Los Angeles-based Madison Rose is a technicolor sensation- a remarkable entity transported from an alternate, rainbow universe to inspire a generational transformation.
She is here to bring about unequivocal acceptance in ourselves and others- be who you want to be, no f**ks given.
If you don’t know her by now, then you’ve probably been asleep at the wheel. But not to worry. We have gained exclusive access into the consciousness of one of the most auspicious talents in music today.
So read on for your dose of the hypnotic Madison Rose.
Was it your creative vision for the ’rainbow phone.’ visual?
"I had a lot of big, crazy ideas for the ’rainbow phone.’ music video and it’s always important for me to find a collaborator that I can spew all this craziness at. Someone who can help synthesize how we’re actually going to achieve it, all while on an indie artist budget. I found those partners in co-directors Ian Rowe and Dillon Petrillo. I knew I wanted this retro feel to juxtapose a very futuristic sounding song. I started off by sending over all these ideas centring around me working as a telemarketer or an infomercial sales character who was “selling colour”. Ian rounded out the story with the idea of us seeing the other side of the TV and having “infomercial me” interact with a viewer of the infomercial. In early passes of the concept, we were going to have a young girl look alike watch me - but ultimately settled on the idea that it would be a more powerful statement if I played both characters. And thank God for Dillon. He made some of my more seemingly outlandish ideas come to life. He is a wizard at editing. I thought raining skittles would be a huge ask and yet there we have it- raining skittles as well as millions of other fun things he created out of thin air in the editing process. It’s definitely a video you can watch multiple times and you’ll always find something new in it."
The song refers to a hotline that people can phone for a good time. Talk us through the deeper meaning here.
"I don’t think the initial idea was too deep. For those who know me well, I am a huge creative but also incredibly analytical. I remember going into the studio session for the song and wanting to just have fun. I wanted to create something I felt was a part of my personality and artistry but that was something people hadn’t seen from me yet. I am deeply inspired by rap culture and wanted to put my own rainbow pop spin on it."
It could be a worthwhile business venture as well?
"Now, as the song has grown, and I have seen the response, I do think I’d like to develop the rainbow phone into a LGBTQIA+ call centre. A place that people of the community can call for various mental health support and resources."
Were you expecting the success that the song garnered on TikTok?
"In the humblest way possible - yes! At the time of making the song, I knew nothing about Tik Tok. But as time passed and Tik Tok grew and I became a part of that community, I realized how much that platform values individuality and having fun, so I knew that people would respond. What I didn’t expect was all the art they would create with my song underscoring it. It’s been so rewarding to see all these visual artists, stylists, dancers etc. express themselves."
What are some of your favourite outfits that you have worn?
"One of my favourite outfits that I have ever worn was a custom purple space cowgirl outfit that a dear friend of mine- James Dii- created for a performance I did at EDC Vegas. It was my favourite because I got to conceptualize it with James and that’s ultimately what I want to do with every look I wear! Custom errythang. Also, the jacket from the ’rainbow phone.’ music video is also a favourite as I hand painted that myself."
You recently posted a message on Twitter asking people to reach out to you if they felt that you had not shown appreciation towards them in the past two years. Did you have a lot on your plate?
"I think as an artist trying to make it and as a human being trying to make it in this world, you often get tunnel vision when you’re trying to survive. I did have a lot on my plate - but there is nothing I care more about than my family and friends. I am always going to be an open book and always want the people that have loved and supported me to know I am there for them no matter what. It’s important for me to keep strong relationships in my life. I feel like miscommunication is the death of so many potentially life-long connections and I try to avoid this."
You also tweeted the following: “august brought me a lot of pain truthfully...i am praying for things to shift in September...i desperately need a shift.” Is everything okay?
"I mean, we are still in a pandemic! That alone is enough pressure to feel a bit crushed at times. I am okay - but it’s because I choose to be. Positivity and gratitude are something I must actively choose to get through the day because life as an up and coming artist and a young black woman is increasingly difficult in this time. I never want my fans to think I am putting on a show. I am going to tell you when I’m good and I am going to tell you when I’m not, and I want to inspire others to be open to every part of their human experience and emotions. You need every experience, light or dark, to have a fulfilled life."
In your Twitter bio it says: “rainbow girl against a storm cloud world.” What does this mean?
"I use all the colours of who I am and all the experiences in my life to combat the grey of the world. That is my mission - to inspire others to access all the parts of themselves and love them, and to deliver them to this broken world we live in and spread joy and understanding into it."
The single releases so far are game-changing, but we are longing for a debut full-length. Is there an album in the works?
"Yes, yes, yes! I am so excited to give everyone an album because I still prefer the album model to singles. I am working on a conceptual piece now and the goal is to give it to the world in Spring 2021."
INTERVIEW BY ALISTER ROSS