Interview

Madison Beer

At face value, Madison Beer is the exemplification of the new generation: being ‘found’ at age 13 on YouTube by Justin Bieber after he tweeted a link to her cover of Etta James’ “At Last”, it seemed that life was at her feet, and since then, she has accumulated a 10 million plus army of fans that devour her every move.

Late last year she released her breakout single “Dead” and followed it up with “Say It To My Face”, garnering even more attention the world over. But Madison Beer is not going to be determined by her follower count, instead she’s interested in empowering girls online and finding creativity in the non-digital life, and talks openly about her love for eclectic music and wish to be “as real as an app allows her to be”.

We catch up with the burgeoning superstar to get her advice on social media and keeping it real.

Do you find it hard to be authentic online?

People are just so accusatory online. One of the things I hate the most is when people put up stuff like “this person in real life vs. this person on Instagram”, saying how different people look. But they don’t realise that what you post on Instagram has been taken 500 times before you got the right one! Instagram is not who I am. I choose to show what I show but it’s not always my real life.

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What is your personal relationship with social media like?

I can show you right now what my personal relationship with social media is. I have Instagram, Twitter and Tumblr in a folder called ‘Hell On Earth’. I love social media but I also hate it. If I got hacked and had to start from 0 followers on all of my platforms, I wouldn’t shed a tear. It’s just a number. I want people to follow me for my creative vision, for my songs, for my imagery, not just because I have a lot of other followers.

Do you find that having a strong online presence affects the music you make?

I would say that my aim is to make songs that are inspirational, that are empowering. I have a song called ‘Unbreakable’ that is very uplifting, but now I am a bit older so I try to convey a message of female empowerment. I want to make sure my fans love their bodies and are confident.

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How did it feel when Justin Bieber tweeted about you? Did the change in your status feel immediate?

I wouldn’t say it was overnight, it was a climb. But it was intense. I think that’s why I feel close with my fan base, because I was so young then, and we’ve kind of gotten older together. It’s been great to grow with people who support my music.

What is the biggest inspiration you’ve had in your career?

Tame Impala are the musicians who inspire the sounds I like the most. On my EP you’ll hopefully hear little things that are in that vibe. I think people would be surprised how varied my musical taste is. After I watch movies, that’s when I feel the most creative too. My favourites are probably: Fight Club, Shutter Island, The Breakfast Club and The Matrix.

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If you could collaborate with anyone, who would you choose?

Probably Rihanna. That’s my answer every time, so maybe if I say it enough, it will happen!

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