Hey, remember when American Idol season 11 winner Phillip Phillips dissing his winners single “Home” sent the fandom into a bit of an uproar? Eventually, the tune became the highest selling single from an Idol alum ever. Eventually, once he arranged the song to his liking, Phillip made peace with the song.
Now, it’s the newly minted American Idol, Maddie Poppe, expressing a bit of dissatisfaction with her winners single “Going Going Gone.” She told Forbes magazine in a recent interview that the song isn’t the kind of music she wants to make going forward.
“I love the song,” the singer said, “but it’s too pop for me personally. I love it, but I think that I want to write more singer/songwriter easy listening songs. I think it’s a great start and a gateway to a fan base, but that’s not the kind of music that I hope that I’m releasing in the future.”
In an interview with Bobby Bones for his podcast she elaborated further, One problem with the song is it’s difficulty, “It’s so freaking hard to sing!” she told Bobby. “I don’t love singing it live” explaining that parts of it are out of her range. She’s already slowed up the arrangement, and changed a few of the notes. Co-writer and pop singer Julia Michaels recorded the demo, which Maddie felt “was a lot to live up to” especially since the producer encouraged her to sing it in a similar style.
“That’s the most pop I ever want to be,” Maddie admitted, adding that when the song first came out, there were fans who said things like “Oh no…the industry got ahold of Maddie…”
“I want to get more music out that’s more me soon,” she told Bobby. “So that people know that I’m going to stay true to who I am.”
When asked about the kind of music she wants to release, Maddie told Bobby firmly, “I don’t want to be pop,” adding, “I don’t ever want to play with a track. Don’t ever want dancers on my stage.” Maddie name checked Brandi Carlile, Ingrid Michaelson and Regina Spektor as artists whose songwriting style she emulated.
Still, she insisted that her team is encouraging her to be herself. When she has turned down songs, the label has been “cool with it,” She added, “Everyone is really supportive of who I want to be and what I want to do.”
In any case, Maddie doesn’t want to approach her music thinking about making hits. She wants to create the art she likes, and if people dig it, all the better.
“The tough thing is so many people just care about the money and the radio plays,” Maddie lamented to Forbes. “To a lot of people, I don’t think it really matters what it is if it does well. It’s like a machine and whatever can get the most airtime and whatever can make the most money…but I’m not about that and I don’t ever want to be about that, because I don’t think that that’s what’s going to make me happy,” She continued, “I really want to make music that I want to make even if that means having a fan base of 300,000 instead of 30 million.”
Maddie believes doing her thing instead of second guessing what the audience wanted is part of the reason why she won American Idol. “I did exactly what I wanted to do,” she said, “I didn’t play the game of, ‘Oh, what’s everybody going to like and what’s going to show my range off the most?” She added, “I think that formula worked out well, and so I don’t see why we would change that now.”
A few extra tidbits from the Bobby Bones interview:
- Disney has been following Maddie around with a camera for a documentary
- Maddie “thinks” she won $250,000 dollars (in addition to the label deal). She’s got to set up an “account” first.
- Maddie has the same management as Luke Bryan and Bobby Bones