Interview: Deep South Texas Country Artist Madelyn Victoria

Madelyn Victoria was born on September 2nd, in Harlingen, TX, and has literally been influenced by Country music since then. “My obstetrician, Doctor Hughston, had Country music playing throughout the operating room while he delivered me! I think that’s the coolest thing, and one of the many reasons why I love Country music so much.” Her penchant for singing and performing was evident at an early age, with only a brush as a microphone, and coffee table as a stage, Madelyn would perform for her family singing along to George Strait, Alan Jackson, Selena, and more. Currently, Madelyn Victoria and her own band perform at local venues, honkytonks, bars, and events in south Texas.

Madelyn Victoria has opened up for and shared the stage with Easton Corbin, Turnpike Troubadours, Tracy Lawrence, Kevin Fowler, Clay Walker, Josh Thompson, Dustin Lynch, Zac Brown Band, The Charlie Daniels Band, and more. “Country music hits the heart, and feeds the soul; it’s the story of all our lives in one way or another.” That’s Madelyn Victoria’s perspective on the depth of Country music and just one of many reasons why this talented young vocalist and songwriter from Deep South Texas decided to pursue a career in the Country Music industry.

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  1. How and when did you get started in the music business?

Madelyn Victoria: I have been singing since I was about 5 years old, started songwriting at 13, and started my first band my senior year of high school. I have been booking myself all over south Texas since then. Everything sort of started for me when I was 15 though- my parents took me to a talent search and was selected to attend Barbizon School of Talent then signed with Dallas Model Group, focusing on my singing and acting. I went to New York City and competed in a showcase held at the Waldorf Astoria… I won a couple competitions and had a few call backs from bigger agencies that wanted to sign me but my parents and I decided that I should wait on all that and finish my high school years… I then got casted for Radio Disney Superstars where I opened for the Jonas Brothers. I consider that as getting started in the music business and knew as during that time that I would be doing this for the rest of my life.

  1. Who were your first musical influences that you can remember?

Madelyn Victoria: George Strait is my number one influence… His songs take me back to my childhood years riding around town with my dad and remind me of all the good memories of growing up. I also love Johnny Cash, Alan Jackson, Patsy Cline, and the late tejano singer Selena.

  1. Which artists are you currently listening to?

Madelyn Victoria: There are so many awesome new artists and bands that I absolutely love and hope to make music with them all someday! I love Sam Outlaw, Sturgill Simpson, Kelsey Waldon, Turnpike Troubadours, Eddie Saenz, Chris Stapleton, and Blackberry Smoke. They all play a major influence on my music as well.

  1. If you had the choice to sing a duet with any international star of your choice, who would that be and why ?

Madelyn Victoria: When I was younger I used to watch CMT Crossroads and I always would imagine who I would sing with on the show… since the show was based on singing with an artist from a different genre, I wanted to sing with Alicia Keys so bad. I love the soul in her music, she is such a talent. There are so many artists that I would love to sing a duet with but I gotta go with the king of Country- George Strait. I actually have a song I wrote already in mind for our first duet, haha.

  1. What was the initial attraction towards performing Country music?

Madelyn Victoria:  I’ve been listening to Country music my whole life and just something about the simplicity and truth in the music that makes me feel peaceful and happy. Even sad country songs make me happy! It’s that same comforting and warm feeling you get when you’re finally home from being away for a while… and my favorite instruments are the fiddle and steel guitar so it sort of made sense for me to sing and pursue a career with the music that I love.

  1. Which do you ultimately prefer? Entertaining a live audience or creating songs in a studio setting?

Madelyn Victoria: Oh man that’s a tough one! Because without the creation of songs then there would be nothing to entertain the people with..haha. I really can’t choose I love both so much! But change the creating songs in a studio to by a bonfire and that’s my perfect setting for creating songs 😉

  1. Do you have a fixed backing band on your recordings and live shows, or do you have different musicians for your projects?

Madelyn Victoria: My latest self-titled EP is my first real project and had some really great Texas Country musicians on the record. I have many different local musicians that play for me til I get a real set band for touring and what not. I love all the guys and love having so many musicians involved in my career.

  8. Do you compose your own songs and do you play any instruments?

Madelyn Victoria: I do compose most of my songs. Lately my brother has been getting in on some co-writing, and this past summer we had our first experience in the songwriting scene in Nashville and wrote with two extremely talented writers- Nick Nichols and Amy Chenoweth. We came up with two songs I know everyone is going to love. I play the guitar but only for songwriting… my brother plays acoustic guitar with me for performances. He’s my musical partner in crime!

