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Life & Work with Madilyn Mei

Today we’d like to introduce you to Madilyn Mei.

Hi Madilyn, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I always wrote tons of poetry when I was younger and started to write songs instead when I got my first ukulele in the summer before fourth grade.

I listened to Taylor Swift on the way to school and studied the different patterns she made in her music (verse, chorus, bridge, etc.), and taught myself the basics of how a song is set up.

I wrote a few songs and decided to audition for my fifth-grade talent show, after performing something original for a crowd for the first time I knew it was what I wanted to do with my life, so I kept writing. My mom got me started on Instagram in 2016 and I slowly took over running my page as I got older. I played local gigs and eventually started playing over in Nashville as well. I’ve now played at the Bluebird Cafe, The Listening Room, and several other renowned Nashville venues/listening rooms.

I’ve been noticed by Jennifer Garner who shared my song “One Last Hurrah” to her followers at the start of the pandemic, I’ve won third place in a Cartoon Network songwriting contest, and I have been working on my first album since graduating a year ago.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
I’m lucky to have the support of almost everyone around me, though I have no connections to the music world prior to the ones I’ve gained on my own.

My mom is a nurse and my dad work in real estate so It’s been a big guessing game over the years of how to go about all this. I’ve had to learn to be very resourceful and make something out of nothing sometimes since much of my funding is out of pocket.

When it comes to personal struggles, I’d say, my music really took a turn and matured a ton back during my parents’ divorce in high school. It was a really rough messy time but, in a way, I’m glad it happened since my music would be very different today if it didn’t.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I’m primarily a songwriter, I taught myself how to sing to share my music though I’ve never had the best voice. But my goal is to share my lyrics so I don’t really care.

I’m most proud of how I don’t stop for anything. I’ve known what I want for a long time and if one thing doesn’t work out I’ll reset and keep trying other things.

Music-wise, I’m proud of my lyrics. Receiving a comment on social media about how someone related to my words is one of the best feelings ever.

What sets me apart from others is I don’t let a lack of funds or resources stop me. On top of my music, I also make many of my own music videos and cover arts, which entails lots of hands-on work and long hours.

We’d love to hear about any fond memories you have from when you were growing up?
I can’t decide one, I had a really good simple childhood. My parents brought us on lots of trips and encouraged us to play and experience everything. When on the rare occasion it rained we would almost always go play in it in our pajamas.

Always was a Jack Johnson or Nora Jones song playing in the background and lots of dance parties, jam sessions, and dressing up with my sisters.

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Image Credits
Olivia Bentley and David Hall

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