Singer-songwriter, Madisenxoxo, is only 22 years old, but she’s making waves on Tik Tok and Spotify with her first single, “Baby in Blue.” In the beginning of April, Madisen posted a Tik Tok of her recording the vocals for her song. Since then, the video has received over 1 million views.
Madisen’s song, “Baby in Blue,” is a melancholy love song which she wrote and performed herself. Madisen has been musically active since she began piano lessons at the age of four. Ever since, she has been developing her own style, taking inspiration from many different artists. “I have so many inspirations, I think my music taste is pretty wide, which has been great because I don’t really think my music fits into one specific genre. I grew up listening to my parent’s music, soft rock and folk music from the ‘60s and ‘70s, and then as I got older I developed my own taste.” She is especially inspired by fellow women artists. “I love to see females leading the band instrumentally as well as vocally, artists like Snail Mail and Soccer Mommy have really inspired me. Of course I always fall back on legends like Joni Mitchell and Amy Winehouse,” Madisen shares.
The Portland-based jazz performance major would have been wrapping up her final year at Portland State University right now. But, COVID-19 caused the cancellation of her senior recital. Because of this, Madisen has shifted her focus to writing and producing an album, which she is hoping to release towards the end of this summer. “Baby in Blue” is the first single in preparation for her album. Her next single, “19,” is to be released on May 22.
Madisen started her songwriting process for “Baby in Blue” with her guitar, but she says that every song is different when it comes to songwriting. “With this song, I think the chords and the lyrics kind of came simultaneously which is rare.” Madisen also provides an explanation of her lyrics.
“The song [is] basically about loving someone with depression or sadness. There’s a line in the chorus, ‘Put your head in my hands, I’ll be your man.’ Typical gender roles in our society tell us that generally, the men are the ones who are supposed to be strong and solid, while the women are emotional and need comfort. However, as women in relationships, we’ve all experienced that supporting one another emotionally goes both ways. Sometimes it’s the woman [who] has to be the strong and comforting one and let the man break down and feel something. You have to take care of each other. That line is kind of sarcastically poking at that gender role, saying that I’m a woman yet I can take on that typical role of a man and be the ‘strong’ or ‘stable’ presence in a relationship when the other person is feeling unstable.”
Madisen writes and performs her own music, and teams up with her boyfriend on the production. “My boyfriend, Josh (whose artist name is Mana Garden), helped me record all the instruments and then he produced the song. He really handles the technology aspect of things (which is HUGE). He does a lot of the sound design, using synthesizers, drums, and samples. I play all of the instruments and then he handles the mixing and other instrumentation, some more electronic instruments that we add later on, or manipulating vocals– things like that. Usually, we spend hours sitting in front of the computer catching every detail and making adjustments.”
With a viral Tik Tok under her belt, over 55,000 listeners on Spotify, and edgy lyrics which challenge gender roles, it’s clear that Madisen is making her way in the music industry. Listen to Madisenxoxo’s “Baby in Blue” below: