She may be the youngest Waterhouse, but she’s certainly not least. Maddi Jean Waterhouse has just released her new single, ‘greedy’, about “that moment when you have the realisation that you’ve not been respected in a relationship, you’re finally ready to speak up, you know your worth and you set yourself free” – ahead of her debut EP set to be out this fall. Her music captures the growing pains of moving into young adulthood, with relatable lyrics and a dreamy sound.
Earlier this summer, Maddi put out ‘young in love’, our first taste of her sultry, pop sound. The song reveals her ability to put words to the naiveté of dealing with powerful emotions during such formative years.
Maddi Jean has also participated in several modelling campaigns throughout her teenage years, but is ready to make the transition to performer. Don’t confuse her with the other singing Waterhouse, Suki. Although her family is a constant source of support, Maddi Jean is conscious of creating her own space in the industry.
Maddi Jean sat down with Rollacoaster to talk about starting her music career, her undying love of Lana Del Rey and growing up. Using her music as an outlet to share her feelings in an unpolished, not-to-be-posted way gives her an instant connection with anyone who has experienced their first heart ache or the angst of the later teenage years. Maddi Jean is ready to see where the journey takes her, and we get to listen along to it.
You’ve just released your debut single, ‘young in love’ and are working on launching your first EP, how has that been? Has singing always been the dream?
Since I can remember, I have always had music in mind. It’s been a slow-burner because I’ve been working on music for a long time and im only just releasing my own songs now. I’ve been working on the EP for two years. I’m really glad I gave it the time it needed to properly come together, but I’m beyond excited to finally get the ball rolling!
Has quarantine given you the opportunity to focus on it more or was this the plan regardless?
It gave me the time to really decide what direction I wanted to go in. In terms of the EP, all the songs had already been made, so I was lucky that I had it all done before lockdown. It gave me more time to really focus on how I was going to put it out rather than working on content, meanwhile I was writing more music for the new year.
Has that affected the way you’re using social media and generating buzz?
It’s different for me because I don’t know any other way of putting out music. I suppose normally I would have probably done live events to start out with. So I tried to adapt by making homemade mini performance type videos on Instagram. It definitely feels weird relying so heavily on social media. It will be really nice to be interacting more in real life, rather than just over the internet! It’s definitely something I’m looking forward too.
What went into the decision to go by Maddi Jean instead of Maddi Waterhouse for your music career?
Jean is my middle name and I felt Maddi Jean had a nice ring to it. Also, my sister releases her music as Suki Waterhouse, and we have a very different sound. I didn’t want any confusion so I could really go on my own path. Jean was also my grandmother’s name and I’ve always loved it.
Having two older sisters involved in the creative industry and one specifically in music, do you go to them for advice?
We all rely on each other for creative advice, definitely. Suki was so helpful with any issues relating to the EP. She always supports me and encourages me. Immy has a really good creative eye, which was super helpful for the video and artwork. It would have been really different without their support and I am so grateful to have them. We’re all creative so it would feel really weird not to share it with them and ask for their opinions!
What was the process like writing ‘young in love’? Do you usually use songwriting to reflect on things you’re going through?
I find songwriting really cathartic because it genuinely helps me process experiences. Getting out and singing is a really nice way to release those feelings creatively and move forward. I just had my first studio session in awhile and I finally made a break-up song. It was really relieving to sing about it. It helped me see how much has changed and how much I have moved on. ‘young in love’ is a very naïve song, so it’s nice to have a record of that time and be able to reflect on how I was feeling. I’m exited for my music to mature as I mature and to go on that journey with me!