18 year-old Madison Beer rose exponentially into the spotlight at the young age of thirteen from a viral YouTube video that Twitter phenom Justin Bieber retweeted. Over the past five years, Madison has focused more on finishing school and solidifying her identity rather than give in to the enormous pressure of spitting out release after release. We caught up with her recently and she let us know it's finally time for the world to here what Madison Beer has got to say.
Today EARMILK is premiering the acoustic video for Madison's smash hit "Dead," out via First Access Entertainment. The video shows us a stripped back, simple, and alluring side of Madison unheard of in her previous alt pop-leaning releases. We spoke with Madison about finding herself while under the excruciating public eye, her dream collaboration with rising indie pop heiress Billie Eilish, and exploring her creative side with songwriting and video directing. Watch the airy video and read our lively conversation with Madison below.
EARMILK: You rose into the spotlight so quickly and at such a young age, but we don’t have to talk about all that. How has it been coming into your own artist and what challenges have you faced to set yourself apart?
MADISON BEER: It's definitely been a roller-coaster over the past five years since I was discovered, but it's helped me have a lot of learning experiences. I feel like I've grown a lot and now that I'm 18 I'm finally coming into my own. It was really difficult trying to learn who I was while I was under the public eye at such a young age. I didn't even know who I was and I had people looking up to me. I finally feel like I know what I'm about and what I stand for.
EM: I know you mentioned recently that you've been waiting to release music until you created something that you really cared about. I appreciated that because many times artists will put out material just to stay relevant, but it won't be artistic or true to them.
MB: Yeah totally. I've been lucky because my fan base has been so great and really understanding. They knew that I was trying to find myself and the music that I loved. Why put out a song that I'm not really proud of or in a week I won't like anymore? It's most important that at the end of the day I'm happy with the music I'm making.
EM: So as you know we're premiering the acoustic video for your single "Dead" today, and I really loved seeing and hearing the acoustic version of the song. It was such a different vibe for you. Could we expect more of that on your upcoming EP?
MB: Yeah I think there's going to be a lot of acousticy vibes on the EP. I've recently gotten really into songwriting, and I've loved using only a guitar or piano and creating really simple songs. I love music like that and I don't think tracks need to be built on so much all the time. I'll still have the more upbeat alt-pop songs like "Dead," but I think it's important for people to see the more stripped down side of what I like to do.
EM: How has this summer been? Your radio tour? Your show in London?
MB: Oh it's been awesome! Going on tour has been my dream my whole life. I've been having so much fun, and I can't wait to put the EP out so I can go on a real tour. It's been wonderful being able to interact with my fans because so many of them have never seen me since I haven't performed many places.
EM: Is there a track on the EP that you’re looking the most forward to releasing?
MB: Yes, but I'm not going to tell you the name because the name is still really top secret. It's one of the acoustic songs that I wrote all by myself, but it's about one of my favorite movies Fight Club. It's kind of about that story, and it's a really cool song.
EM: How has the process been creating music videos to fit your songs? Making them stand out and still fitting your artistry?
MB: I'm super involved with all of my videos. I love being creative and it's always something I've wanted to do. I used to always say that I'd love to direct movies that always sounded so cool to me. I kind of co-directed my videos and I would always sit with the director, who coincidentally is one of my really close friends, to go through each of the shots and make sure they were what I wanted. I'm very anal about that stuff and even if one shot is off I want us to redo it. Sometimes I think the directors get annoyed because I'm so involved, but I grew up making iMovies every day so I know what I like and what I think looks good.
EM: Yeah I can relate to that iMovie thing, I loved making those as a kid.
MB: Yeah I think we all can *laughs*.
EM: Who’s a rising or underground artists you would love to collaborate with and why?
MB: Oh Billie Eilish. She’s my fave. Her album is the best album to grace the world since Rihanna’s album I think.
EM: If you could go anywhere in the world all with the proper equipment to record an album, where would you go for inspiration?
MB: Africa. I lived in Africa for a few months, so I would go back there. I’d go to Kruger National Park in Zambia, it was amazing. You’d find me there.
EM: What’s the weirdest food you’ve ever tried?
MB: Escargot probably.
EM: Ha, was it good?
MB: Yeah it actually was. At first I was so grossed out and almost didn’t try it. But I just went for it.
EM: If you could be a fictional character, who would you choose?
MB: Mmmhhmm, Jessica Rabbit.
EM: What do you have planned for the upcoming year? What can we expect from Madison Beer?
MB: More music! Seriously since I’ve gotten into songwriting I’ve been in the studio everyday just working. I’m honestly going crazy because I’m want to be Billie Eilish so bad. *laughs* But yes I’m working hard on new music!