Hearing about a band or artist's influences and inspirations are all well and good, but sometimes, you just want to get to the nitty-gritty in an interview - like, 'what's your favourite takeaway dish'?
Our new Q&A series sees us throwing rapidfire questions at musicians to get their most instinctive answers. There's no beating around the bush here - just honest, straightforward insights into their creative minds.
Madison Beer may still only be 21, but she's an old hand in the music industry by now, having started her career at the age of 13.
Thanks to a leg-up from Justin Bieber – who tweeted her cover of Etta James's 'At Last' and went on to facilitate her signing to Island Records – she has been making a name for herself thanks to collaborations with the likes of rapper Offset and Jax Jones.
The New Yorker is set to release her debut album on Epic Records this summer, and has a new single called 'Selfish' out now.
1. What’s the music that you listened to growing up, that you still listen to today?
The first album I ever bought was a Britney Spears album. I loved her so much and still do. I actually did a cover of Toxic once. I was brought up listening to all the classics too, like The Beatles and Etta James. I’d say that the Beatles are still one of my favourite bands of all time and ‘At Last’ by Etta James is the greatest love song ever written.
2. In three words, describe the minute before you walk on stage.
The first word would definitely be “exciting”, I get so excited to see my fans and to perform for them. I’d also say “emotional”, because a lot of emotion goes into my performances on stage. Then probably “dreamy”, because performing live still feels like a dream come true to me, it’s crazy.
3. How do you wind down after a gig?
Taking a bath and putting on a good facial mask helps me unwind and relax.
4. What’s the one song you wish you’d written or recorded first?
‘Something Sweet’ is really special to me because it was the first song I put out as an independent artist. I think it fully represents me and who I am as a musician, so maybe that would be a great first record to show the world who I really am and what my music stands for.
5. You can only have three albums on your phone/in your house at any one time - what three would you pick for today?
This is so hard! Currents by Tame Impala would have to be one. I wouldn’t skip any track. Then any album by the Beatles, maybe Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. I love the song ‘A Day In The Life’ which is from that album. Then the third would probably have to be Santo & Johnny’s self-titled debut album. I love the song ‘Sleepwalk’ and I’m obsessed with all the music from the fifties.
6. Name one record, one book and one film that everyone should hear / read / see.
Everyone needs to hear Homework by Daft Punk – they inspire me as an artist so much. Everyone should read Milk & Honey by Rupi Kaur, it’s taught me so much about what it means to be a woman and I think her poetry is amazing. If I had to recommend one movie, it would be Fight Club. I really relate to the idea of being at war with yourself and as a movie it has definitely inspired me creatively.
7. Pick the director and lead actor(s) for a biopic about your life.
That’s so difficult. I think the director would have to be David Fincher, I really relate to the plot twists in his movies and Fight Club is my favourite film. Then for the actor. Wow, okay. Maybe Emma Roberts? I’m a huge American Horror Story fan and Coven is my favourite season, so Emma Roberts would be cool.
8. You’re ordering take-away, what do you get?
I LOVE a burger. It has to be a burger.
9. Describe your perfect day off.
I love to spend quality time with friends and family. I’m a huge Rick and Morty fan, so a Netflix marathon is always great too. Justin Roiland is actually now a friend of mine, which is super cool.
10. Tell us, in one sentence, why we should come to your next gig.
I will give an organic performance, the crowd will be amazing and you will have so much fun!
'Selfish' is out now.