the insider: Madeline Fuhrman

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hair by marc mena all photos by tina turnbow

With her smoky and heart-swelling vocals, Madeline Fuhrman is on the verge of something huge. Reminiscent of her heroines Edith Piaf and Ella Fitzgerald, Madeline's voice is raw and true. Her lyrics might be infused with defiance and grace, but it's not all about romance for this soulful Angeleno -- it's about believing in your power and changing the world. Just don't call the raspy-sounding songstress a singer; she is a boundary-breaking performer, producer and song-writer with the force of a superstar. NYLON hung out with the multi-hyphenate to talk music, style, and not brushing her hair.

Fill us in: What have you been up to lately?

I’ve been writing a lot! I’ve been in the studio with some amazing writers and producers like Graham Edwards (Avril Lavigne, Rihanna, Justin Bieber)BATTLEROY (Shakira, Eminem, Bruno Mars)Tim Larcombe (Lana del Rey)Ryan “Ryghteous” Tedder (J.Lo, Wiz Khalifa, Chris Brown), Chizzy (J.Lo, Chris Brown, Justin Bieber)DJ Kalkutta (Halsey, Cash Cash) and  The Blueprint (The CabBig Time Rush, Austin Mahone) who wrote “The Alchemist” with me. I’m also producing, which has been really rewarding and helpful for my writing.  Aside from studio time I am crafting my own sound and rehearsing for shows to push my artist project.  My first show with my artist material is at the Sunset Marquis Friday the 19th of September for their Storytellers night.  I’m really excited for that. 

Can give us a little glimpse into your studio and your songwriting process?

 Well my personal studio is in my room; it’s low-key but gets the job done! I have a collection of guitars and synths, mixing monitors, a solid microphone and a huge chalkboard wall. When I have other producers come in, all they have to do is plug in their computer, so it’s been super convenient to have for out-of-town collaborators. It’s a really creative and productive space, but I can write anywhere and everywhere. 

As for the songwriting process, it changes with each song because I never know where I’ll draw inspiration. I can be working out and will come up with a drum beat or write a hook acapella while driving home, it just depends on what I’m thinking in the current moment. Collaborating in sessions is also inspiring because I get to leave my usual space and mix in new people that add a different perspective and style to the work I wouldn’t often think to bring.

You lost your bangs! Why'd you decide to grow them out?

The bangs may come back some time in the future, but I’m loving how free my hair feels not having to constantly brush my bangs down and make sure they’re styled. And I love that now everyone can see my eyes with my hair out of my face. 

 You have such gorgeous hair. Are there any products or treatments you use to maintain it? 

Coming off of me saying I didn’t like to brush or style my bangs...not really! I wash it regularly and don’t really do anything to it to be honest. Like, I really did wake up like this. 

What's your latest cosmetic or skincare discovery?

I swear by my Too-Faced No Makeup Makeup palette, it’s amazing! Depending on how I use it I can highlight my face just right and it looks really natural. Add a little mascara and that’s really my everyday makeup look. If I go out I’ll add some gold eyeshadow, of course.

 Your jewelry collection is rad. Are there some recent brands you are loving?

Thank you! I mean...if you know me, I love gold. My favorite gold pieces like my magpie and feather necklaces I’m always wearing are actually from LoveGold, which is this fabulous group dedicated to appreciation of gold jewelry. On the more practical but whimsical side, I love VeraMeat. She has the most interesting molds and pieces like my fox-head gold/brass cuffs. So a good mix of sophisticated and weird if I do say so myself. 

Besides your own music, what are you listening to these days? 

I’m listening to an interesting mix. Recently I’ve been into artists like Chet Faker, Bastille, Selah Sue, FKA Twgs, and then of course I’ll never get tired of listening to Eminem for the crazy wordplay. Beyoncé’s latest album was also super inspiring for it's shock-value, execution, and overall epic-ness. Then, I have my all-time favorites like Edith Piaf, Ella Fitgerald and Natalie ColeLet’s just say I’m always listening and I love when people send me music, too.