In 2017, we had the honor of introducing LA’s Madison Margot to the world when we premiered her introductory release “Virgin In a Red Dress.” As the years have gone by, it’s been an exciting process watching Madison unfold infront of a growing audience, connecting with us through her autobiographical, diary-like musical creations.

Madison’s latest, “Dear…” from November 2023, is another fusion of everything we’ve come to love about Madison’s music: poignant lyrics which make us feel like we’re in the depths of her innermost thoughts and emotions, delivered with her powerful and sweetly toned vocals married with raw and earthy production that washes over you.

While we wait for the underground LA pop riser to cook up another batch of cathartic gems for us to feast on, we caught up with Madison in an intimate and insightful conversation about “Dear…”, how she continues channeling her feminine powers and the changes she hopes to see in the male-dominated music industry.

SheBOPS: Hey Madison and welcome back to SheBOPS! We first introduced you in 2017 when we premiered your single “Virgin in a Red Dress” – what’s been going on since then? 

Madison Margot: Thank you so much for having me back on your lovely blog. I love it here! Where do I even begin?! Life has changed so much, but I’m stronger and wiser than ever. I’m in a good place. 

We love your new bop, “Dear…”! Can you share with us the process of creating the song and how you decided on it as your latest single?

I wrote “Dear…” a long time ago. I feel like it was a song that my subconscious needed me to tell at the end of the pandemic. I was in Birmingham, UK and just started humming “and I’d bet my life that you’ve been searchin’ round town, wishin’ I was still around.” I grabbed my guitar and the song just hit me in one sitting. I recorded it at a little studio in East London and finally decided to put it out. 

You wrote all of the lyrics for “Dear…” – can you talk us through the lyrics and what they mean to you on a personal level?

I didn’t write this song about anyone specific. It’s the only song in my discography that wasn’t written with someone in mind. But when I listen now, I think of people. I think of old lovers and old friends. It’s one of those songs that you can relate to when you’re experiencing the loss of any relationship. I actually was inspired by the play Shivaree by William Mastrosimone. There is this scene where Shivaree is telling someone about all the people she’s met and the places she has been. It made me think about how humans rely on memories and imagination to make their present day more tolerable. In the context of “Dear…”, you have a heartbroken character trying to convince their lover that they’re doing just fine, even though they’re definitely not. I love the bridge because it’s the only true glimpse of truth that we get “I’m here in my room, but my mind lets me escape to where I want to / You turned me into sand between your fingers, and you’ll forever be the trigger for me” 

What do you hope listeners take away from “Dear…”?

This song sounds bitter. It sounds like a big sassy middle finger to the sky. But I hope people actually listen and hear the layers underneath. The vulnerability and suffering. The need for escape and the desire  for connection. I hope people reach for this song like it’s a blanket on a cold night.

“Dear…” is your follow-up single after the epic “God Laughs.” How do you feel “Dear…” represents growth in your artistry? 

“God Laughs” was completely autobiographical and I needed to express myself like a therapy session. “Dear…” is a song that I wrote from an empathetic place. It is so different from what I’ve been doing all of these years. I think it just shows me the possibilities of my writing. I don’t have to have limitations with the stories I tell. 

Will “Dear…” be appearing on a new project of sorts? 

The past few songs have been me experimenting with a new sound. The Chronicles of Lovers was electro-pop while these songs were more instrument based. I’ve had a project in mind for the past few years, but it’s evolved so much. It’s taken a sharp turn this year and I am figuring it out again. I don’t want to say too much because things are always changing in my mind. But all that to say that “Dear…” might remain just a beautiful little letter. 

Your musical catalog so far is very diverse! We’re still obsessed with “Virgin in a Red Dress” even after all these years, and also the romantic vibes of newer material like “All My Wishes.” What would you say makes up the signature elements of a Madison Margot song?

“Virgin in a Red Dress” is a favorite amongst live audiences! It truly is a fun pop song because it is so honest and free. I wrote that song when I was 17! “All My Wishes” is another fun one that people love to sing along to for similar reasons. Even though they were written six years apart, the  formula was the same for both of these songs. Both were written alone on my guitar at the house in a creative burst.

What is the toughest part of creating new music? Do you ever experience creative slumps, and how do you overcome these moments if so? 

I’m currently in a slump and that previous question has actually helped me untangle the reason why. I’m overthinking and over complicating the process. I have a lot of brilliant musician friends and they’re always in sessions and co-writing. So I always wonder “should I always be in sessions?” But no, that’s not my creative process. My process is writing in my room or living room when the ideas arrive, and that’s okay. I get song ideas in my dreams and when I’m running errands. I don’t want to  force it. So I need to learn to not stress myself out.

When we last spoke in 2017, you said: “I feel so aware of my feminine powers” – how have you continued to channel these powers into your music since then?

