Madison Beer Talks New Single “All For Love,” Her Debut EP (Or Album) & Being A Role Model: Idolator Interview
Madison Beer moved away from the teen-pop of “Melodies” and “Unbreakable” by lending her vocals to Mako’s summer hit “I Won’t Let You Walk Away.” She takes the next step on new single “All For Love” — a sultry dance-pop anthem featuring Jack & Jack. It documents the twists and turns of a fiery relationship over slick, contemporary beats and boasts the kind of instantly hummable chorus that is destined to garner a warm reception at pop radio.
I recently caught up with the 16-year-old to discuss her new single and its glossy, cinematic video. Madison talked about the progression of her sound and the balance between developing as an artist and being a role model to younger fans. She also opened up about the direction of her debut EP or LP (she isn’t quite sure yet) and desire to perform live in the not-too-distant future. Find out more about the rising star below.
How did you find “All For You”? Was it pitched to you?
Jeff Halavacs and Matt Beckley wrote “All for Love” together. They had approached me with it, saying how they thought I’d be a great fit for it. I fell in love with it the second I heard the demo. I couldn’t wait to finally record it. Then, once I put my own kind of flair on it and made it my own, it came out awesome. There’s nothing more that I love, putting out song that I am really happy about.
It’s a real progression from your early material. Even from the Mako collaboration.
Yeah 100 percent. It still has that dance influence on it, which is really cool. It starts out like a ballad, so it’s cool that it picks up and has a heavy drum. It’s a very dramatic song. I always say it’s a very up and down, twisty-turny song about a relationship.
How did Jack & Jack get involved?
Jack & Jack are two boys who are very close to me. I was brainstorming as to who I wanted to feature on the song, because I felt like it was missing something. I was like, “I really want a rapper on this song,” and I was thinking about it and I was like, “Why not Jack & Jack?” They’re perfect. They’re the same age as me. They appeal to the same fan base. Jack Johnson wrote an amazing verse on it and Jack G played my love interest in the video.
Were you friends with them before collaborating on the track?
Yeah. Jack G is my boyfriend, so that helped! They’ve both been really good friends of mine for about two years now. They’re amazing.
Can you identify with the lyrics in the song?
Since I am in a relationship, I know how it goes with the twists and turns and the roller coaster kind of thing. I understood the lyrics completely and I think that it’s important to be able to relate to your own song. I always see all my fans being like, “Oh, I have a crush and I don’t know how to talk to him.” They’re always saying they have boy troubles, so I thought it’d be cute to make a song that they could relate.
My relationship isn’t as dramatic as the lyrics are, but I know that there is a lot of stuff that I would do for love. That is the whole message of the song — the extent you would go to for someone.
The video is beautiful. How did it all come together.
It was filmed about an hour and half away from Los Angeles in Lancaster. It was filmed on this huge racetrack. When they had told me about the concept of the video, I didn’t really know what to expect. You start to paint a picture in your head of what they’re talking about, but it’s all just on paper, so you can’t really picture it. Then once we got there, and I saw how everything was set up, I was blown away and so excited to film it.
It came out exactly the way that the director and I envisioned. It was really awesome. We tried to capture the drama of the song, which isn’t easy. I think the director pulled it off so well.
It almost looks like a scene from Fast And The Furious.
That’s what people are saying, that it looks like a movie trailer for the next Fast And The Furious movie. That’s what I have heard a lot from people. I love Fast And The Furious, so I’m very happy about that.
Did you get a chance to drive any of the cars?
Funny story. I was with Jack & Jack, and Jack Johnson fell asleep for an hour and a half, because the part he had to record wasn’t until later in the day. We woke him up because Jack and I had a break and we wanted to race my car on the racetracks. We were all in my car and we were driving on the racetrack — there’s like six or seven racetracks — but it wasn’t the one we hired and we got chased off by these two dudes.
It was really scary. It was really fun though, we made it back alive. It was really funny and really scary. We definitely tried to do it. It lasted three minutes, but we tried!
What’s next for you? Are you going to release an EP or an album?
I don’t know. I would love for it to be an album. I feel like I have so many songs at this point that I could put an album together, but I also want it to be perfect — so it could just be an EP. I have no idea what’s going to happen. Right now, I’m loving “All for Love.” I don’t really know. I haven’t really thought that far yet. Possibly another single or two before an album or EP comes out.
Is “All for Love” reflective of the direction of your new music?
Yeah. I think that it’s an introduction to the newer stuff because I feel like I’ve matured and grown a lot as an artist and as a person since “Melodies” and “Unbreakable.” My taste in music has also changed a lot. I definitely prefer the rebellious, dance-y stuff. Everyone knows Rihanna is one of my favorite artists. She inspires a lot of the music that I make, and on my album, there are definitely songs that are in that direction. I’m definitely going towards a more, not hip hop, but R&B pop rather than straight-up pop music, which I like and I’m really excited about.
Who have you been in the studio with?
