Madison Malone

Madison Singer/Songwriter makes move to Los Angeles
by Teri Barr
August 2016

Madison Malone - photo by Scotify

Madison Malone
photo by Scotify

“I have no idea what’s about to happen,” Madison Malone reveals to me as we hug in greeting, and sit down to chat. “But I don’t want a predictable life or music career, so it’s the right time for a new challenge in a new city.” Malone’s days in Madison are now officially numbered. By the end of August, Wisconsin will be a blip in her rearview mirror, and her career will be off and running in Los Angeles. It’s true. The young songstress already has close to a dozen shows booked in California, and a few will include musicians from this area on the bill starting with singer-songwriter Teddy Davenport. It is something she has strategically built into her business plan. “I want to be a funnel for helping Madison musicians get on stage in the L.A. area,” Malone says. “My goal really is to collaborate with the connections I have and put together a back-and-forth opportunity for artists in both cities.”

Music wasn’t always her career path, but it’s always been a part of her life. Malone started playing piano when she was 5, but says she quit structured lessons a few years later to play without any boundaries. She started writing at 8—about cats and crayons, but by 12, was writing about relationships and heart-break. At 18, the Portage native was playing out and singing her own material wherever anyone would listen. “It’s why I love it, even then,” Malone says. “People connect in so many different ways with the personal parts of my songs. It if helps or inspires, or makes people think or connect; music is a powerful thing.”

Malone realized the power in song when she almost let it go altogether. It was the fall of 2012, and as a U.W. Madison freshman with a full course load in Spanish and social work, she decided to put music on the shelf so she could completely immerse herself in her studies. But by winter break, she decided to talk with her parents. “I told them I wasn’t happy,” Malone says with a smile. “I was so lucky to have them be encouraging of my decision to get back into music.” She continued part-time with both efforts, but by spring 2014, launched fully into what is now a successful music career. “I met other musicians and recorded my first E.P. with Beth Kille, and was playing 3-6 shows a week,” she says. “And I was able to say, hello, I’m Madison Malone and I’m a singer-songwriter.”

She would’ve graduated from college this past spring, and wrote a strong post on Facebook about it at the time. Now she talks about it, and knows she has done everything right. “I can look at music and easily see this as a life-long business,” Malone says. “It just feels like I’ve taken all the right steps.” Steps that will now take her away from the city she’s named in honor of, to the city where she hopes everyone will know her name. “Madison obviously has a piece of my heart, and I will be looking forward to every opportunity to return,” Malone says. “I have learned to be who I am here, and the support will never be forgotten.”

Catch Madison Malone’s farewell show in downtown Madison’s Opus Lounge on August 17 at 9pm.

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