Songwriter Spotlight: Madison Wolfe
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"Listen to your mix on crappy headphones, good headphones, in the car, on the computer, in every setting," Madison Wolfe
Last week, I was able to sit down with Nashville singer-songwriter, Madison Wolfe, to talk about her music, career, and future. She is an independent writer and an amazing woman. Madison is highly motivated and loves what she does. Music is her passion and you can tell right when she walks in the room. With her degree from Belmont University in Music Business, she is experienced in many sides of the always-changing music industry. Madison Wolfe is also a regular songwriter at The Listening Room and has met so many genuine writers through the venue.
What many people are not aware of is how long of a process it is to write, record, and produce your music, even if it is only one single. Madison Wolfe and writers Jordan Rainer and Ryan Rossebo sat down one day and wrote "Drive," in four hours. Co-writes can be difficult with other writers you don't connect with, but this is a solid group of people. Madison had brought some ideas to the write (like you are usually supposed to do) and everyone started to think of cool, one-word titles. The word drive came up in conversation and Madison brought attention to it. "Have you ever driven at three in the morning and have secrets only you know about it? Everything feels different and fun at night, there's a curiosity with driving at night."
Jordan and another writer Kevin recorded a demo of "Drive," and the next week, they were all building the song up in the studio. The producer already had 85% of the mix was pre-tracked. Kevin played almost all the instruments that were not programmed and then Jordan came into the studio to watch Madison lay vocal tracks down. A week and a half later, there was a rough mix. Then minor adjustments and sending it to get mastered. All in all, Madison mentioned this was about a six-week project. You can push out music faster, but you need to make sure your mix is perfect. You need to make sure you listen to it in every setting and listen for any minor imperfections.
What I liked the most about Madison as a person and as a writer is that she thrives on constructive criticism. There are organizations such as NSAI that will allow members to submit songs to get reviewed by professionals in the industry. "I needed someone to tell me how to be successful and what I was doing wrong." It is so crucial for writers to know that they can always improve a project or a song. No one knows everything, but some experienced writers have been making a living for decades. Madison has encouragement from friends and family to pursue her artistry and has advice from other writers on how to keep improving.
Drive Song Review:
"Drive, let's chase the moon around the world tonight, I can't think of nothing better"
Drive is 100% radio quality. It has everything needed for a 2021 Nashville country song. Drive reminds me of Taylor Swift's, "Our Song," and is a perfect summer song to roll down your windows with someone you like in the passenger seat. Anyone can relate to this song.
It is a typical ABABCB pattern with only a 12-second introduction. This is one of the main reasons why it needs to be pushed for radio. When writing, you need to keep in mind a listener's attention span. The world is so fast-paced that we need everything now.
Lyrically, it is very easy to listen to and understand every word Madison is singing. The harmonies blend well with the instrumentation. With Drive finishing at 3:14 is a good length, might seem a little long for some listeners, but like the title of the song, it just drives by. It has a great flow and is lyrically pleasant, that you don't notice how long it is and can leave you wanting more to the story. There are quick guitar solos to fill in the spaces.
The production on Drive is great! The levels are good and everything is crystal clear. Nothing is muddy and the vocals are very present. No heavy added effects or auto-tune. If you hear Madison live, you'll know this is her authentic voice. There is nothing better than listening to a pop country song that has the elements of 2000s country. The instrumentation fits Kelsea Ballerini and The Chicks.
Madison Wolfe and her team put in everything they had into this release and you can hear it. Click Madison Wolfe's LinkTree below to stay updated on her future shows and releases!