Feinstein’s Presents Maddie Poppe

5/5 - (1 vote)

March 17, 2024

7:30 PM – 9:00 PM

March 18, 2024

7:30 PM – 9:00 PM

Feinstein’s Presents Maddie Poppe

March 2024

Maddie Poppe went through all kinds of emotions—from elation to self-doubt—after winning “American Idol” in 2018, releasing her debut album “Whirlwind” the following year, and then watching many of the people in her creative orbit drop away. The Iowa native, who captured the attention of fans with her folksy singer/songwriter style, did exactly that by giving herself the grace to evolve. Hand-in-hand with her “American Idol” victory, she won a People’s Choice Award for her turn on the show, had “Whirlwind” hit Number 2 on the iTunes Pop Charts, and went on to become a hot guest on “The Kelly Clarkson Show,” “Jimmy Kimmel Live!,” “Live With Kelly & Ryan” and “Good Morning America.” All of this, in addition to touring the country opening for Ingrid Michaelson and headlining her own tours, including a Christmas run that has become a seasonal “must” for Maddie’s fans.

Don’t miss out on an evening with Maddie Poppe! Tickets are available at feinsteinshc.com!

Janelle Morrison: What inspired you to pursue a music career, and when did you realize that music was your passion?

Maddie Poppe: Music has always been a part of my life, even from a very early age. My dad was in country and bluegrass bands growing up and always had instruments and recording equipment set up around the house. My dad really encouraged me to start singing when he had initially realized that I had a talent, but it wasn’t until I took a serious interest in it myself that things started to happen for me. I learned guitar at age 14 and started writing songs and playing local gigs shortly after. 

JM: Can you share a bit about your musical journey leading up to your appearance on “American

Idol?” What were some of the significant moments or challenges you faced?

MP: After playing local shows in my home state any chance I had, it was around the age of 16 that I started to compete at local competitions, which eventually led me to compete on a bigger platform, “The Voice.” I had auditioned three times prior to finally getting flown out to their set in LA for a blind audition. I didn’t understand at the time why I didn’t get a chair to turn and felt so discouraged, but looking back, it makes all the sense in the world. I just wasn’t ready then. I didn’t know who I was or what I even wanted at such a young age. That failure has really come to make me appreciate all the wins, big or small, since then. Almost four years later, after digging deeper and really trying to figure out my path musically, I auditioned [for] and won “American Idol.” 

JM: Winning “American Idol” must have been an incredible experience. How did it feel to have your talent recognized on such a large platform, and how did it impact your career moving forward?

MP: It really was the best feeling in the world. I truly felt like an underdog going into that competition, as early on, there were so many contestants with so much more experience than me. Sometimes, I felt like I had no business being in that competition. Looking back, I don’t think I truly trusted or believed in myself until I realized that others had believed in me. 

The show opened more doors than I could have ever imagined for myself. I truly believe everything since then has been a sort of butterfly effect. Of course, there are always going to be pros and cons to any situation, but it’s really hard for me to see “American Idol” as anything but a very positive and amazing experience. 

JM: Your style blends elements of folk, pop and indie music. How would you describe your musical style, and what artists or genres have influenced your sound?

MP: Very early on, when I first started, I thought country music would be where I would land, but shortly after, I discovered artists like Ingrid Michaelson, Sara Bareilles and Rachael Yamagata. These three in particular really helped shape my sound today. I loved and still love what they are doing, and I admire the tenacity these artists and so many others have to stay true to their sound. 

JM: Your album “Whirlwind” received positive reviews. Can you talk about the inspiration behind the album and the creative process involved in its production?

MP: Although I’m very proud of this album, it was, just as the title states, a whirlwind. There really wasn’t any other name that came to mind when it was time to deliver the album. I was given 42 days to complete 10 songs for the project, and artwork and a name had to come along with that as well. If you look at the credits, there’s got to be over 50 writers and a different producer on almost every song.

Throughout the 42 days, I was blindly sent into sessions every day, which was my first time ever co-writing on anything whatsoever. I was used to writing songs in my childhood Iowa bedroom on a $50 ukulele, but one of my first co-writes was at Max Martin’s studio with the writers of “Dangerous Woman” by Ariana Grande. The whole process was so intimidating, but I knew I had to pretend to get comfortable quickly if I was going to write anything I would be proud of and happy with.

JM: As an artist who has successfully transitioned from a reality TV show contestant to an established musician, what advice would you give to aspiring artists looking to break into the music industry?

MP: I’d say all the clichés you always hear really are true. Like being yourself, making sure you’re happy, and never giving up. As corny as it sounds, that’s what this all really comes down to. It’s really hard to succeed without being true to yourself.