go – ‘girl’ is a label, and NO is just a word.
WTYB: You have a lot to say about politics and female empowerment, do you think it’s important for artists to create music with powerful and positive messages like this?
Madison: If an artist has a platform to do some good in the world, I STRONGLY believe they should use it. It is important for artists to be authentic and be mediums for the truth whenever possible since we have a mouthpiece. Some songs are stories and some are very personal, depending on the artist. I think we always want the listener to feel connected to the song so I hope on my end the storytelling is good. For me, I have some thoughts to convey that I feel convinced are important and I hope the thoughts can inspire and empower another person. I hope to connect to another human in some meaningful way.
WTYB: Your song ‘Hustle’ details the rise of women and the journey of breaking the glass ceiling, do you think artists using their platform have helped to spread awareness about political inequalities and feminism?
Madison: Yes, for sure and there is more work to do. I feel as an artist when things are so awry in society we must use our voices to convey deeper feelings and send messages of hope and protest out into the world.
WTYB: Who/ what are the biggest influences to your sound?
Madison: I am fortunate to have a broad base of musical inspiration to pull from, i listen to alot of indie music under the radar, as well as rock, pop, hip hop, and tons of awesome spotify playlists.
WTYB: Living in New York must have an amazing music scene, what’s that like?/ does that influence your music?
Madison: Ah the big apple! It is a crazy place to live and work. It is like going into battle every day. You battle for space, time, energy and these days sunlight. It is dirty and crowded and loud AF. THAT SAID.. it is this grind and rhythm and chaos that gives way to great art. There are shows every night and you don’t need to drive around! you can hop in a via or subway and do two or three shows a night. And everything is open late so its never ending! There is no resting on your laurels here. It is fast paced and you have to keep up. Everyday you touch shoulders with every ethnicity you can imagine. I love that; that is what makes this city and this country great. It is such an inclusive city and you know it draws a special type of person. The people living and working here are bad-ass because they want the same thing you do, they want a shot a better life and they will work hard for it. They want to make it here.. and you know how the saying goes..
WTYB: Your music is quite a mix of genres, like pop and synth, is experimenting with different types of music something you enjoy?
Madison: The cool thing about having my own label is I can do what I want. I can create and release what I like. Right now in music .. genre is less defined, everything is getting mixed up and I think that’s awesome. I listen to so much different music that it’s only natural I’m crossing genres and that kind of blending is only going to happen more often.
WTYB: How did the decision to release Music from your own label G Records come about?
Madison: When I was coming up I couldn’t get signed. I had a lot of showcases for majors, I reached out to tons of indies and always heard the same thing.. ‘it’s too indie to be pop,’ ‘it’s too pop to be indie.’ ‘Where is the radio song?’ ‘ It’s not sexy enough, you gotta be sexier..’ ‘I don’t get it, it’s too weird’. I got tired of that feedback, it was depressing! I didn’t want to change what I was doing. so I decided to just release my music myself.
WTYB: If you could collaborate with any artist in the world, who would it be?
Madison: ooooh man I have so many artists and producers I admire. But hmmm Wondagurl is doing some dope stuff, she is a cool female producer. I’d love to work with a female. I’d love to be a part of Beyonce’s writing camps. Putting it out there if you’re listening Bey.
WTYB: What is one song you wish you had written?
Madison: I love Halo by Beyonce. I always loved that song. Umbrella? Smells Like Teen Spirit? Blister in the Sun? Wonderful World? Good Vibrations? Respect? I Can’t Get No Satisfaction! Imagine? Don’t Worry Be Happy! Ha I am still working on my signature song!!
WTYB: Your promo images are very stylish, is fashion important to you/ where do you get your fashion inspiration from?
Madison: Fashion is important as it’s a creative expression. living in NY is like watching a fashion show every day so I’m constantly inspired and getting ideas by literally walking around the city. I also live across an amazing magazine shop, I pop in browse for hours at the best magazines. Before a shoot I like to do pinterest boards and have an idea of what I want.. and then I like to let it all go and see what happens day of. I always allow for the universe to respond if that makes sense. I love collaborating so if someone has an idea, I am down to explore.
WTYB: For those who haven’t heard you yet, how would you explain yourself or your sound in five words?
Madison: Gritty indie electro pop LOC (that’s left of center:)))
WTYB: Are you working on anything at the moment?
Madison: Yes, a few new songs over 2018, a few remixes and a new secret projects
Check Madison out here: