Check our interview with LA based singer and songwriter Madeline Lauer.
Madeline’s genre blends pop, R&B, and a dash of jazz. Her recent releases, “Highway”, “Anchor” and “All For You”, are great examples of Madeline’s broad creative scope. Whether it’s singing backgrounds on Max Martin songs, or being featured on The Weeknd’s Merchandise, Madeline has never gone unnoticed. With the help of her production team, The BMMB, she is ready to debut her original album “Open Book” later this year.
Hi Madeline, please tell us a little about yourself?
I’m an R&B singer living in Los Angeles, California.
Describe yourself in 3 words.
Creative, goofy, & a social butterfly
Who is your biggest supporter?
That’s really hard for me to answer because I have such an amazing support system between my family and friends. However, if I had to choose a single person, I would say my boyfriend, Andrew. Not only did he lend a huge hand in creating my musical vision by producing my entire album, but when times have gotten truly challenging, he’s the one that keeps me strong-minded. He’s my best friend.
How did it all start?
I was raised in Dublin, OH and moved to Los Angeles the day after I graduated high school. About three months before graduating high school, I auditioned for a talent show in Orlando, where I met my first manager. He convinced me to move to California and start working on my first album right away. I finished my senior year in an Embassy Suites hotel room with my dad and recorded in the studio at night. It was just the beginning of my journey, but that is how I got started in the music industry.
When was it that you first realized you wanted to pursue music as a career?
I ALWAYS wanted to be a singer. There wasn’t a moment for me where I made that decision, it was something I always felt since childhood. As I got older, I realized it was going to be up to me to make it actually happen. My parents didn’t put me in auditions as a child or anything like that. I’ve had to figure out all the step on my own. They wanted to make sure I grew up as normal as possible and that at the end of the day, that it was something I really wanted.
What is your musical background?
I have found my attention mostly focused on singing. Choir, musicals, and talent shows kept me occupied before my parents would let me pursue it as a career. Around the age of 16, I started recording songs I wrote at a family friend’s studio in Chicago. It was then that I became pretty obsessed with the idea of becoming a recording artist.
Is your family musical?
No, however music was an essential part of my upbringing. My dad absolutely loved The Beatles, James Taylor, and Cat Stevens. He would sing us to sleep basically every single night. Those are some of the best memories a girl could ask for. My mom loved Celine Dion and Mariah Carey. Both of their Christmas albums played year round in my house. I also remember my older brothers being Phish heads and frequently followed them on tour. However, I am the only one who actually decided to pursue a career in music.
What kind of music do you listen to normally?
As a pre-teen, I listened to a lot of pop music. When I got into my teen years, I started getting into R&B and soul. My favorites include Aaliyah, Sade, Toni Braxton, Brandy, SWV and Musiq Soulchild. However, I actually think the first album I ever bought myself was Alicia Keys “Songs in A Minor.” Right now I am obsessed with Tinashe. Do yourself a favor and watch the video for her song Company.
Tell us about your hit songs “Highway,” “Anchor” and “All For You”?
Highway is actually the only song on the album I didn’t write. Andrew had produced and written this song a few years ago and I absolutely loved it. So, I decided to take it for the album. I love the references to the Ginuwine song Pony.
Anchor is the song I wrote about Andrew. I had just been through so much prior to finding him and I was feeling effortlessly in love and secure. The song reflects that. It was also one of the first songs I had written for the album. I hadn’t sung an entire song in my falsetto before. After recording Anchor I thought to myself, I think I want to sing all my songs like this, I love how this sounds. But my production team convinced me to change things up every now and then.
I wrote All For You after I took my first ever song-writing class. The teacher was having us write about inadamant objects. I went a slightly different route and wrote about my passion for music and treated it as if it were a lover. I say “Don’t you know it’s all for you, every breathe I take for you, don’t you know I like it too.” If you listen to the song, you can probably pick up on the references.
Explain your sound in 3 words?
Sensual, dreamy, bouncy
What were your influences for the EP, both musically and content-wise?
I always write songs like I’m writing for Aaliyah. I listen to so much 90s R&B, that my music tends to sound like that era. During the process of making this album, I listened to a lot of Amy Winehouse and old 50s artists like Sam Cooke. My production team, The BMMB (which includes Andrew), are seasoned in making Hip-Hop beats. Their beats are heavily influenced by J Dilla, Dr. Dre, Rza, Dj. Premier, Pharrell and Kanye West.
As for the content, it is mainly relationship based. That is what makes me want to spatter my core on paper. I write about heartache, longing, desire and craving. I explore my journal and the different parts of past relationships I’ve had. Some of the songs could be about the same guy. I just climb down different branches of our story for each song. I also have a complicated relationship with myself. I have put myself through a lot. Now that I am healed and focused, I am comfortable talking about that struggle in my music.
And why the name of “Open Book” for your EP?
Basically because people are always calling me an open book. I was having a conversation with a friend of mine and I was unsurprisingly saying too much. I stopped myself and said “I am so sorry if that was TMI, I am such an open book” and he suggested I name my album that. I thought it was perfect.
What is your next goal as a musician?
TOUR! I want to go on a tour so badly.
What are the five things you can’t live without?
Aaliyah’s “One In a Million” album, a good mystery novel, Closer the movie, my running shoes, and La Crema chardonnay. OH, and Ginger from the Kylie Cosmetics Lip kit collection. It’s the best color ever.
What kind of music do you like?
Anything with a slow, groovy and stimulating bounce.
Any loves other than music?
I love watching movies, shooting music videos with my friend Kristen, hiking, reading mysteries, drinking wine and going out to dinner! I also love fashion. I’m constantly surveying fashion blogs like Harper’s Bazaar and ELLE.
Best advice ever given?
My mom always said “If you want to be an interesting person, you have to live an interesting life”
My friend Jaz said to look at my life as if it were a train. The destination is who I want to be. People will get on and off my train all the time, and I might feel like I need to hop on someone else’s train, but I always have to keep moving toward my own destination, on my own train. It’s just a brilliant reminder to stay focused on my dream.
Do you get nervous before a performance?
Absolutely. But as soon as I am up there, it’s like home. I love the attention.
Any advice for upcoming singers?
Don’t give up. Be unique. Trust your instinct. Learn the ins and outs of the business.
If you weren’t singing, what would you be doing?
Acting for sure. Maybe one day I will. But if I weren’t an entertainer, I’d be an esthetician. I used to have horrific acne so I became obsessed with skin care.
Any exciting news you want to share with us?
My music video for my new single Come Around will be out in three weeks! Also keep an eye out on my social media for performance dates!
Your idea of a perfect Sunday is?
A long morning hike, a very large lunch that includes wine, a scary movie in the theater, then off to the studio. Also, it has to be raining for it to be perfect. I’m obsessed with rain.
How important is Social Media for you?
Extremely important. Mine is a total insight into who I am all around. It’s something I love about this time in music because I get to follow my favorite artists as well. Fans can be so connected to the people they admire.
Where we can follow you?
All of my social media handles are @Madelinelauer – Instagram / Twitter / Facebook
Quote: “Everybody is identical in their secret unspoken belief that way deep down they are different from everyone else.” – David Foster Wallace
Actor/Actress: Eva Greene
Drink: An old fashioned
City: Los Angeles
Sport Team: Wrong question for me
Song: That’s so hard. If I had to choose, it would be Aaliyah “Rock the Boat”
Photo Credit: Dylan Bartolini