Kamloops, BC's pop-infused singer-songwriter Madison Olds took some time to talk through her inspirations, dream playlist, and latest single “Best Part of Me.” Releasing music during a pandemic has never been an ideal situation for anyone, especially a musician. Yet, there is no denying that this latest single is one of the most polished pieces of work Madison Olds has released into the world. Without giving too much away, the singer-songwriter walks us through her background, why her music comes from such a personal place, and why she isn't letting the pandemic affect her. She also isn't afraid to let her anxiety stop her from making some of the best music of her career so far.
Thank you so much for taking the time to Q&A with us! Before we get started could you please introduce yourself to the lovely readers of BOP?
I’m Madison Olds, a Canadian Pop singer/songwriter, who loves chronically rescuing pitbulls, good food, and even better people. I always love to have a laugh and when I’m not trying to come up with a song idea, I’m trying to make my friends and family split a gut.
Growing up what types of music really inspired you?
Because I danced competitively, I used to listen to a lot of different genres so my inspiration in one week could come from Jay-Z, Amy Winehouse, The Lumineers and even Justin Timberlake. I was like a chameleon and could identify with pretty much everything as a kid. But because my dad was, and still is, a musician, I had a lot of exposure to bands like Yazoo, Howard Jones and The Thompson Twins as well and I was equally inspired by them. So growing up, my music exposure was a little all over the place and I was pretty much inspired by every genre.
At what point did you realize that you wanted to pursue music? Was there a special moment when you knew this was something you really needed to do?
I started playing as soon as I got a guitar in my hand at around 12/13 and obviously didn’t really think much about it, I was just having fun with it. But I remember my grade 8 drama teacher said if we had any show and tell, we could get some extra credit. So, I got my mom to drop off my guitar at lunch before the class and I was gonna play a song I wrote for them. It was like a legit Taylor Swift movie moment and it felt so good to have my peers validate my art. I knew pretty much then that I wasn’t fueled by anything other than playing for an audience.
Genre is such a spectrum. How would you describe the type of music you are putting out into the world?
Because I am influenced by so many artists, like I think a lot of music today is, I would describe my music as gritty happy pop.
If you were to put together your dream playlist - what songs are definitely going on that playlist and why?
Honestly between you and me, my dream playlist would include just 80’s music. The must haves would be:
I Want To Be Your Man – Roger
Everybody Wants To Rule The World – Tears for Fears
People Are Strange – Echo and the Bunnymen version
Let’s Dance – David Bowie
And then basically any song from the mid 70’s to late 80’s. I don’t know why, but I could be in the worst of moods, put on some 80’s records, and my day goes from a 1 to 120 out of 10. Music was just about feeling good and writing whatever mood you were in at the time. I feel like music now is almost too smart.
Your latest single “Best Part of Me” is out now and it's amazing. Can you tell us about the writing and production process that went into “Best Part of Me”?
‘Best Part of Me’ was written about trying to find the comfort in your discomfort. I was feeling pretty low during a writing trip to Nashville and wasn’t really in the head space to be writing about anything other than fricken anxiety. But I guess it was something the whole session could agree on feeling, so the song came pretty naturally. When it came to the production of the song, an incredibly talented producer in B.C. Canada named Ryan Worsley hit it out of the park. He took this little ball of anxiety of a song and turned it into a full-on song. He immediately got the vision and ran with it. Because I had worked with him in the past, I totally trusted his gut and vision on this one.
What has it been like to release music during a pandemic?
I honestly don’t think it’s changed much. I feel like everything has gone digital over the last few years anyway. The only bummer is not being able to have a live show but with how many platforms offer live now, it’s not really stopping anyone.
How have platforms like Instagram Live kept you close to your fans? Do you think live streaming will be the future of music performances?
I think live streaming has been amazing for our current situation, but I think it lacks so much of the energy you actually get in a real concert environment. I did a live concert back when I was announcing "Best Part of Me" and it was great, but I haven’t really done much more only because I thrive off of seeing the faces and interacting with my audience. I make sure to stay active on socials in other ways and interact with fans through more personal conversations and comments.
Thinking back to what feels like forever ago - what has been one of the best experiences you have had on a stage?
Probably my best experience yet has been playing Yonge and Dundas in Toronto with my dad and brother. We are a family that jams together and just brings a party with us everywhere we go. We had an incredible turn out in the square, but even if we hadn’t, it still would be my highlight just cause I gotta do it with my fam jam.
Is a tour possibly in the works for the future once the world opens back up again?
The dream is still Madison at Madison Square Garden so gotta get there somehow ;)