In an era of cookie-cutter pop idols, 14-year-old songstress Madisyn Elise is blazing her own path to stardom. A talented artist with entrepreneurial vision, Madisyn writes her own material, plays multiple instruments and co-owns the independent music label MEK7 Entertainment. Madisyn’s trademark sound is a bold mix of pop, rock and R&B that channels her youthful energy, with positive, inspirational lyrics that reflect a maturity far beyond her years. Case in point is her debut single “Crazy, Crazy,” a powerful anti-bullying anthem she wrote after being harassed by peers at school.
“This one experience kind of tipped me over,” said Madisyn, a native of College Park, Georgia. “I was just really tired and sad and depressed, and I wrote that song because of everything that I had been through.”
Backed by a whirlwind of percussion and piercing strings, the lyrics depict the pain, isolation and hopelessness of a teen who’s been pushed to the brink:
I just can’t take it,
all their words and their hatred,
replaying over, over, and over
You know people we have crazy ways,
it only takes one bad day to want to end it all
The response to the track has been overwhelming. Madisyn was named a finalist in the Teen category of the 2013 International Songwriting Competition, and she landed national news coverage when media giant CNN ran a story about “Crazy, Crazy” and its potent, personal message about bullying.
“To think that something I wrote alone in my room has touched so many people is amazing,” said Madisyn. “It’s overwhelming to me to know that I actually had an influence in people’s lives and the song stopped them from hurting themselves and made them feel like somebody else out there was going through what they were going through.”
The success of “Crazy, Crazy” wasn’t the only highlight of 2013. Madisyn also won McDonald’s The Gift: Youth Singing Competition, sang the National Anthem at the Georgia Dome prior to the Atlanta Falcons-Carolina Panthers game, and had a remix of her song “Sirens Call” chosen as the official kickoff for Danie B’s afternoon radio show on N.Y.-based hip hop/R&B station JAMZ 96.3.
For a teen artist who just began pursuing a music career in 2011, these are lofty achievements. And for Madisyn, they’re just the beginning. Looking ahead, the gifted 8th-grader continues to write and record music, with plans to release an album in the near future and hopes to one day develop other artists and spread her inspirational messages across the globe. When asked about her vision of long-term success, Madisyn answers not in terms of fame or fortune, No. 1 hits, platinum records or prestigious awards, but the lives she can change.
“When you do something that you love, you’re not really getting into it for the money and that type of thing—you’re doing it because you want to help other people with your gift,” said Madisyn. “I just really want to touch people with my music and make them feel better about themselves and let them know that they’re not alone.”