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  1. How did the song, “He Only Loves Me on the Dancefloor” come about?

Madelyn Victoria: I wrote this song about 4 years ago and was inspired by what I see at the dance halls I go to. It could be about the physical attraction two people have and dance all night, or it could be about that one guy/girl you know you shouldn’t be around but just can’t help yourself… I know A LOT of people, including myself of course, can relate to that… haha. I’m so excited that it is climbing the charts and so happy people are loving it.

  1. Do you remember your first public appearance and the experiences involved?

Madelyn Victoria: I was only 5 years old when I sang in public for the first time. My older cousin Roxann had me sing “Silent Night” at her high school Christmas play, and I can still remember the shocked look on people’s faces watching a tiny little girl singing all by herself, they all cheered so I guess they liked it haha. It’s kind of funny but I remember feeling at that age the same way I do now when I perform. I can see people’s faces while they listen to me and I think “Wow! This is so crazy that people seem to be enjoying this!” The people that enjoy what I love doing is what keeps me going.

  1. Have you had any formal lessons or training to improve your craft?

Madelyn Victoria: The only training I had consistently throughout my youth was school choir. I did a little bit of mariachi and opera training, but no real formal vocal lessons. Recently I had a class with the amazing Linda Davis in Nashville on vocal performance and it was awesome! She is such an inspiring, amazing lady. I can’t wait til I could get professional training all the time to improve my voice, I know that I can do so much more with it.

  1. What usually comes to you first when composing a song, the lyrics or the music?

Madelyn Victoria: It’s actually a tie between those two- a line or lyrics could come to me out of the blue or a melody that I’ll start humming and record it on my phone right away… I don’t believe there is a “set” way of songwriting as long as it comes from the heart and know you’re style and structure.

  1. Which aspect of being an independent artist and the music making process excites you most and which aspect discourages you most?

Madelyn Victoria:  I love the freedom and learning experience of being an independent artist… I’m out here earning my stripes and in the end it’s going to be so worth the knowledge and wisdom I’ll gain from all the hard times. With the music new Country radio is playing right now and what they are pushing to the masses is not necessarily my style, though there are a few artists that I love out on radio right now, it kind of scares me that I may not be accepted.. but I know that as long as I stay true to myself everything will fall into place.

  1. The best piece of advice in this business you actually followed so far, and one you didn’t follow, but now know for sure that you should have?

Madelyn Victoria: A lot of big artists that I’ve shared the stage with, and industry professionals all have given me some great advice. I’ve always had the phrase “Never give up” within me because of them. I really don’t have anything I regret doing or not doing in my career… because every choice you make is a learning experience.

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  1. If anything at all, what is the one thing you envy about major label artists besides their big budgets?

Madelyn Victoria: I really don’t envy any one of them. I see myself where God wants me to be and I know I will get to the end of my success story sooner than I think so I am enjoying the ride as much as I can before I get there.

  1. Do you consider Internet and all the social media websites, as fundamental to your career, and independent music in general?

Madelyn Victoria: Absolutely! There are pros and cons to every music era/generation and social media is a very powerful and important tool for us artists today. I try to keep up with all my accounts, so y’all look me up!

  1. If someone has never heard your music, which keywords would you personally use to describe what you do?

Madelyn Victoria: Traditional, catchy, fun, heartfelt, and simply Country.

  1. How do you market and manage your music career? Do you have a management team or do you control everything by yourself?

Madelyn Victoria: I just recently started working with MTS Management for promotion and publicity and also Star 1 Records… They are all so awesome and I thank them for all the hard work they do for me. I still do a lot of my own marketing and booking.

  1. As you work your way through your career, which more than any other fires-up your imagination – A Grammy award, Platinum music sales or some other tangible milestone?

Madelyn Victoria: I absolutely cannot wait for the day when I start selling out shows- to have my first tour completely sold out is what I dream about. At every show I have now, whether there’s 5 people in the crowd, 50, or 500- I give it my all and imagine so much more. A Grammy would be pretty cool too though, haha.

  1. What is the ONE thing you are NOT willing or prepared to do EVER, in your quest to achieve a successful musical career?

Madelyn Victoria: I would never sing/record something I thought was not going to portray my image and who I want to be in the Country music industry… I also would never compromise my morals, values, or faith to advance my career.

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Rick Jamm

Journalist, publicist and indie music producer with a fervent passion for electric guitars and mixing desks !

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