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INTERVIEW: Madison Panno

Hi Madison, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

I’ve been great, I’m just really excited to be talking to you to be honest.

Can you talk to us more about your cover for Twenty One Pilots’ “Oh Miss Believer”?

Sure. I was home from school because I am from New Jersey, so the weather is constantly changing, and that day it was snowing. We were snowed inside and I was feeling very under the weather, but very creative. The song “Oh Miss Believer” paints the picture of a snowy day for me, so I figured I’d cover it and make a cool video. I don’t like to waste time or creative energy, because it can go as easy as it comes for me. So I filmed it by putting my phone in the window and playing it straight off my keyboard. Then I just edited over the other clips and kept the sound into make it feel very organic. I love that song; I just wish my vocals sounded better. I never film when I’m sick for that reason.

Did any event in particular inspired you to cover this song?

Like I said, the snow was a big part of why I covered that song. Twenty One Pilots’s self titled album is one of my favorite albums of all time, so that was definitely part of why I covered it, too. Mainly though, I just always try to create something for others. If what I create can give you strength in a bad moment, everything I do is worth it. So I created that video for someone who was having a bad day, or a bad hour. Darkness is tough, so I’m constantly inspired by it and the thought of stopping it.

How was the recording and writing process?

If you mean for the album I just finished, it was definitely unique. I songwrite extremely theraputically, and I realized that after a few years of writing I wanted to make moves and do this. I started buying myself equipment and built a little studio in my bedroom. I really had to learn how to make the best of my time and space, because my mom has a boyfriend with two little kids, and it’s hard to record with them constantly knocking and wanting to hang out with me. They’re the kids in my announcement videos, actually. I also live right off a main road, so that was a constraint as well, but I really enjoyed it. It’s fun to challenge yourself. So yeah, I wasn’t in any type of proffessional studio setting at all, but I like to think the album is fairly good quality production considering I taught myself how to do it along the way and with my circumstances given.

Do you tend to take a different approach when you are covering someone else than when you are writing your own original material?

Absolutely. In all honesty, I dont love doing covers online. Live covers are super fun, but I think that’s just cause anything live is fun for me. I look at covers as nothing more than entertainment. I like when people take a totally new spin on songs when they cover it, but otherwise I just find them sort of boring. It’s taking another person’s song and putting your voice in over theirs. Unless you’re incredible, why wouldn’t someone just listen to the original? Anyways, when it comes to original content, my approach is always different as far as writing, but the songs are really personal to me. I use songwriting as therapy for the things going on in my head, and self-expression to say things I’ve had pent up inside. I focus greatly on the lyrics, and telling the story with the lyrics and music. I like to explain it by saying I have a music video in my head for every song I write. I just hope people see the depth to my content beause I work very hard to make something that can be discussed in all aspects, not just something to casuai listen to. I want to reach people who really listen to music in every aspect and analyze it, so I definitely approach that way.

What role does Twenty One Pilots and Melanie Martinez play in your music?

Melanie Martinez, if I’m not mistaken, use to make videos online, so I find that inspiring obviously because that shows something starting from nothing. Her ability to tell a story through music and lyrics speaks to me, but she wasn’t a huge inspiration to this album, although it’s similar to her style in ways.  Twenty One Pilots is a huge part of my every day life. They musically and lyrically inspire me very much, but I mainly am inspired by them and their story. They remind me to keep dreaming and that dreams don’t have a zip code (a way I like to say it). I actually name drop Tyler, the singer of Twenty One Pilots, on my upcoming album. I also really like lots of similar artists, like Jon Bellion and Panic! At the Disco. Their lyrics and sounds inspire me alot.

How’s your new album and music coming along?

The album is actually finished. It’s so weird to say that. I’m use to saying, “It’s so close,” or “I’m just working out one more little thing on a few tracks.” It’s hard to do everything on your own, because your expectations for yourself are so incredibly high. I hold myself to an unreachable standard, where I made myself hate songs that I actually loved. Eventually I just realized this is my first release & that no one is going to expect perfect studio mixing from a bedroom produced mixtape. I’m incredibly proud of this project.

Any tentative release date or title in mind?

Yes, if you go onto any of my social media or my website ( madisonpanno.com ) there’s further details but it’s coming out April 15th, and the album is called “Music Speaks”. It’s artwork is one of my favorite parts. I work with a really talented photographer and digital designer, Natalie. She’s great. I just hope people take something bigger from this than a few songs.

Any plans to hit the road?

I have the huge dream of hitting the road in a van with all my friends and being the cliche and live life traveling, but I don’t have any tour plans right now. I have lots of huge plans for the future for my shows; I’m sort of a daydreamer. I am definitely going to be playing shows, but I feel like hitting the road indicates a tour happening. I just hope that enough people take this art and make it their own so I can go and play people their songs live for them.

What else is happening next in Madison Panno’s world?

I have some stuff coming that I can’t really talk about quite yet, but I’m going to focus the next year on building my brand, promoting this album, playing lots of shows, working, creating, writing music and especially surving my senior year of high school in my hometown.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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