Madison Beer at The Belasco | a Backstage Chat
Hours ahead of her sold-out show at the Belasco Theater in Los Angeles, Madison Beer isn't exactly bubbling with confidence. "I’m actually feeling a little nervous," she tells me. "My heart won’t stop beating fast." Youth, beauty and a gaggle fans anxiously awaiting her stage arrival clearly don't equate to a nerve-free backstage experience. "But I know that as soon as I finish the first song everything will be good," Beer adds.
Her story began with a series of YouTube videos which caught the attention of international superstar, Justin Bieber. In 2012, the singer tweeted a link to Beer’s cover of Etta James' “At Last" to his millions of followers. With her apparent talent and his following, the video went viral and gained substantial media coverage. Shortly after, Justin helped get her signed to Island Records.
Now 19, Beer just released her debut EP, As She Pleases. It's a hit on streaming services, boasting more than 100 million plays. Madison also just wrapped her European tour and is currently traveling city to city promoting her new EP as part of her US tour.
Beer kindly invites me into her dressing room as her makeup artist casually dabs a bit of this and that to glam her up. We chat about her EP, heartbreak, and the LA lifestyle before she struts off in shimmering high-waisted, wide-legged bottoms to rock.
FLAUNT: Your EP, As She Pleases, has a great sense of maturity and edge, completely different from your previous work. How was the process transitioning from teen-pop to R&B?
Madison Beer: It was a definitely a “had to happen” type of thing. I’ve always felt really drawn to the type of music that I’m making now. It was pretty natural. It was something that, with age, I knew it would come. I’d be able to express more of what I really like versus what was age appropriate. As I’m getting older, I kind of just allowed myself to fall into the musical category that I really wanted to be in. I’m glad that I get to do that now and that I feel like I’m doing it. It’s been really great.
As She Please expresses raw emotion about relationships and heartbreak. Do you find it difficult to maintain a healthy relationship at this time in your life?
No, I don’t feel like its difficult to maintain a healthy relationship. I am obviously busier than the average, but I feel its kind of like, "If you want something to work, you’ll make it work." But, if it’s not, then there’s no point in even doing it. It’s definitely possible and it's something that if you constantly work at, then you’re good, you’re fine.
In your song, "Home With You," your hook begins with, "I ain't got no time for no games." What type of games have you dealt with in the past that are deal breakers?
God. All kinds. A lot of people feel that they can talk to multiple girls at once and not get caught, but we’re in 2018. Everything is posted, everything is tweeted, everything is texted. I just think that’s a game that’s immature. Also, I’m the type of person that’s so straight up with people. I’m not the type of person that’s just like, “Oh we’re fine,” to your face and behind their back be like, “Oh I hate them.” So yeah, I mean, just be straight up with people and I hate when people are like that.
Do you believe in giving relationships second chances?
Yeah, if something is meant to be then it’s meant to be.
What is your advice to your fans who are currently dealing with heart break?
Listen to “Dead.”
Besides your musical career, are you focusing on any other creative outlets?
Not really, no. I’m kind of just focusing on my music right now and I’m on tour as we speak. I’m just really excited about everything music wise that I don’t really have time to focus on anything else at the moment.
In the past few years, you've made the move from New York to Los Angeles. How have you adapted to the LA lifestyle?
Um, I haven’t. I mean, I’m definitely still a New Yorker at heart. I don’t love LA, but I obviously have to be out here. I mean, I love it. It’s nice. The weather is beautiful, but I’m definitely going to be a New Yorker at heart for sure. I will definitely go back at some point in my life.
Are you ever going to release a Rick and Morty or Bo Burnham inspired track? I know you're a fan.
Yes! I hopefully will. I would love to!
Justin Bieber played a significant role in your musical discovery. What type of career advice has he given you?
He’s given me a lot of career advice. The main thing I’d say is just never give up and that life is going to knock you down and people you know are going to knock you down. But you have to just persevere and work through it. That’s kind of the most significant advice he’s given me and that stuck with me.
Written by Allyson Borunda
Photos by Sean Behr
Hair and Makeup by Marina Gravani at Opus Beauty, using R+CO & YSL Beauty