Everyone has their favorite YouTube personalities. Be them beauty gurus, comedians or musicians. Maddy Newton has been one of my favorite vloggers as of late, so I was excited when I got the opportunity to sit down and talk with her about her newest endeavor; music.
Lately, I’ve been a huge fan of YouTube vlogs. I think they’re informative and have a ton of personality. In the process of my new “vlog phase” I stumbled across Maddy’s channel on YouTube and loved her genuine, down to earth personality, not to mention she always introduced me to awesome “favorites” I never heard of before (i.e. Garnier Skin Active Micellar Water). It wasn’t too long after, that I received an email talking about Maddy’s debut EP, launching her musical career.
We first talked about where her love for music has always stemmed from and whether that, or vlogging, ultimately led her to start her channel: HERE!
“I honestly started singing in pre-school,” she confessed. “I picked up guitar at 8 and was always involved in talent shows and musical theater. My family moved from Boca Raton, Florida to Nashville when I was 12 and I started writing my first structured songs instead of just little jingles, a year later when I was 13. I knew how much female musicians were role models for not only me, but my peers and I wanted to be that driving influence for young girls too.
In that same breathe, I started my YouTube channel because I made a Mermaid Makeup Tutorial video for a contest entry in 2010. My first couple of years on YouTube, my videos were all beauty related. I just acted like I knew what I was talking about and thought I had to spend a ton of money on makeup to be taken seriously,” she laughed. “When I realized that YouTube was becoming a platform for music too, I started uploading covers not because I didn’t have original music, but because I wanted to build a fanbase through songs people were already familiar with and would want to watch. Then at 16, my original music came into the picture.”
Reminiscent of the female artists that belonged to the early 2000’s, Maddy takes a unique approach to Pop music, adding an alternative songwriter vibe that is both honest and real.
As for her favorite fellow YouTuber, Maddy says she’s done a lot of collaborations with Jacob Whiteside and loves watching Shay Mitchell’s (from Pretty Little Liars) travel blogs, which led to her first travel upload a couple of weeks ago after a trip to Montreal.
“I’ve realized with new things, like travel blogs, that practice makes almost, slightly close to perfect,” she laughed. “It was a great way for me to document the trip and remember things like ‘oh, that was such a cool dumpster.’ Seriously… see for yourself. It was an art-covered dumpster!”
Focusing on the music like this blog and this city does best, we talked about the driving inspiration behind her debut EP and how the songwriting process worked.
“This has been a long process,” she started. “I felt like I had finally come into my own against so many industry opinions and was able to focus on my diverse influences. I just have to realize it’s a chapter and let it be what it is. While I’m already working on new music, it’s hard to leave a project exist on it’s own without wanting to tweak it,” we bonded over being type A for a minute. “I worked with amazing people on the project, though and really was able to acknowledge feelings with my music that a lot of people are conditioned to not admit.
As for the songwriting, every time is different. Ideas mostly come to me when I’m driving in the car and I have to start a voice memo, or when I’m in a conversation at the dinner table and I have to either sing quietly into my phone or go to the bathroom to record it. Lyrics are easier to remember later, but a melody will leave me forever if I don’t sing it as soon as it comes to me.”
Exactly a week ago, Maddy released a video for her new single, “Kiss You Yesterday” that is very Nashville, very cohesive and just all around perfect. After meeting her, it describes her and her music to a T.
“I worked with great people on this project as well. J. Morris directed and produced the video and came up with the yellow and blue concept for it, which just made so much sense after he said it and I saw it come to fruition. I’m just not a visual artist so it really helped having that input. I wanted the video to the tell the story of getting ready for a date, but leaving some mystery there as to who the date was with. I wrote the song with Walker Hayes who had the title and then I used a guy I was going out with as inspiration,” she joked. “It was that feeling of getting home from a date, being at the front door face to face and thinking…’this is the perfect moment, come on!'”
While Maddy isn’t exactly from Nashville, it’s all she knows as an artist and sometimes this city can be the best and worst thing for a musician trying to launch their career. Maddy’s take was all too refreshing.
“When I was in Montreal I stayed with a family friend who’s also a musician and she kept pointing out that I was blessed for being able to live in a city with so many resources. I explained to her though, that can be just as overwhelming as other cities are underwhelming. It’s really important to always keep goals, but especially in Nashville, you have to remind yourself of your accomplishments. You’re always working though, because you know if you’re not, someone else is.”
After talking with Maddy for only an hour, her dedication to her craft was so evident and I think it clearly shines through in the things she’s most passionate about. Just like her songs, she is an open book with a lot of heart and soul and I am so excited to see where her new journey takes her! Now you can be along for the ride, too!