Like so many girls her age, 15-year-old Madison McWilliams is in love with clothes, shopping, and — most of all — music.
Unlike most girls her age, Madison’s passion for music has led the teen phenom from Austin, Texas to be dubbed a “Pop Music's Latest Darling” by TRIBEZA Magazine, and to achieve her dream: the June 23 release of her debut EP, “MADISON.”
As one of Musical.ly’s Top 15 “NextWave” artists worldwide and a writer on all of her songs, Madison gushes, “My whole life is surrounded by music.”
Starting with her first audition as a child, which landed her the lead role in a local production of “Annie,” and fueled by her mom’s Beatles records, Madison has had a crush on music as long as she can remember. “It’s a piece of who I am.”
Now, with songs like her Top 40-ready “We’ve Got Today” and current single “End of the Tunnel,” Madison — “Dream Teen’s” latest cover girl — is about to prove that music loves her back. It also gives her a powerful way to communicate with other girls, allowing her to express the importance of self-esteem, a value missing from some of today’s pop hits.
“Learn how to read me,” she sings saucily in her summer hit “Easy,” a girl power anthem encouraging confidence and independence. In “End of the Tunnel,” she offers hope: “Monsters underneath your bed / Only real inside your head / Find your way around the dark / All you need’s a little spark.”
As an official Ambassador for Make-A-Wish Central & South Texas, Madison performed “End of the Tunnel” as a special guest at Make-A-Wish World Wish Day, a national fundraiser celebrating over 270,000 wishes already granted. And her song “Fighter," written for the courageous Make-A-Wish kids, debuts this summer to help raise awareness and support for the organization’s Over the Edge effort.
Her antidote for mean girls? “My message is girl power,” she told “Tiger Beat” in her first feature on the iconic site. “As a girl, you need to know that you can do whatever you want, and you’re not limited by anything.”
She took that message to her debut SXSW performance and an appearance at Univision’s “Kindness Palooza.”
Artistry and a sincere message… plus, it doesn’t hurt that it’s impossible not to dance when you hear Madison’s songs!
Though blown away by Céline Dion in Las Vegas as a child — “I was in awe of her voice, her stage presence… it was really good for me for her to be the first person I ever saw in concert!” — Madison’s own show is going to have one additional element: Tons of dancing.
Showing she means business, Madison is currently working on her stage show with renowned choreographer Tina Landon (J.Lo, Rihanna, Shakira).
“When I first started dancing,” Madison admits with a laugh, “I was: Not. Good. At. All. For two years, I just practiced all the time. I worked really hard, and I got good at it.” Knowing fans would expect dancing, she refused to let them down.
The lesson she learned? “I can do anything if I put my mind to it. If you have confidence in what you’re doing and are not afraid to make mistakes, I feel like you can accomplish anything.”
With her busy mom as her #1 inspiration, Madison is juggling preparing her show with online schooling (“I don’t have to sacrifice my education to achieve my dreams!”) and a normal social life. “It gets a little overwhelming at times, but I love music so much that it’s what I love to do with my free time.”
She is even prepping to do more acting, signing with the legendary Randy James and his team, which she calls a true honor.
All of that doesn’t leave a lot of room for boys. “I don’t really have a crush,” Madison says with a secret smile, “because I’m not focused on validating myself in boys right now.” She does have fond memories of summer camp, where “we got all the teen magazines and filled our cabin with posters, covering the walls and ceilings with the Jonas Brothers, Taylor Swift, of course, ‘High School Musical’ all over.”
Her career goals also interfere with her shopping goals, but she makes it work! “I love clothes and fashion. Ooh, Zara — my weakness. They have these flash sales, and I’m not allowed to buy anything that isn’t on sale. Ooh, and Target is amazing.”
Madison describes her style as “fun, young and edgy” — like her music.
She trained with Tony winners in the prestigious Broadway Artists Alliance program, is soaring on social media and has everything it takes to be the next Meghan Trainor… except her biggest pet peeve is, “Do you wanna be the next blank?”
Madison says, “I’d rather tell someone — or sing to someone — about who I really am. I can really become someone’s friend that way.”
Going forward, Madison’s circle of friends will only get wider!
More About Madison….
Cooking, biking, golf (yes, really)
Weirdest Place I Wrote a Song
Back of an airplane napkin
Stage Fright Moments?
I’m weird — I only get nervous after I perform. After, I freak out, Before, I just get excited.
Céline Dion, Aerosmith, the Beatles
Current Fave Music
Shawn Mendes, Rihanna, Meghan Trainor, Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, Julia Michaels, Bebe Rexha
Her Own Favorite New Song
Definitely "End of the Tunnel". The song is really special to me because it is about finding a silver lining in a bad situation.
Most Embarrassing Moment
Falling into the pool in my Halloween costume!