I have watched my feminine powers evolve over the years. I have tuned into the feminine powers of honesty and vulnerability the past three years. I have channeled those powers into my music every step of the way. “Heathrow” to “God Laughs” is a great example of that. I can feel the feminine powers evolving now as I step away from that era into a new one. Freedom and desire seem to be what I’m stepping into and I can’t wait to see what songs come of it.

Generally speaking, what are your thoughts on the representation of women in music now? Have you noticed any changes or improvements since 2017?  

I usually want to complain about the internet and the TikTok generation, but I truly believe it has done good things for women in music. It has allowed pop girlies to rise up! Tate McRae is a good example. She is killing it and it’s because the internet has control. Taylor Swift has been my hero for the past 18 years and I think analyzing her career can show us how the treatment of women has improved as well. I was in the trenches for her for so many years. But the new generation has found her, they’re understanding her, supporting her re-records, and once again, they’re deciding that this is someone they are backing. The power is in the hands of my fellow Gen-Zers and we tend to stand for what’s right. 

Are there any elements of the industry that frustrate you, especially from a woman’s perspective? On the flip side, what are some elements that you like and celebrate?

The most frustrating part of the music industry is how difficult it is for new artists to break through! I have seen incredibly talented artists quit and that’s always been sad for me to see. On the flip side, I love music! I love hearing new sounds and diving into lyrics. I think my love of music outweighs all of the nonsense. 

How do you think the landscape is changing for women in music today?

It is getting better, due to the Internet’s control of what is a hit. From a global musical perspective, Taylor and Beyoncé are dominating. I am so inspired by them. However, they do exist on a level that is unattainable for the majority of artists. They are a machine. I just think we need to get women in more spaces. It doesn’t make sense to me how we are the most creative beings on this planet and yet invisible in creative spaces. Make it make sense!

From your perspective, what steps do you think the industry can take to counteract inequality and make the industry safer for women – even more so for indie artists like yourself?

The majority of music executives are white men. I think making these spaces more diverse will create safer environments for women musicians. Also, I believe only 3% of producers and 13% of songwriters are women. I would really love to see those numbers grow. I love working with women engineers and video directors, and my goal this year is to work with a woman producer! With numbers that low, it is sometimes difficult to find other women to work with in this industry, but I believe in giving women the opportunities.

Being from LA, how would you describe the current music scene in LA?  

LA is an incredible place and I am so proud to be from the entertainment capital of the world. I find it beautiful how people flock here from all over the world to give it their best shot. The music scene is fun. The talent is immense. 

How has your experience as an artist based in LA influenced your musical direction and sound?

I love the Southern California sound. Haim and No Doubt are my two favorite bands of all time and they’re both from SoCal. They have both inspired me in so many different ways. Gwen Stefani’s writing was a massive deal back in those days and songs like “Don’t Speak” and “Underneath it All” let me know that I can go as far as I want when it comes to writing. 

You’re an independent and self-funded artist, which is so inspiring! What do you feel are the pros and cons of being in such a position?

The pros are that I get to do whatever I want, whenever I want! But I don’t get to fully produce and record songs as often because, financially, it’s a lot! I am a solo artist, so I don’t have a band that can track instruments and split costs. I have so many incredible songs waiting to be let out the gate. I guess patience is what I’ve had to master. 

What are your thoughts on the ‘indie vs. major labels’ debate – do you think artists in today’s industry need major labels? 

I don’t think it’s a need. But it’s definitely an advantage. I think it’s personal preference. A lot of big artists are walking away from their labels because they don’t like the control. But at the same time, they are already in a good financial position from their success. So they can afford to walk away and be okay on their own. I think you just have to play smart.

Can you talk us through a moment in your career so far where you felt the proudest of your work? 

I am very proud of “God Laughs”. It is a song that can apply to so many other things to do with life. I often think I can apply it to my career as well. I definitely thought I’d have it figured out, haha! But look at life: we had a global pandemic, a lot of things are happening in the world, nothing seems to go as planned.

From your perspective, how do you feel both the industry and audiences can better support indie artists? 

I think more people should attend local shows! There are so many talented people out there! Get to your local show and support the artists in your life. Stream their songs and watch their videos. It goes a long way.

Looking back on our 2017 feature, what would the Madison Margot of today like to tell the Madison Margot of 2017? 

I am so proud of 2017 Madison. She was so bold and excited. But I would like to tell 2017 Madison that I’m taking care of her dream and she is in good hands.

What’s next for you in terms of future projects as well as goals in your music career?

2024 is going to be one hell of a year when it comes to my music. My intuition feels sharper than ever about that. Of course, you’ll be the first to know!

This last section is totally yours to own – feel free to share / vent / speak on anything you feel like you need to!

ILY thank you!

Categorized in:

Tagged in:

, ,