Aspiring 19-year old singer-songwriter Maddy Newton, based in Nashville, TN, is working towards making a name for herself in the music industry. The Florida-native moved up to the Nashville area when she was 12 years old and dove right into the…
Aspiring 19-year old singer-songwriter Maddy Newton, based in Nashville, TN, is working towards making a name for herself in the music industry. The Florida-native moved up to the Nashville area when she was 12 years old and dove right into the world of singing and songwriting.
Fresh off her 30 days of vocal rest, Maddy took time out of her busy schedule on Tuesday afternoon to speak with us regarding her up-and-coming career:
Music-Overload: How long have you been playing music, and what was it that first got you into music?
Maddy Newton: “I’m originally from Florida, but I live in Nashville now. I moved here when I was 12, and I have always been singing. Since preschool I was in talent shows and musical theatre, and I loved it. I always wanted to be an entertainer, and then after I moved to Nashville, it was music city and everyone was a songwriter so I really dove into that at around 13. I was in school through 10th grade at my high school, and then finished my last two years online just so I could really dedicate it to music. I’m 19 now, and I’m just writing or in the studio working with a bunch of different people and having a blast.”
M-O: Do any of your family members have musical backgrounds?
Maddy: “My mom used to sing when she was younger––not professionally or anything, just for fun. Her mom, my grandma, was a music teacher. So I got the music side from her. And then definitely not singing from my dad, but I got the lyrics side from him because he actually has a way with words and used to write my mom poetry. So I think I got a little bit from both sides.”
M-O: You just completed 30 days of vocal rest. Can you tell us how that went?
Maddy: “Yeah, it was kinda crazy. That’s kind of all I do, is sing. So the fact that I had to take 30 days off was insane, and Monday was my first day talking again. I really just learned a lot about myself, had a lot of thinking time and read a lot of books. I was able to practice my instruments and would try to write songs, because I can’t just stop. My brain is still coming up with ideas, so I would write down the lyrics and then I’d have to get on the piano or the guitar and play out the vocal melody so that I would end up remembering it. So that was a bit challenging. I started a couple songs conditionally because it was hard to do without being able to sing. But I’m definitely glad I did it because hopefully the nodules are gone. I already feel a difference and can hear a difference, so it was definitely worth it.”
M-O: Was it (the vocal rest) something that you were instructed to do, or did you just feel it was necessary vocal rest?
Maddy: “Well I went to the doctor and got a scope of my vocal chords and I had nodules which, if you’ve ever had them, are basically big bumps on your vocal chords that keep them from doing what they’re supposed to do. So that’s why I would lose my voice all the time, and not be able to do certain things with my voice. So I was instructed to do this rest, because apparently 30 days is the magic number. It was very challenging, but I’m so glad I did it.”
M-O: You mentioned about writing songs. What would you say is your typical approach or process when writing a song?
Maddy: “Well it definitely has a different process, per song. I could be in a conversation with someone, and one of us will say something that sticks out to me. I’ll type it in on my phone, or when we’re done with the conversation I’ll go somewhere by myself––which is usually somewhere like a bathroom if we’re in a public area––and I’ll sing it into my phone and I’ll come back to it later. A lot of the times I’ll be working with a producer/songwriter, and we’ll just come up with a cool melody, a cool beat, and then form it around that. Or, another case, I’ll just take it from personal experience and maybe a melody and lyrics concept that I have and then finish the song with that. I usually write the chorus first. I’ll come up with the hooks and then fill the song around that. So it varies, there are a couple of different ways.”
M-O: Have you had any mentors while in Nashville, in terms of the songwriting process?
Maddy: “Oh yes, I have written with so many amazing people. It’s been so cool, because you get to see the heart behind it and see who it came from. But yeah I have a couple of people that I write with a lot, that have gone through this business and are always there with advice. Marti Dodson, Rachel Proctor. And just so many people, I can’t even name them all. But it’s definitely super-inspiring in this town because everyone is so talented and in Nashville everyone’s so friendly and willing to help, and mentor, and guide. Which is awesome for aspiring artists such as myself.”
M-O: That gets us right into our next question. Do you feel that being in Nashville makes it tougher, because everyone is trying to achieve the same goal (making it in the country music industry, or do you feel that helps you in terms of working with other similar artists?
Maddy: “Honestly, it depends. You’ll get some people in Nashville who are very focused on just growing and getting to the top and kind of just want to stick to their own thing––or maybe they have their own little circle of people and don’t want to share with anyone. And then there are other people who are so welcoming and willing to help younger people. It’s pretty competitive, because there are so many amazing talents. But for me, I like having the least amount of experience in the room. I love being the one who hasn’t done as much because then I know I can learn something from everyone. So I’m totally okay with being surrounded with talented people because it makes me want to work harder.”
M-O: Now that your vocal rest is over, do you have any upcoming shows in the next few months?
Maddy: “Yeah. I have only booked June so far––I have a couple ideas for July, and a couple things that are just getting ready to be lined up. But yeah I have several shows that can be found on my Facebook and Twitter, and I’m definitely excited to get in and start playing again because I miss it.
I actually am going to be releasing my very first single on iTunes in a couple weeks. The date isn’t officially set yet.”
M-O: You’ve built up quite the fan base on social media. What do your fans mean to you?
Maddy: “Oh my gosh, everything. I think that’s my favorite part about doing music, because I’m an only child so I grew up kind of having to do things on my own and figuring out what relationships are like with other people––even just friends. I really love that connection with people, and I feel like a lot of my audience right now is younger ––girls especially. I love that. I love making new friends and hearing how my music has connected with people. That’s what I love about music. They mean everything to me, and the way they watch and share my Youtube videos is just awesome, and definitely the best part.”
You can find more information about Maddy and her blossoming career via her social media accounts and website, which are linked below:
Photo: via Maddy’s Official Website