Warner Records has signed “pop wunderkind” Madeline the Person to their label, Billboard can exclusively announce. The 19-year-old singer-songwriter also released her debut Warner single “As A Child” on Friday (March 19).
Learning to play piano at the age of four and guitar shortly after, Madeline says she was always musically inclined. But the rising star tells Billboard that it wasn’t until her father’s passing when she was 15 years old that she came into her own as a songwriter.
“I turned to music,” she says. “Following my loss, I was forced to feel every emotion fully, sometimes so deeply that my own feelings would make me physically ill. It can be easy to sugarcoat and try to move on, but I think it’s braver to speak up about all of the hard things. I wanted to talk about how difficult it was and provide a safe space to talk about loss because it’s a part of all of our lives.”
That exercise in examining grief resulted in “As A Child,” a song where Madeline openly sings of the pain that comes with losing someone you love too soon, especially at an early age. “And it burns for a while,” her soulful voice croons.”And it hurts all the more when you carry the world as a child.”
Madeline shared a clip of herself singing a portion of the song on her TikTok (which currently has over 270,000 followers) back in May 2020, where it caught the attention of over a million viewers — one of whom was Warner Records’ vp of A&R, Gabz Landman.
“The amount of talent on TikTok is almost overwhelming, but it means that when we come across a true superstar, it’s instantly obvious, as was the case with Madeline the Person,” she tells Billboard. “Between her unique point of view, unrivaled vocals, genius level songwriting, endless charisma, clear vision and innate musicality, there was no question – we needed her on the label. I remember after his first meeting with Madeline, Aaron Bay-Schuck (CEO of Warner Records) called me and said, ‘She is the future,’ and I couldn’t have said it better myself.”
Bay-Schuck wholeheartedly agrees with Landman’s assessment, telling Billboard, “Madeline was an instantaneous must sign … The minute she picked up the guitar and started singing, I was captivated by both her melodies and her powerful lyrics. I’m not sure I’ve seen another young artist with her combination of talent, poise, sophistication, star power and humble confidence. She is a very important addition to the Warner Records family.”
Madeline is still in disbelief that she is signed to a label that “felt like home immediately,” and says that she couldn’t ask for a more supportive team of people surrounding her. “I am so overwhelmed by how much the label believes in me,” she says. “They even showed up to my signing in monochrome outfits which was my dream. I’m so grateful for their passion and support of my out-of-the-box, colorful and often outlandish ideas. More and more of my dreams come true everyday with my beautiful team.”
Check out Madeline the Person’s “As A Child” below.