Andrew McMahon Talks Playing the Long Game Into an Unlikely Hit & Solo Success at HipHopMagz Live Music Summit


The former Something Corporate frontman and his crew mentioned their methods for staying linked to the followers and true to McMahon's distinctive fashion.

Singer-songwriter Andrew McMahon has had a novel profession trajectory amongst artists of his technology. As the chief of three completely different profitable music initiatives over the previous 20 years -- Something Corporate, Jack's Mannequin and Andrew McMahon within the Wilderness -- he's been in a position to reinvent himself repeatedly, all whereas sustaining a loyal fan base and persevering with to put in writing songs which might be directly industrial and true to his distinctive, piano-driven sound. That he did all of it whereas surviving leukemia, which he was recognized with in 2005, makes his story all of the extra outstanding.   

At the Billboard Live Music Summit on Wednesday (Nov. 14), McMahon joined moderator and Billboard on-air host Chelsea Briggs and members of his crew to replicate on his journey from unsigned pop-punk wunderkind to celebrated solo artist. Joining him on a panel entitled If I Could Fly, Then I Would Know: The Making of Andrew McMahon and the Wilderness have been McMahon's longtime agent, Josh Humiston of APA; APA's Elizabeth Dixon, who oversees McMahon's tour advertising; Garrett Capone, VP of radio promotion at Crush Music; and Alex Maxwell, nationwide tour promoter for Live Nation. Together, they painted a portrait of an artist who's constructed his profession via forging shut connections together with his followers, a tireless work ethic and at all times staying true to himself.

"If there's something to remove from this panel, so far as I'm involved, it's that you must be prepared to play the lengthy recreation," McMahon informed the gang on the Marquesa Ballroom on the Montage Beverly Hills. He pointed specifically to the success of his first single as Andrew McMahon within the Wilderness, "Cecilia and the Satellite," a music he and Capone labored on for months earlier than it broke via to grow to be the most important hit of the singer-songwriter's profession.

"We all felt the music was particular," stated Capone, "and given the chance it might be what it must be, which is a large hit music." To obtain that objective, Capone and his crew despatched McMahon out a promotional tour that included gigs in every thing from barns to convention rooms -- a method Capone stated the singer was reluctant to embrace at first, although McMahon good-naturedly shot again, "I didn't take a lot convincing, did I?"

Everyone on the panel agreed that they have been followers first, which made it simpler for them to rally behind McMahon's profession. "I began as a SoCo fan in highschool," stated Dixon, utilizing the fan nickname for McMahon's first band, Something Corporate. "So it's enjoyable for me now to have Andrew as a shopper and a pal." Maxwell echoed this, saying she had been listening to McMahon's music since she was 15 and was thrilled when, after leaving her function as expertise purchaser on the Troubadour to hitch Live Nation, she realized that McMahon can be her first shopper. Though the independent-minded artist "had some reservations about Live Nation," Maxwell's apparent affinity for his fan base ultimately received him over. "Andrew clearly loves his followers and I wished to make it possible for he knew that we had their finest pursuits at coronary heart."

With Live Nation's assist, McMahon has continued to construct on the success of exhibits like his acclaimed efficiency at Coachella in 2015, when he and his manufacturing crew unleashed a swarm of balloons that floated over the gang earlier than bursting and raining down confetti. "That turned the mannequin for the way to produce our dwell present -- make this whimsical, make it unusual, make it look lovely," stated McMahon. Since then, as he's performed bigger venues, the artist's repeated message to his crew has been: "How will we make the present as huge as it may be however nonetheless really feel intimate?"

Andrew McMahon within the Wilderness' third album, Upside Down Flowers, comes out Nov. 16 on Fantasy Records. McMahon stated that after 4 years of near-constant touring and recording together with his band, for this one he hunkered down with producer (and fellow Crush artist) Butch Walker in his house studio and "made a report when nobody was trying." "I wished this report to only be mine," he stated. "That's what this album is -- this distillation of this wonderful little break I had at house the place I didn't really feel like I had any stress on me."

"All of his albums have a private contact however this one is even deeper," stated Humiston, who earlier within the panel informed a narrative of doing photographs with McMahon's dad and mom when seeing the then-teenaged singer and Something Corporate, as an unsigned band recent out of highschool, play a sold-out present on the House of Blues in Anaheim.

McMahon, trying again on these early days, stated his profession since then has already exceeded his expectations, citing the hits "Cecilia and the Satellites" and "Fire Escape" and opening for one in all his childhood idols, Billy Joel, as profession milestones. "If I needed to take my ball and go house proper now, I might be like, 'Killer!'" he stated. But he's not able to give up but.

"As I get additional alongside this street," he stated, "I discover myself going, 'What's the following factor?'"