- Madison Beer Bio 2020.docx
Madison Beer delivers her most personal artist statement to date. The spectacular Life Support, the 21 year old’s long-awaited debut, is as real, audacious and eccentric as fans know to expect from the self-made star who refuses to play by pop’s usual rules.
Written in real time as a relationship fell apart, Life Support takes the listener deep inside Madison’s mind. From niggling doubts and indecision, through torrents of tears and confronting fears to finding her feet again, the chronological songs capture a rollercoaster of emotions through intimate lyrics, spellbinding vocals and multiple musical styles. “My goal was always to be super diverse because my personal taste is all over the place,” says
Madison, who co-wrote and co-produced every song. “But it also makes sense. My mood dictated the sound of each song. I don’t write the same way when I’m angry or hurt as I do when I’m feeling vulnerable or confused. All of me is there, laid bare.”
Spooky electronics, haunting piano, harp and spiraling strings, grunge and acoustic guitars, trippy psychedelics and drums-driven rock, sleek electro, techno and even country are present, confounding expectations at every turn. Multiple songs change course to capture conflicting emotions. No two sound similar. None could have come from anyone else.
You’ll hear nods to some of Madison’s musical idols, among them Radiohead, Portishead, Daft Punk and Tame Impala. Her soul-bearing brings to mind Amy Winehouse; her clever wordplay betrays her love of hip hop; the heavy atmospherics are a little Lana Del Rey. The vocals can switch from sultry to soaring, from sorrowful to defiant in the space of a song.
There are references to favourite films and childhood books, to mental health and medication and to the strange life that Madison has led since famously being discovered on YouTube aged just 12.
Begun in earnest early last year, Last Support wasn’t intended to be a break-up record. Writing about her feelings at the time, Madison expected to hear love songs. Only in listening back did she realize that something was wrong.
“It’s funny because I thought I was happy, but every song I wrote was negative,” she says. “That really opened my eyes. I’m sure I’d had hints before, but hearing my own music made me finally face up to stuff that I’d tried to bury.”
Opener and lead single Good In Goodbye was the first track recorded with Madison’s tight, longtime team - Jeremy ‘Kinetics’ Dussolliot, Tim ‘One Love’ Sommers and Leroy Clampitt, aka Big Taste, at whose home studio in L.A. the entire album was made.
A dark depiction of a toxic relationship, Good In Goodbye sees Madison partly blaming herself for her situation. In the stunning video, conceived and directed by Madison, the singer plays herself and her evil twin. From there the rollercoaster begins, from the melodramatic, shape-shifting Default (“I fear this will be the death of me,” sings Madison, repeatedly) and the monstrous, The Matrix-inspired Follow The White Rabbit set to throbbing bass, tolling bells and twanging guitar through the harp-accompanied Effortlessly, the Twin Peaks-y Blue and the otherworldly Homesick with its sample from Rick and Morty, Madison’s favourite cartoon.
The curveballs keep coming, proving the breath of Madison’s musical talent. Second single Selfish, released on Valentine’s Day, is a brutal beauty that begins the healing process. The playful Baby is an empowering R&B song about sex, Stained Glass a scorcher about healing scars that tips its hat to Radiohead and candy-coated, country-tinged closer Everything Happens For A Reason a last look back before moving on.
As the album neared completion last year, Madison signed a licensing deal with Epic Records in the States, run by the formidable Sylvia Rhones.
An independent artist for five, hard-fought years since jumping ship from her first major label aged 15 – they wanted a Disney-style star, she told them where to go – Madison didn’t take signing lightly.
She and her team retain control of Life Support, which was recorded without any outside intervention. Madison’s success on her own terms, in conjunction with her army of supportive fans – 15 million of them on Instagram alone - has been staggering.
Over a billion streams, 10 million monthly Spotify listeners, Top 10 hits in 42 countries and a debut EP, 2018’s As She Pleases, which made her the first ever independent female to break in to the Billboard Top 20 radio charts are among her astonishing achievements. Live, she went straight to being a headline act, skipping support slots and going straight to her own worldwide tour, which sold out every date within minutes of being announced.
In the UK alone Madison has sold over a million records and last year was in the UK Top 10 as the vocalist on Europa’s All Day and Night and atop Billboard’s world digital song chart with Pop/Stars by K/DA.
With nothing left to prove and an album as important as Life Support to promote, Madison sought out a label that understood her vision.
“For a project this size, the more people on board the better,” says Madison. “It deserves to be heard. I found the right home, with people I trust who care about the songs as much as I do and get what I’m about.
“It’s not straightforward pop. It is a bit out there, even for me. I’m not an easy artist to pigeonhole and a lot of these songs are like nothing I’ve ever attempted before. I didn’t try to sound like anyone else. I can only sound like me.” Life Support is defiantly Madison, an album written as catharsis, delivered to fans as a document of all she’s been through and a self-help guide to coming out the other side.
“Writing the songs was like therapy for me,” says Madison. “It’s why the title is Life Support. Writing was the reason I got through the break-up and various other things in my personal life.
“For a long time, I was struggling. Getting my feelings out got me through it. Otherwise, I’d have buried them and they’d have come back to hurt me more later on. Get rid of the darkness and you can see the light. That’s what this album is about.”