Madeline Rosene InterviewLEFAIR
While some people are getting hyped for the return of Hot Girl Summer, musician Madeline Rosene is hyped for Sad Girl Fall. Two years after the release of her debut album, Raised on Porn, Madeline will release her second album on September 16th, 2022, titled Everyday Existential Crisis. The album grapples with the ups and downs of figuring out who you are.
I am a singer/songwriter with sad girl music, says Rosene. But overall, this album is a little chilly, but at times it is bright and brilliant.
The independent artist has gone through some major changes over the last two years, moving back to Cleveland, Ohio where she grew up and meeting her fiancé. But as the world reopens, Rosene is returning with music.
We caught up with Rosene to learn more about her artistic process and what we can expect from her upcoming album:
Emily Cieslak: I think it is really cool that you both create music and write for magazines. What came first for you?
Madeline Rosene: I have always wanted to write no matter what it was. Does not matter if it is a song, article or long winded email. I just want to document things. Songwriting to me is like non-fiction storytelling, and that is my favorite kind of writing: non-fiction narratives. Before anything else, I am a writer.
EC: Why do you prefer songwriting over other types of writing?
MR: I think you can get deeper and feel things harder through songwriting. I think music makes you feel things you would not feel if you were reading something dry. When I say dry, I mean without a melody. The combination of music and lyrics together; the possibilities are endless when it comes to making other people feel emotion and making them feel the emotion you are feeling.
Because when you think about it theoretically, you have two different artistic points of view. You have the lyrics which are telling the story, but you also have the dynamics of music: the minors and the majors, the tempo. When you put them together, you get closer to the truth. It is all encompassing.
EC: What is your songwriting process like?
MR: I used to think that I had a process, but I am not sure if I do. Sometimes I hear chords, and I am like, Damn, I need to hear what that is! and I will play with that chord progression and make it into something that is more original. When you start working on a melody, it makes you feel a certain way and words pop into your head.
But then sometimes, I just write down lyrics in the middle of my day, and then I am like, I should turn that into a song at some point. Or I will be in the studio and my writing partner will be like, Let us write a song about this. We will just toss around concept ideas.
For anyone that wants to start writing music, the first thing you should tell them is you have to figure out what works for you and there is no right way. Whoever tells you that there is a right way is lying to you.
EC: What about making music videos?
MR: To me, creating a music video is making a fantasy and art that you are collaborating on with other people, and honestly it is one of the most magical things to do in the world. One of my greatest loves is creating music videos. I just love the whole visual component of music because lyrics can be so visual, and I try to write visual lyrics, but it just adds a whole other element and layer that can reinforce a songs meaning.
EC: Can you walk us through the concept of one of your videos?
MR: So Numb, for instance, I did not come up with the music video idea until after it was done. It just has this dancey feel, and I usually do not write things like that. The whole song is about feeling numb. You are in Los Angeles, and you are surrounded by people who are constantly pursuing their dreams. You know there are people who want something from you. And emotionally, you cannot give it to them. And I just thought of this concept of being this glamorous star, and I kept thinking about the musical Chicago. I love the character, Roxie Hart. And I was just like, What would it be like if Roxie Hart meets a totally irreverent, bored girl that is not really all there?
EC: How do you find people to work with that you trust?
MR: I think I am very lucky. But I go with gut and intuition, and I am not always right. I have had people betray me and talk behind my back. I keep my circle small and people that I do work with I am very loyal to. And it is all about making things a group effort. And making sure everyone that is involved is getting what they need out of the project because everyone has their own talents and those talents should shine through whatever it is that we are doing.
Once you recognize that someone is really good at something, you have to tell them. Chances are they are not being told enough. There are so many talented people in this world that do not get half the praise that they should.
EC: With all this talent out there, how do you find your voice and stay true to yourself?
MR: Well the good thing is I only listen to 10 songs. I am kidding, but I get really obsessed with songs and listen to them hundreds of times. And I do not get sick of them. That is when I know it is a really good song.
I think I accidentally limit myself from listening to all of the things that I could be hearing, and I do not follow a lot of pop music. I am open to it, but unless I find something that is so fucking original and spectacular and makes me think and challenges me then I am probably not going listen to it. I guess my ear is always open, but my ears are not always excited
EC: So what do you listen to?
MR: Well today I put on the soundtrack of that movie called That Thing You Do and listened to it all day. I love soundtracks. They are diverse and cinematic. When I was little, I thought I wanted to be a music supervisor and pick songs for TV and film.
EC: How would you describe your own sound?
MR: I would describe it as confused. Just kidding, but not really. It is a little all over the place. It has some rock-pop aspects, modern, experimental.
EC: Do you have a favorite song that you have made?
MR: Well I usually love the last song I wrote, whatever that is. But if I had to pick one overall, I really love Talking to Myself. The visual component was amazing. I love that music video. I really felt like I was just being myself, that what I was portraying was really true. And I did not really care if people got it or not. And that is true about most of my music. I do not really care if people get it or not because I get it. They might think that they get it, and that is the same as them getting it as far as I am concerned. Music is just about what you get from it and what it can do for you and how it can make you feel.
EC: Can you tell us a little more about your new album that is coming out this year?MR: I hope this album tells a story that is relatable to almost everyone: the story of not knowing where you belong on this earth, what path you are meant to take, the struggle of whether or not you are making the right choices. It will tell stories of coming to conclusions and having epiphanies but also constant indecision, moments of extreme confidence followed by moments of extreme self-doubt and self-loathing. It will talk about over stimulation, jealousy, honesty and self-acceptance; all of which I think the world struggles with in a very real way because of the effects of social media.
EC: Does writing music help you heal?
MR: Yeah, I think it helps me move on faster from negativity. Writing a song is almost creating a tangible thing that you can feel good about. I took this shitty situation, and I actually made something cool. It makes you feel like you did not waste your time and maybe you learned something and created something, and that is double good.