The latest muse to join Jeremy Scott’s club of mavericks.
Collaborating with Jeremy Scott is synonymous with a rise to notoriety. His previous projects—the likes of Devon Aoki, Miley Cyrus and Stella Maxwell—have become some of the most watched, adored and captivatingly controversial women in the world. Selecting burgeoning talent, Madison Beer as his latest muse, the miniature diva-in-the-making joins an enviable class of contemporary pop culture icons.
“In your teenage years, you’re constantly changing,” reasons the 18-year-old singer. “It’s been pretty hard to pick an exact sound that I like because of how many changes you undergo.” Fans have been waiting impatiently for Beer’s first long play for five years, and its contents are a closely guarded secret. Although her four independent releases thus far, “Something Sweet”, “All For Love”, “Unbreakable” and “Melodies” are set against synths, a change is coming. All I can tell you about the album for sure is that she’s taking stylistic notes from the best; powerhouses like Brandy, Alicia Keys and Lauryn Hill, hinting a switch to an R&B inflected channel. But I’m getting ahead of myself…
Raised in New York’s Long Island, Beer had an all American adolescence, complete with gymnastics classes and summers spent at camp “playing the lead in Charlie Brown”; storybook stuff. It wasn’t until she discovered the late, great Christina Grimmie’s online videos that she decided to take to the mic. “I watched [her] a lot, so her covers definitely prompted me to post some of my own,” she says of her formative role model and The Voice star, who tragically made international headlines after she was fatally shot following a gig in Orlando at the age of 22.
After making a name for herself on YouTube with her soulful renditions of karaoke classics, it was in July 2012 that the then 13-year-old Beer caught the attentive eye of Justin Bieber. Along with her cover of Etta James’ “At Last”— which Beer “saw in a movie somewhere and fell in love with”—he tweeted: “wow. 13 years old! she can sing. great job.” (Because who needs grammar when you make approximately $56 million a year?) Like any other tween would, Beer replied with a nonsensical list of letters as if she’d face-planted the keyboard, adding: “I CAN’T BELIEVE THIS IS HAPPENING. I AM CRYING.”
“Within an hour of him tweeting this, Good Morning America knocked on my door wanting an interview!” Beer exclaims. Clearly the rest of the world was in agreement with Bieber who prophetically tagged her as a #FutureStar—in the five years since, despite being able to count her singles on one hand, Beer has amassed a force of a fandom the size of a small country; 9 million Instagram followers in fact.
“Every time someone stops me for a photo, it’s surreal. My fans are my world,” she gushes. They are, quite literally, spanning the globe and all are desperate to meet their idol. “I think one of the craziest moments had to have been when I had a meet up at a mall and thousands of people came! It was shocking… Hearing their stories, crying with them, laughing with them; those moments to me are the most special and cherished.”
Often, they message her on social media to tell her how long they’ve been following her career and a fierce competition over who loves Beer the most ensues. The winner always and forever is model and fellow starlet, Hailey Baldwin. “We’ve been friends since I was about 12,” Beer smiles. I wish I could say the same, Baldwin threw her the 18th birthday party of Gossip Girl-esque dreams at Nobu in Paris (my 18th birthday was more Skins…) “She actually came to my 13th birthday party! She’s like a sister to me.”
Just like Baldwin, Beer’s stepping into the world of modelling, making her fashion week debut with a covetable spot in the Dolce & Gabbana AW17 show in Milan (where upon arrival, her fans were of course, ready and waiting). Can she walk the walk, I ask? She laughs, “I took a lesson or two, not gonna lie!”
Taking to the runway alongside friend Sofia Richie and a Wonderland alumni of Lucky Blue Smith, Luka Sabbat, Anaïs Gallagher and Rafferty Law, she joins a fresh class of kids who refuse to be walking coat hangers. The reach of “influencers”—whether you love to hate the term or not—is undeniable and they’re fashion’s favourite new names.
Beer’s barely even begun. Unsatisfied with just an impending album release (due this summer, the first single “Dead” arrived in May), she’s set on one day “getting a Grammy and selling out Madison Square Garden”. If her track record is anything to go by, she’ll be striking them off her bucket list before she’s had time to think of replacements.
Madison’s new single “Dead” is out now via First Access Entertainment.
Taken from the Summer 17 Issue of Wonderland; out now and available to buy here.
Vincent Oquendo at The Wall Group using iS Clincal & EX1 Cosmetics