Madison Olds is the gift that keeps on giving this year with her string of flirty and bright pop bops — ‘Best Part of Me’, ‘3’S a Crowd’ and ‘Bad Thing’ — that will plaster a cheeky grin right across your face.
We caught up with the Kamloops, BC-based pop artist for a chat.
So, your new single ‘Bad Thing’ is out. When did the idea for this track first come to you, and how did it evolve from there?
I had just started seeing my current partner, who by the way, is not a bad thing, and I was looking for some inspiration. You know when you’re single, and you want to do a little bad thing? I wanted to do that to him. So it was about taking that idea of a girl who is feeling super-naughty and wanting to go all-in with this bad guy. I like to make the joke that it gives me a girl boner.
So what is it then about the “bad boy” image that ticks your boxes?
You know what, I think everyone either secretly wants to be “bad” or be with someone “bad”. We all tend to play our lives too safe, so it’s the best way to fantasise about the lives we have always wanted. Myself, and a lot of people I know, like to pretend that we are “bad”, but really, we are not.
The talented Ryan Worsley and Sophia Danai got involved on this one. Do you find it difficult to let other people in on the creative process?
I think it depends on the song. If it’s full of emotion and heartbreak then possibly, but for this track, we all just ran with it. We laughed so hard while we were writing it, and we were coming up with the wildest fantasies ever. It was about getting together as a group of friends and having fun. It’s probably one of the most fun writing experiences that I’ve ever had.
Where do you look for songwriting inspiration? And do you think that artists today are looking more on social media for inspiration, rather than taking inspiration from experiences in their own lives?
Oh, yeah! I think it’s crazy when you think about your parents growing up and the type of experiences they must have, compared to people growing up nowadays. With social media, our lives are so connected, and I would say, a hundred times easier. With music, everyone is just sampling each other — music is so recycled. So I think when an artist comes out with a new concept, it’s incredible. Like when ‘Old Town Road’ came out and Lil Nas X was mixing hip-hop with the country it changed music.
You’ve stated before that your music comes from personal experiences where you have had to learn and grown on your own. Talk us through these experiences.
I do love to write from my own experience, although my two latest tracks aren’t exactly a good example of that. But on ‘Best Part of Me’ I had just had a terrible experience going to Nashville, and I ended up having a mental breakdown. Those types of experiences’ have moulded the way that I write songs. ‘Daddy’s Little Girl’ is an older song that I don’t talk about a lot, but it’s about my dad who had to give up his dream of pursuing music to provide for us. I am a pretty happy person, so I try to keep it light and relatable but not too specific because we are all going through stuff.
You want people to be “comfortable with their discomfort.” Why do you think that is important?
Recently, I think talking about mental illness has become so much more accepted and less taboo than it once was. I think ‘Best Part of Me’ was my way of telling people that I struggle with mental health but without writing a massive, serious post about it. It’s okay to lie on the floor sometimes, not being able to do anything. We need to be talking about it more, though.
Do you think all influencers should be using their platforms to talk about these types of issues?
Oh, yeah. I always talk about how everyone is an influencer nowadays, and it makes me laugh. For example, people are like “check out this candle” and then they think that they are an influencer because of that. I prefer it when people are like “let’s talk about this eco-friendly company that you can take your jars to and fill with food”. To me, influencing is about actually using your platform to make the world a better place and not just to get some extra cash in your pocket. When I think of the word “influencers”, I think about the blue verified tick on social media. People trust those accounts and expect that their content is going to be trustworthy. But I want to look at their content and make sure that they are doing something that is benefitting or shedding light on a good cause. People in the public eye have to accept social responsibility.
What type of artist did you set out to be, and do you feel like you are living up to the expectations that you set yourself?
I think musically speaking, my sound will always be evolving as I grow, but when it comes to my core values like who I want to be and what I want to represent, they will always stay the same. I want to be playing Madison Square Garden but donating like 25% of that show’s income to a good cause.
What are some of the biggest challenges facing up and coming artists that, in your opinion, are often overlooked?
I think one of the biggest things is just getting people to take a chance. I think people can get comfortable with “bigger” artists because they know that the music they come out with is always going to be something that they like. I’ve been fortunate to have met a lot of incredible people on social media, and they have become fans and even friends. There are so many different things to factor in, but I think that is one of the biggest challenges.
Your debut album, 2019’s ‘Blue’, was phenomenal. Is the string of single releases this year a sign that album two may be just around the corner?
That’s the goal. I can’t say too much, but I think that my fans can expect a full project from me next year.
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