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Emma Madison: “Don’t be too hard on yourself”

Something that I really try to live by is if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all. Can you imagine if the entire internet abided by that rule? Social media would be such an amazing uplifting place. 15-year old Emma Madison is a Southern California-based musical artist/ actress sharing inspirational […]

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Something that I really try to live by is if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all. Can you imagine if the entire internet abided by that rule? Social media would be such an amazing uplifting place.


15-year old Emma Madison is a Southern California-based musical artist/ actress sharing inspirational messages of self-love and female empowerment through original songs. With recent singles “Fire” and “It’s Christmas,” Madison showcases velvety smooth vocals and sparkling melodies that stick to the soul. Developing a passion and natural gift for music from a young age, her talents range from violin, piano, and guitar to choreography and musical performance. Describing her songwriting style as “acoustic Indie,” musical influences include rap, pop, and opera.

Learn more about singer/ songwriter Emma Madison at EmmaMadisonMusic.com, including release updates, her work as the Executive Director of Southern California non-profit Notelove, and more.https://content.thriveglobal.com/media/50fc477c8e995effbfea63e52ad201e1


Thank you so much for joining us in this series! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Can you tell us a bit of the ‘backstory’ of how you grew up?

For sure! I was born and raised in Southern California with my mom, dad, and two brothers. My dad is a pediatrician (meaning I never had to go to the doctor when I was sick), and my mother does many things, one of them being psychiatry. Growing up I loved to express my creative side through music, and I participated in a musical theater program for 9 years. When I was about 12 years old, I started to experiment more with singing pop music, which also led to songwriting. I also love dance and acting, and I am currently attending an arts high school specializing in acting.

Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?

Definitely! For me music has always been my most reliable outlet. Whatever mood I was in, whatever was happening in my life at the time, there were always words and melodies I could use to express myself through music. When I had one of my songs produced for the first time in 2019 by Jeeve, listening to that track for the first time was the most surreal experience. I was listening to myself, but the radio version of myself which was so incredible, and I think that experience really built up my confidence in myself and my music.

Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

Something that I have dealt with when performing since day one, is technical difficulties. During a live performance, nerves are already high. Beginning to sing and realizing your mic is off and nobody can hear you definitely amplifies those feelings of nervousness. Ultimately I am grateful for those experiences, because they taught me how to act under pressure and adjust. Whether you have to just project, or you run over to another performer and sing into their mic, it is an interesting experience for sure.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

I can’t be too hard on myself for this, I was 6 years old, but there was a time when, out of pure laziness, I failed to fully memorize my lyrics before a show. My then 3 year old brother sang his heart out like the star he is, but when my part came, I fumbled through my words (and that’s putting it lightly). I was really frustrated with myself, but I’m ultimately glad this happened because it taught me the importance of preparation, and not getting lazy in the days leading up to a show.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

Absolutely! I think that the most important people in my life who have helped me pursue what I love is my family. Both of my parents have always been supportive of me, which is definitely essential in this business. My two little brothers are also super supportive, I remember when they both used to sit through hours of my dance competitions barely complaining. Another person who has had a huge impact on my music is April Malina, who has been my vocal coach for four years. She has always been there to help me when I am struggling with anything vocally, in the industry or just in life in general.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

I have a new single in the works called “Warrior,” that will be released soon! I really love this one, I think it is cohesive with my other singles in the sense that it is also based around the idea of empowerment. I also just started writing some songs for my EP, so look out for that!

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

  1. Don’t procrastinate. Definitely easier said than done. I am so guilty of procrastinating to the last minute, but it is something that I have been working on and I have noticed that I am so much happier and productive when I don’t procrastinate.
  2. Don’t be too hard on yourself. I have so many days where I am unhappy with my performance, or I wasn’t able to make progress on a song. Honestly, I have realized that being hard on yourself won’t make anything better, so there’s no point. It is definitely much easier said than done, but it is possible!
  3. Enjoy the process! If you’re constantly looking for an end goal and pushing yourself through something you hate, your end goal isn’t worth it. If you aren’t enjoying the process and spend the majority of your time miserable, it probably isn’t something you should be channeling all your energy into.
  4. Don’t worry about being judged. I worried for so long that if I started doing music or acting professionally I would be judged but quite frankly, nobody cares. It’s so cliche, but people really are too focused on themselves to worry about judging you.
  5. Discipline is key. Some days are harder than others, and you won’t always be motivated to put in the work. This is where your discipline and work ethic comes in. If you have the discipline to work even on the days you don’t want to, you are already succeeding.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

I would say that there are definitely days when you don’t feel motivated to work, I have those days all of the time. Even when you feel like watching Netflix in bed all day, try to at least put a little effort into your long term goal. Even that small bit of productivity can completely change your outlook on a day.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Something that I really try to live by is if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all. Can you imagine if the entire internet abided by that rule? Social media would be such an amazing uplifting place.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

My mother told me to be a lady. And for her, that meant be your own person, be independent.” -Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Not only does this sound exactly like something my own mother would say, but it has also helped remember my worth and remind me to always be unapologetically myself. Seeing women like my mother and Ruth Bader Gisnburg, I was able to realize that when you put enough effort into something, things will work out one way or another.

Is there a person in the world, or with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂

I think if I could have dinner with one person, I think it would be Michelle Obama. She is such an incredible person and role model to so many young people. I really admire her confidence and composure, and I would love to meet her one day.

How can our readers follow you online?

They can follow me on TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook @officialemmamadison!l

This was very meaningful, thank you so much! We wish you continued success!

Of course, thank you so much!

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