YouTube Star to Full Blown Pop Star
"I fell in love with the stories, the emotion, the images that singer-songwriters paint with words."
Women are killing it in the music industry, and song lovers couldn't be happier! In our column, #WomenCrushWednesday, each week, we'll feature an awesome lady whose tunes are blowing up our playlists and ask them about their musical journey.
Madilyn Bailey is known for her covers of tracks on YouTube, but she is making more waves with the release of her original material. From finding tons of fans online to having her own version of the game Tetris developed, this girl is completely amazing us. Read on to find out about why she has always loved music and how she decides which tracks to re-record.
How did you become interested in music?
It's honestly more like music has always been in me. My parents have a video tape of me when I was two-years-old singing, "I want much more than this provincial life" from the
Beauty and the Beast movie, so you could say that music moved me even before I knew what I was singing about. But my dad is definitely one of my earliest and most important music influences. He made sure I was properly raised on rock music and not only did I grow up watching him play guitar, but when I was 7 my dad sat me down and taught me how to write a song.
Who are some of your favorite/most inspirational artists?
I'm inspired by storytellers. I fell in love with the stories, the emotion, the images that singer-songwriters paint with words. But I also had such a respect for what a pop song could accomplish in 3 mins and 30 secs. I really respect how Sia, Lana Del Rey, & Florence and the Machine tell their stories.
You have an incredible following across social media and got your start with YouTube. Why did you start making videos?
I come from a very small town in Wisconsin with no real outlets for music so when I discovered YouTube I knew it would be my best chance at getting my music out there. Things took off quickly for me and I realized how powerful it would be to build my own audience.
How important is it for you to connect on these platforms with your fans?
I instantly fell in love with building a positive community of listeners. It's very special to connect with my audience on such a personal level. Being able to get to know so many of my listeners from all over the world is something I would not trade.
What has been your experience as a woman in the music industry?
Although I've had to grow some thick skin and learn to stand up for myself, I think it's a great time to be a woman in the industry. I love seeing so many female artists supporting each other.
In February you released your first single, "Tetris." What do you love about that song?
"Tetris" is a song that I wrote about making a lot of bad moves in a relationship kind of like a really bad game of Tetris where you keep making one wrong move after the other and then it all spirals out of control and then GAME OVER! But I also think that being in a really good relationship is like playing a game of Tetris where all the pieces click perfectly into place. It's about taking all that life throws at you and making something beautiful out of it!!
There's a music video for "Tetris," too. What was the filming process like for that?
I love being able to create a visual piece to go along with the songs. A lot of times I'm planning the video as I'm writing. Something really special about the "Tetris" music video is that I decided to put some quirky dance choreography in the video, so I had to have my friend Laura Quinn help me out with a few moves. That was a new one for me.
You also record a lot of covers. How do you decide which songs to work on?
I love taking a pop song and stripping it down into an acoustic version. A lot of times I'll be listening to a song on the radio and I'll hear a different arrangement in my head. I think that's how you can figure out exactly what story the song is trying to tell. That's generally how I gravitate towards choosing a song to cover.
What is coming up next for you?
I recently started a Twitch page which is really exciting because I have lots of fun hangouts planned on there. I also spent the last year doing a lot of songwriting so now I have a ton of original songs ready to share with the world. So be prepared...
Rachel A.G. Gilman is a writer, a former radio producer, and probably the girl wearing the Kinks shirt. She is the creator of The Rational Creature and suggests you check it out. Also visit her website for more.
Have an artist we should profile? Send a pitch email to Rachel.
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