I have been really busy with preparing “All for Love,” but at the same time, I’ve been trying to make sure that I have my stuff ready to go after “All for Love” comes out. I’ve been working with a bunch of different people. I worked with Tricky Stewart and The-Dream. I also work with Justin Bieber a lot. He’s been focusing on his new album and his single, so it’s been hard to get in the studio with him.
A bunch of really, really cool people and I’ve been getting into writing a lot more, so that’s exciting. I’ve had a bunch of writing sessions with a bunch of awesome writers and they’ve been showing me the ropes, because I don’t really know how to write. It’s really exciting that I’m getting into that.
Have you penned your first song yet?
Parts of a song. My issue is I start a song and I start loving it and then I have a completely different idea, so I jump to the next one. I have ten halves of songs, so I have to expand on them a little bit more. My creative juices are always flowing, so I’m always trying to write stuff.
What do you base your songs on? Is it life experience?
I have a really crazy imagination, so a lot of my songs are not even things that have ever happened to me. Maybe it’s something that happened to my friend. I watch a lot of movies and TV shows, so I can write music based off that.
You mentioned working with Justin. Have you ever considered doing a duet or feature?
I would love to do a song with him. He’s obviously one of my favorite artists and I think he’s such a talent. I would love to collaborate with him. We’ve made a few songs in the studio before. I just want them to be perfect before I put them out. He’s really busy with his stuff right now, so hopefully after his album or maybe while he’s doing it, we could set up a collaboration. That would be really awesome.
Did you get to hear “What Do You Mean” before everyone else?
I heard a part of it before everyone else. When we were doing the “What Do U Mean” countdown, I didn’t know that I knew the song. Then once it came out, I was like, “Oh wait, I heard that song a couple months back. That’s so funny.” I knew it, but I didn’t know that I knew it. It’s really, really great. He’s got a lot of stuff that hasn’t been released yet and it’s really amazing. Everyone is going to go crazy.
Are you going to promote “All For Love” with TV performances?
Yes, 100 percent. That’s all being set up as we speak. That’s definitely what I want to start doing more, because I love performing. I’m actually doing BeautyCon in New York this October. I’m really excited because that will be my first time performing “All for Love” in front of a bunch of people.
That’s great, because we never got to hear “I Won’t Let You Walk Away” live.
I feel like it was hard because they had to be there, and I had to be there, and they had really busy schedules. We tried to do as much as possible. They spoke about Coachella next year, which could be really awesome. I’d love to do that. Hopefully I’ll have the opportunity to open up for artists on their tours or perform at little venues. I want to get people listening. That’s why I’m itching to release my album or EP, because I really want to start performing all of my songs. Right now, I only have three and two of them are from two years ago.
Would you consider doing an acoustic version of “All for Love”? I think it would sound very pretty.
Yeah. I think if I do a TV performance and if it’s an early morning show, it probably will be an acoustic version because I don’t want to blast people’s ears off!
A lot of young female artists like Demi Lovato and Selena Gomez have really switched up their sound this year. Are you inspired by that?
Absolutely. With Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato, I grew up with them being on Disney shows. They were very, very young and not making music. I just knew them from Disney. I remember when Selena did “It’s Magic.” I was like, “Wait, Selena Gomez can sing?” She was so good, and then I remember I found out that she was the person who sang the theme song on Wizards of Waverly Place and I was really blown away that she could sing.
Now the fact that she’s known as a pop star is so crazy to me because I grew up with her being a Disney star, who was an actress. The fact that she still balances both and does her movies and acting is so awesome. And Demi’s “Confident” is great too. It’s so cool that they both completely transformed themselves into these major artists when they were on Disney shows when I was younger.
Are you looking forward to being able to experiment when you’re a little older?
Yeah. I feel like I’m easing into that right now. I’m 16 now, so I still have to chill a little bit. As my music develops more and more, I also want to do more with my performances and videos.
Is it important to you that everything is age-appropriate?
Yes because I still want to be a role model to my younger fans. I never want them to watch it with their parents and be like, “Wait, this girl’s only a year older than me. Why is she dressed like that? Why is she doing that?” I saw a picture of a girl and she was like, “I’m going to school,” and she was wearing the outfit that I wore in “All for Love” — with the jean shorts and the jean jacket. It was so cute. I always want them to be able to relate to me and not be turned off by something. It’s really important to me that I get to remain a role model for as long as possible.
Last time, I asked you to pick your song of the summer. What’s on the Madison Beer playlist now?
Oh my goodness. Let me look at the recently played songs on my phone. I listen to so much music. “What Do U Mean,” obviously. I play it all the time. It’s such a good song. I have a Drake album in my phone because I love Drake. I still love the song “Pound Cake,” and it’s from two albums ago. I love his new album too. Anything Drake. I love Drake.
Have you heard his new album with Future?
Not yet, but I really want to. Future’s awesome. I love rap music. I listen to a lot of rap music. You’ll always find me bumping rap music down Sunset Boulevard!