Maddie Poppe Talks Americana Single, People's Choice Nomination & Newfound Fame: Exclusive Interview


It was solely a yr in the past when Maddie Poppe, a then-unknown singer-songwriter from a small Iowa city, performed "Rainbow Connection" for American Idol judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie. The trio despatched her via to the subsequent spherical with a golden ticket, and, unbeknownst to her, that piece of paper would change her life.

In the time since her first audition (Oct. three, 2017), the 20-year-old indie folks singer has competed on Idol -- which she ended up profitable -- carried out on quite a few speak exhibits, launched into the American Idol Live! tour, launched a Christmas single and labored tirelessly on her forthcoming debut album.

“It’s like every part was going 100 miles an hour and I simply needed to leap on it and go together with it,” Poppe tells Billboard in an unique interview. “They at all times say it’s just like the quick monitor to fame, and that’s what it was for some time.”

Life may need slowed down for Poppe, but it surely definitely hasn’t stopped. Her first unique post-Idol single, “Keep On Movin' On,” is ready for launch on Friday (Oct. 26) and can be adopted by a music video on Nov 2. With a sound that brings to thoughts a Lumineers anthem, the Americana monitor stretches exterior the pop confines of Poppe’s Julia Michaels-penned Idol coronation music, “Going Going Gone."

“People can interpret that nonetheless they wish to whether or not that’s shifting on from a relationship or shifting on to the subsequent step in life,” says Poppe. “It sounds lots completely different than every part else proper now, and I feel that’s why I picked it; It’s distinctive.”

The entirety of Poppe’s upcoming album will push style boundaries by combining pop, nation and straightforward listening parts. Although Poppe and her crew haven’t lower all of the songs but and even determined which of them will make the ultimate lower for the possible spring launch, she’s been an energetic participant in writing and recording classes in L.A. While the work has been exhausting for the budding younger star -- as she spends lengthy hours trying to channel the vibe of artists reminiscent of Brandi Carlile and Sara Bareilles -- she’s realized lots from the songwriters she's working with.

“I can’t simply sit down for just a few hours and write one thing utterly," says Poppe. "But these folks? It’s loopy since you’ll simply sit down, and any individual will provide you with a melody, and this lady will be capable of map out the entire music then and there.”

In November Poppe will get to share how she utilized the Idol platform to create a music profession on the Billboard Live Music Summit and Awards in Hollywood, California. She will broaden on her plans for the approaching yr alongside artists together with Shawn Mendes, Taylor Bennett and New Kids on the Block, who will inform their tales of success and wrestle.

“It’s an honor, for certain, to be part of it,” mentioned Poppe. “Billboard is a big deal."

Poppe additionally managed to attain herself a spot on the People’s Choice Awards as a nominee within the Competition Contestant class with out even realizing it. She discovered she was within the working via Twitter however didn’t wish to get her hopes up as a result of she was up in opposition to a cross part of tv stars. Her pleasure grew when she grew to become a top-five finalist alongside Nikki Bella from Dancing With The Stars, The Voice's Brynn Cartelli, The Amazing Race's Cody Nickson and Eva Igo from World of Dance.

“I do know folks had my again on Idol as a result of clearly they voted me via to win, however to nonetheless know that persons are voting for me? That’s actually cool," she says.

Poppe’s fanbase rapidly coalesced throughout her Idol run and contains over half-a-million followers stretching throughout her social media accounts. While she appreciates all of the assist and kindness her followers have provided her, the celebrity has been an adjustment. “People know every part and every part you do,” she says. “Like I’ll see child footage of myself, and I’ll be like, ‘how do you've got this image?”

Despite having a lot of her existence put on show, she’s managed to carry on to a personal life exterior of the music scene's craziness. She started courting Idol runner-up Caleb Lee Hutchinson early within the competitors, however information of their relationship stayed non-public till the finale. The couple has continued courting, however they've made certain to maintain their non-public lives separate, hardly ever speaking to one another about their music business careers.

“There’s stuff that occurs in my profession and his profession that we each don't know about, and we’ll discover out and be like, ‘oh my gosh, that’s so thrilling,’ however we don’t see one another as musicians,” says Poppe. “I feel I simply kinda see him as Caleb -- he sees me as Maddie -- as a result of once we first met, we had been simply associates like that. I feel I’m actually glad that we met earlier than any of it occurred.”

Her distinctive perspective was fashioned by her pre-fame life, which she's saved in thoughts as new experiences stack up. "I can nonetheless see each circumstance as an outsider as a result of a yr in the past, I used to be simply questioning what this way of life can be like,” she says. “I listened to songs on the radio and had no thought what was occurring within the business or how issues got here collectively, and now that I’m in it, I can see each side.”

Poppe hopes to carry out music exterior of the Idol universe on her subsequent tour. While she had a lot of enjoyable on the American Idol Live! tour alongside her associates, she will be able to't think about how rather more enjoyable it will likely be to decide on her personal songs and decide what her exhibits seem like. Although this dream hasn't come to fruition but, she continues to depend on the superpower that has gotten her this far: staying true to herself.

“When I used to be on the present, I used to be singing songs that I'd sing exterior of the present,” says Poppe. “I wasn’t simply selecting songs like, ‘oh, it must be a Disney music, but it surely must sound good on my voice.’ It was extra of, ‘oh, I like this music, and it type of suits my fashion.’ American Idol simply occurred to be the platform that took me to the subsequent stage.”

Poppe was proper; Idol was just the start. If she continues to embrace the components of herself that make her Maddie, a world of alternative will certainly open up for her.

“I’m not doing music to please different folks,” she says. “I’m simply going to stay to what I like. I gained the present doing it, so I feel I’m going to maintain going there.”