Interview with Madeleine McPherson

Divine Magazine
Divine Magazine 9 Min Read

Madeleine was born in London but grew up in Kent, retaining the urban edge that informs her sound, blending elements of timeless soul and contemporary R&B into her own unique pop style. With her dad being a musician, she grew up in the countryside surrounded by music, which fuelled her deep love for music and songwriting. 

How would you describe your music?

Emotional, vulnerable, honest, heartfelt but empowering. It’s easy to hear this and think, it’s going to be a female Lewis Capaldi, but it’s not. I love being soulful, and I grew up with Ella Fitzgerald and Aretha, so that timeless (Old Fashioned) essence is definitely in there. I would say, I like to be sophisticated with my lyrics and mature with my sound. Adele, Miley Cyrus, Billy Joel and Micheal Jackson pretty much raised me and I want to bring that in my music. I do want to provide the Bops as well.

Who inspired you to make music?

It Most Likely stems from my dad. Growing up in a household where he was a musician, singing and playing the drums every day, and blaring Billy Joel / Micheal Jackson’s albums in the car or the house. This then kicked started my obsession with melodies and songs and the idea of performing them to a crowd for a living. Music was always in me, I’ve never known any different. I definitely credit that to my dad. 

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How do you feel the Internet has impacted the music business?

It’s taken a full 180 I think. I even think back to when I was 16 and Dua Lipa was entering the scene, and it seemed to happen overnight, but I know there would have been so much hard work behind that. It takes a team of people. It seemed back then, you could write songs, gig and send out demos, and you would just get signed or backed by an A&R if you were good enough, and they saw potential. I feel like now, the internet has completely taken out those gatekeepers that either stopped you or elevated you to the next level and now the control is in the hands of an audience and the artist themselves. It’s a good thing and a bad thing because you can do what you want now, but it means that there’s so much more competition and the industry doesn’t care about potential anymore. The artist now has to build themselves from the ground up, unlike 10 years ago where that would have been the A&R’s and Label’s role.  If you have so much potential but not the huge audience, you will really struggle to achieve the dream you’ve had. 

Have you got a ritual of sorts when making music?

I definitely have a routine with it. Most of the time, I get a melody in my head that just appears from the sky. It could be just a melody or sometimes words as well. I then go to my piano and find the chords for that melody, and then I can find the feeling in it. Then the song gets built on that. I’ve always written my songs on the piano, which I self-taught myself as a kid, so it was just natural for me to write all my songs and experiences on that. The fun part is writing the rest of the song, from that melody I wake up with. If I’m not being delivered a melody from the gods above, you do have to force creativity, and I love doing that with other songwriters and producers. It really helps to get different minds in one room, and just write. 

What’s next for you?

After ‘Treat Me Right’ is out, I want to focus on writing so many songs that I don’t know what to do with them. I want to get a manager involved, someone who can direct the ship that I’m driving, and of course I want to get signed; and do all the Jingle bells and all the BBC live lounges and interviews etc. That’s to come. First is writing more songs, really finding my distinct sound, working with great people that see my potential and working even harder for the next 2 years. Then we will see where we are then. 

What are your top two favorite songs of all time? Why those songs?

Moon River, and ‘Put Your Records on’. I’ve got so many favs from my influences, but those 2 songs for me are so nostalgic. Moon River reminds me of a peaceful pastime that existed and was sung by one of my Idol’s Audrey Hepburn. It’s also my favorite movie. ‘Put your records on’ because I grew up with it, it was my childhood summer. It is just stuck in a time before the internet really took over and everything changed. 

What was the last series you watched on TV?

The summer I Turned Pretty

What do you think the greatest invention has been?

I would say microphone, but that’s not appropriate. Probably the world of medicine, something that could help people. 

Do you have any lucky items, objects, or traditions?

The number 13 is very sacred to me. It’s an unlucky number for most people, but not for my family. It’s the seat number on our plane, it’s the day we fly, it’s our hotel room number. Furthermore, it follows us around like chewing gum. 

If you could ask your future self one question, what would it be?

Are you living the dream you’re working for now? 

If you had to describe yourself as a flavor, what would it be?

OMG I love this, probably something sweet and salty with crunch. Like peanut butter or Tiramisu. Something that’s a bit complex, hard on the exterior and a little salty but 90% sweet. 

Madeleine McPherson Treat Me Right

R&B/pop singer-songwriter Madeleine shares her empowering single ‘Treat Me Right (The Bubble Song)’ out everywhere now.

Naming Miley Cyrus, Adele and Billy Joel as her main musical inspirations, Madeleine draws from her combined influences, as well as elements of pop and R&B to create her distinctively edgy yet timeless sound. Following the release of her single Changes’, ‘Treat Me Right’ acts as a follow up to her previous track. Opening with a simple guitar melody, Madeleine’s captivatingly soulful vocals take centre stage. As the track builds lyrically, the instrumentals burst into an infectiously catchy chorus, paired with gorgeous vocal harmonies reminiscent of R&B favourites such as Jojo and Tori Kelly.

A naturally gifted songwriter and storyteller, Madeleine thrives off the emotions and concepts she’s able to portrait through her lyrics. ‘Treat Me Right’ chronicles the graduation from emotional upset to personal growth when faced with a less than predictable partner. The lyrics detail the watershed moment when you decide to walk away from a person and/or situation when it becomes clear it is no longer serving you. 

Madeleine McPherson - Treat Me Right (Official Music Video)

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