Review Fix Exclusive: Madison Pepper Talks ‘Constellations’

Review Fix chats with 19-year-old singer/songwriter Madison Pepper, who breaks down her upcoming EP, “Constellations,” as well as sharing her goals for the future and the creative process behind some of her previous work and how it’s played a role in her blossoming career.

A huge fan of Paramore’s Hayley Williams, Peppers brings a booming voice to a more folky and country side, but never forgets to have a more personal side. While being a mega-star would be nice, Pepper just wants to connect with her audience on another level.

Be the first to check out her new video “Ephemeral” below:

Review Fix: Tell us about your forthcoming release Constellations?

Madison Pepper: Constellations is a representation of me as an artist from the beginning to the present through my own music as well as music that has inspired me. More specifically it’s an album of songs from my first EP, songs from my second EP and some of my favorite and most popular covers haha.

Review Fix: What did you learn about yourself from your first two EPs?

Pepper: I learned so much from making my first EP. I learned that I can create a song – an entire song. More than just lyrics, chords and melody but bass and bells and harmonies. That revelation opened up so many possibilities for my songwriting. The second EP was a bit slower and deeper than my first one. I really loved it but it inspired me to make my songs shorter and more upbeat! The experiences were so different. It took me about a year/year and a half to make the first one and 4 weeks to make the second one – lots of improvement!

Review Fix: How was “Ephemeral” written? Is there a story behind it?

Pepper: Ephemeral was written guitar and melody first. It felt really meaningful so I put off the lyrics until I felt something really important needed to be written about. Well once upon a time I thought I was in love. Unfortunately, it kept fading away and then coming back and resulted in a really unhealthy relationship. Whenever I felt like I was in “love” it would disappear at any moment, it was so easily extinguishable, it was “ephemeral” – it wasn’t real. I met a guy that was in a similar situation with a girl he was with. This inspired me to explore this pseudo-love and write about it. I just hope it helps others that are in similar, frustrating situations relate and understand it better themselves and help them figure it out.

Review Fix: What was filming the video like?

Pepper: Filming the video was so fun. But incredibly lengthy haha. We started filming in February and finished in April… Honestly the ‘vision’ changed about three times during filming (my bad) but it was ok. The stars are my friends, and there were many behind the scenes that helped film or were just there for good company and it was so fun. The actual creation and editing of the video was a solo journey but was just as fun. I was creating something I really cared about and challenging myself to do things I’d never had the opportunity to do (I am not a cartoonist but I gave it a shot haha).

Review Fix: There are a ton of singer/songwriters out there. What makes you special?

Pepper: I think two things make me different.

1. My dreams, I’ll elaborate more on that in a moment, but they’re realistic and simple but still excite me so much and motivate me everyday. Since I’ve come to Nashville I’ve met an insane number of musicians and most of them express their dreams to me; winning a Grammy, going multi-platinum, selling out the Staples center, winning The Voice. Those have never been dreams of mine and I think that will help me succeed even more.

2. Why I write music. All I want is to reach people and give my listeners a place to feel and think through my music. My life inspires my songs, but I try to make each one relatable to every kind of listener. Music is where you go to get your emotions out, or understand your emotions better. Giving people that opportunity is the only thing I want and I think that makes me different from a lot of the songwriters that I’ve met so far.

Review Fix: Who are some artists/writers that inspire you?

Pepper: Hayley Williams – the lead vocalist of Paramore – is one of my great inspirations. She sets a great example for her fans; has never been caught super drunk, or doing crazy drugs, or punching someone in the face etc. She has an absolutely amazing voice that just keeps getting stronger which is hard to find these days. And she is a phenomenal performer. This tiny girl can own the stage and the audience in the Allstate Arena. It’s amazing, I hope to capture people’s attention like that one day.

Basia Bulat – she’s a folky singer from Canada and she is amazing. I love her lyrics and she has some of the most beautiful and creative melodies I’ve ever heard. I strive to keep my songs different and ear-catching (similar to eye-catching) and she succeeds in that for sure.

Review Fix: What’s on your musical bucket list?

Pepper: 1. My absolute dream would be to open for Delta Rae – my favorite band.
2. Get a consistent band to back me up.
3. Have a big enough fan base where my shows will easily be attended/full.
4. Hear one of my songs on the radio – preferably an alternative rock XRT/Lightning 100 kind of station.
5. Be a vocalist in an EDM song. I just think that would be so fun and different to do haha.
6. Go on a European tour – nothing big. Just in Europe.

Most of these are super small but whatever I’ll be equally jazzed when any of them happen.

Review Fix: What are your goals for the rest of the year?

Pepper: My goal for the next year is to get people’s attention. I’m releasing my EP Constellations, my music video Ephemeral, and starting a YouTube series where I’ll be going on a handful of adventures – the Smoky Mountains, Bonnaroo, Fall Creek Falls and many more! – and bring my guitar and play a song at each location and document the adventure and bring some music to it! I’m hoping all of these with playing more shows in Nashville will help me build a larger and stronger fan base which is my main and most important goal right now.

Review Fix: What are your long-term goals?

Pepper: All I’ve ever dreamed is to constantly be recording and touring and doing that enough to support myself so I’m not totally starving every day – some hunger is ok though haha. I just want people to like my music enough and want to listen to it enough where I have the opportunity to go on tour and make more music for them. That is my absolute dream and I can’t wait to reach that point in my career.

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About Patrick Hickey Jr. 12076 Articles
Patrick Hickey Jr. is the Founder, Editor-in-Chief, Master Jedi and Grand Pooh-bah of ReviewFix.com and is the author of the book, "The Minds Behind the Games: Interviews with Cult and Classic Video Game Developers," from leading academic and non-fiction publisher McFarland and Company. He is currently the Assistant Director of the Journalism Program at Kingsborough Community College and is a former News Editor at NBC Local Integrated Media and a National Video Games Writer at the late Examiner.com. He has also had articles and photos published in The New York Times, The New York Daily News, Complex and The Syracuse Post-Standard. Love him. Read him.

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