Madison Beer is, to put it simply, a megastar. First discovered by Justin Bieber after singing Etta James on Instagram, she's since accumulated a following of millions across several social media platforms and worldwide, thanks to her incredible talent and her steadfast determination and desire to be always true to who she is, both as an individual and an artist.
With performances at the Reading & Leeds Festivals this weekend, she's just unveiled her brand-new single "Dangerous", and XS Noize caught up with her to chat about the track and her musical evolution.
When you first started, you were signed to and then dropped from your label after refusing to conform to what they wanted from you regarding your artistry. Do you ever have any regrets about standing up for yourself and your values the way you did, or do you look back and think: 'If I hadn't done that, I wouldn't be who and where I am now'?
No, I think standing up for what is authentic to yourself is extremely important. I have no regrets!
Most teens spend those years of their lives worrying about the usual things; school, relationships etc. How did being discovered and thrown into the spotlight so young impact your ability to live a 'normal' teenage life?
I missed out on many conventional things, but I just try to counterbalance it by the extremely rare circumstances I was able to experience!
You independently released your 'As She Pleases' EP back in 2018, which saw you make history as the first independently released female artist to score a top 30 position in the US Top 40 chart. How big of a deal for you was that, and would you say it confirmed to/for you that you were on the right path regarding your music and career?
I was so proud! It felt really rewarding to put out music I felt connected to rather than be forced to release music I was told I should be.
How would you say your debut album, 2021's 'Life Support', showcased your evolution and growth as an artist when you compare it to your EP?
'Life Support' was a body of music from experiences I went through, so telling those stories in music was so cathartic for me.
Who or what most inspires or influences the music you make, and how important to you is it that what you write and share with the world has your own personal touch and unique stamp on it?
I get so much inspiration for music from the 50s. Connie Francis & The Everly Brothers…so many greats from that era! Music was simple & beautiful then.
Which songs have you released so far would you say you're most proud of and why?
They all hold a special place in my heart, but I'd say "Selfish" and "Reckless" are the most true to me being vulnerable for the first time!
Throughout your career, you've collaborated with several established and acclaimed artists, including David Guetta, Offset and Jax Jones & Martin Solveig. What were those experiences like, and did you learn tips or tricks from artists you've gone on to use yourself?
I love collaborating with other artists and seeing their techniques and how they work. I always find it so fascinating!
Who would you choose if you could collaborate with one other band or artist, past or present?
Paul McCartney! Rihanna! Yes, please!
Tell me about "Dangerous." When did you write it, and is there a particular story/behind it?
"Dangerous" is the next chapter of my career. It's a more mature, vulnerable and evolved sound. It's about accepting reality and how some things just don't turn out the way you want, especially in relationships.
The song is taken from your new album set for release later in the year. Is there anything you can say/tease about it?
That this album is a more mature sound overall, and I am so proud of it. That's all I can say for now - but also, I hope fans love it as much as I loved creating it!
To coincide with the release of "Dangerous", having played a sold-out UK & European tour earlier this year, you're playing the acclaimed Reading & Leeds Festivals - excited much?
Yes, definitely!! So excited!! It's such a legendary festival, and I can't believe I get to play on their stage!
What can those attending the festivals expect from your set? Are there any fan favourite songs you always like to throw in, or do you think you might mix things up a bit?
Of course! I love to play fan favourites, but you'll have to come check out the set to see for yourself which songs I'm playing this weekend.
Will you get much or any time to check out perhaps any of the other acts playing? Who would you most like to watch if you can?
Yes! I want to try to see Arctic Monkeys - I love them.
If you could play any venue in the world with three support acts, where and who would you choose?
Madison Square Garden and Melanie Martinez, Gracie Abrams and Mitski.
You've racked up more than 4 billion streams and have a massive following of more than 50+ million across several social media platforms. What do you think it is about you, your music and the messages you share that people have connected with so strongly to the extent they want to know as much about what you're doing as possible? Does it ever scare you the amount of interest people have in you and your life?
This is quite a loaded question but very flattering at the same time. I don't know what it is exactly, but I value the connection I've made with them so much, and our relationship has developed beautifully. I like to keep certain things sacred and private - because so much is online, it gives me nice boundaries. Yes, it does scare me.
Have you ever experienced any particularly negative issues with social media - how do you handle any criticism or bullying directed at you?
Yes! Since the day I joined it. I have just learned that people will always have something to say, and loving myself is the only true way to rise above.
Numerous outlets worldwide praised and supported you, including Rolling Stone and The Guardian. How much does that support mean to you?
So much! It's such an honour to be recognized by outlets like that. I really appreciate it when people see me for who I am and express that.
Finally, looking back on the year so far, with the single out now and an album coming out, how would you say 2022 has been for you? Any particular highlights? What do you still hope to achieve in the last four months of this year?
It's been amazing! The tour was the main thing with a lot of work, but I just delivered my album and am so excited for everyone to see what's next!