Maddie is a 17 year old acoustic singer-songwriter who recently performed at the Festival of Manchester. We sat down and chatted to her about how joining our Sing City group has developed her as a musician (and why it’s better than school!)
Tell us a little bit about yourself…
I’m Maddie, and I’m a singer-songwriter from Manchester, I play guitar, I sing and I play a bit of piano.
How long have you been coming to Sing City?
I joined in January 2019. Before that I was predominantly writing in my bedroom for a band…but I had no band! I couldn’t hear the songs as they should sound, but now I can get other musicians on the track and write with other people. It’s really fun!
Can you give us a little insight into what goes on at a Sing City session?
You split up into groups and work on new songs. Different people bring different ideas to the table and you work on each other’s ideas. Gradually you’ll build up a few songs during the sessions, then you can perform them at the live nights which are really good!
Who leads sessions and what’s it like working with them?
There’s Phill Howley, Holly Phelps and Natalie McCool. They’re all really, really good at keeping it running really smoothly. It’s not like school. You predominantly lead it and they help guide you and help refine your ideas a bit more. It’s so much better than school! They’re really inspiring. I look up to them a lot.
What would you say to someone who’s never been to Sing City but might be thinking of joining?
I saw a video about it online and someone said something like ‘you have to take every opportunity’ so I just thought ‘ok let’s go for it’. I was really nervous at first but everyone was instantly really nice and welcoming. I felt a lot better once I’d just gotten in, and by the second week I was like ‘yeah I love this’. I think just go for it, otherwise you’re just gonna be wondering why you didn’t do it.
Why should someone come to Sing City?
You should come if you really love music and you just want to get stuck in and meet like-minded people. At my school I don’t really know anyone else that’s into music. I’ve never really clicked in that way with anyone. But everyone at Sing City is so nice, and they have the same sort of interests and it’s just all about collaborating and enjoying making music together.
Has taking part had an impact on you as a musician?
It’s made me think of my songs in a different way – writing them in a different way – and it’s helped me communicate how I want the music to sound a lot more. It’s really improved my writing. I write much better songs now because I have different people’s perspectives.
We’re currently looking for more girls to join Sing City, as part of our commitment to balanced gender representation across all of our projects. Why do you think it’s important that women are represented in the music industry?
I was on a music course once and I was the only girl in the room. And it’s daunting. I feel like women bring a different perspective. Men and women bring different perspectives, in a good way. Different perspectives make better things because you’re incorporating so many more mindsets and experiences. I think it’s important we’re represented because…why not? Women are the future.